Ergonomics is the study of how effective people are in their work environments. While many bosses, CEOs, and managers pay close attention to ergonomics for productivity purposes, it’s also important to understand the countless health benefits associated with ergonomically friendly offices. In fact, nearly 100 people experience work-related injuries weekly. And that doesn’t include those people who become sick. When employees are sick or injured, they can’t perform at their best ability. This negatively impacts production numbers and can even negatively affect overall morale in the office. So in order to maintain a productive work environment, you must also promote the health and safety of your workers. Here are a 5 ways to create an office space that is ergonomically friendly and invest in your staff.
1. Encourage Mental and Physical Breaks
When employees work too hard for too long, they undoubtedly burn out. This can happen both physically and mentally. A great way to promote health and safety in the office is to support your staff’s need for breaks, both mental and physical. Physical breaks include walks, vacations, a facility with a gym or other exercise room, and both space and ability to get up, stretch, and move around. Mental breaks come in various forms as well, including ample vacation time, paid leave, and support. Simply asking an employee how they’re doing or if they need anything shows that you are truly invested in them and their needs. When employees feel cared for and appreciated, not only do they perform better at work but they approach their job with a more positive attitude. This translates into their everyday life, reducing stress and anxiety.
2. Invest in the Right Furniture
The most common thing associated with ergonomically friendly offices is the furniture. That’s because many basic office desks, chairs, and workspaces aren’t designed to keep employee’s bodies comfortable. Often times, desks and chairs are purchased in bulk because it’s more cost effective. But if you’re making an investment in the health and safety of your staff, consider ergonomically friendly furniture. This can come in a variety of forms and includes all types of products from desks and chairs to standing boards, medicine balls, and alternative seating options. Standing desks are another popular option because they prevent workers from sitting for endless hours, which can cause back, neck, and shoulder discomfort. Not to mention, a sedentary job leads to weight gain and other health complications. To learn more about standing desks, check out this helpful link. Standing boards and medicine balls are ideal replacements for the common office chair. Not only do they prevent back and neck discomfort, but they actually promote abdominal and core strength.
3. Think Outside the Cubicle
But if you really want to boost your office’s ergonomic status, try thinking outside of the cubicle space. While ergonomic desks and chairs are a great option, they aren’t the only one. Bean bag chairs are a fun and creative way to offer seating. Depending on your need, invest in chairs that offer a varied level of support. If the bean bag is too soft, users will be sitting directly on the hard floor which isn’t good for their back or tailbone. Low rocking chairs are generally made of a soft, nylon material and resemble small couches. With long backs and close proximity to the ground, workers can sit up straight with their feet firmly planted on the ground, providing both the support and comfort they need. Stools are another great way to promote healthy posture. Without a supportive back on the chair, users are forced to sit with their back and shoulders straight. This reduces strain on the neck or a hunched over back. Some offices allow workers to keep a yoga mat under their desk or even have a yoga studio on premise. Other offices incorporate a full service gym that staff can utilize during their breaks. Both of these are create ways to promote physical activity and overall health and well-being.
4. Offer Team Building Activities that Promote Exercise
The best way to keep staff moving in the office is to offer them alternatives to sitting at their desk and staring at their computer. Team building activities are beneficial to staff in many ways, including boosting their mental health. And why not incorporate physical activity as well, offering employees the best of both worlds? The main purpose of team building activities is to help employees work together more efficiently by helping them understand one another’s strengths, weaknesses, and communication styles. Workers often learn as much about themselves as they do about each other. When you feel connected to your coworkers, it makes going to work more fun. This translates into a more positive attitude about the job and boosts your overall mood. You may also discover increased confidence following these types of activities. Some of the best team building events include tasks that require teamwork and are physical in nature. For those people that don’t incorporate regular exercise and physical activity into their everyday lives (and should), these types of activities are great to improve physicality and reduce stress. A few ideas include bowling, rock wall climbing, rafting, or a scavenger hunt. Get creative to get your staff moving!
5. Promote Healthy Eating
With over 160 million Americans either overweight or obese, the average diet in America is drastically lacking in balance and nutrition. When office workers are sitting at their desks for hours on end, their physical activity isn’t the only thing affected. Lunches out or on the go often mean less than healthy choices. It’s easy to overindulge or make quick, uninformed decisions when eating out. The best way to promote healthy eating habits in the office is to either bring your lunch from home, visit healthy eateries in the nearby area, or start an office-wide diet! Diets are often more successful when done in groups and with support. Your success might help your coworker succeed. On the days you’re feeling unmotivated, allow a fellow employee to help boost your morale and get you back on track. If an office party is being catered, be sure to incorporate healthy alternatives like salads, grilled chicken, and vegetables.
For most people, their office is like their second home. And that means that healthy habits need to follow from home into work. Designing an office space that is safe means less risk of injury and the ability to focus and produce more efficiently. Pay close attention to your mental health as well, as this is equally as important as your physical. When you foster your health and safety at work, it helps create a well-rounded and successful life.
Article Submitted By Community Writer