Think the subject of ergonomics doesn’t matter?
Think again. According to recent studies, summarized in the article Poor Ergonomics Linked to Musculoskeletal and Mental Health Problems, the cost of poor ergonomics is high. It is linked with serious consequences in terms of human health. In fact, a study out of the University of Leeds of 4,664 workers who spent a minimum of 6.5 hours at their desks every day found that 80% of those studied suffered from some kind of physical ailment linked to bad posture. Worse yet, 18% of sufferers reported serious depression as a result of their pain. And more than half reported that their personal lives had suffered as a consequence.
What’s at the root of these findings?
Workspaces that aren’t built for the human body. Tables and chairs placed at the improper height lead to hunching of the neck and back. In addition, using anything other than an ergonomic keyboard greatly raises the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome or other Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs). The risks only get worse as we spend longer hours at work, repeating the same motions in less than ideal ways. Also exacerbating the problem is our increasingly mobile lifestyle. Workers pay even less attention to the ergonomics of the workspace as more and more operate from the road on tablets and smartphones.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. With ergonomic peripherals made with both the office desk and the laptop bag in mind, there’s no reason you can’t take your ergonomic keyboard, mouse and laptop and tablet stand with you on the road. In fact, with very little upfront investment, employers can create a diversity of ideal, adaptable ergonomic workspaces that will keep workers healthy in body and mind.
For a deeper look at the risks non-ergonomic workspace present, we highly recommend reading the article linked to above.
What do you do to customize your workspace to your body? Let us know in the comments below.