One of the most common complaints from office workers are back and neck pain. Most of these complaints can be traced back to whatever chair or desk they are presently using. Now workers will adjust their bodies to their chairs so that they can keep being productive, but that isn’t how the body was designed. So, this can cause the spine to misalign. A person hunching over a desk which is too low then or a chair that isn’t close enough to the computer can be a real problem causing a loss of productivity and profits for a business. When this happens, the result can be shoulder and neck pain as well as chronic headaches for workers also which leads to turnover rates rising.
Another concern is that the basic seated position in a normal office chair can lead to the shortening of hamstrings and cause the hip flexors to tighten. This will cause chronic lower back pain as well as sciatic pain. The reason for this is that the people involved are trying to keep their legs perpendicular to their torso. This puts a lot of strain on the tendons and muscles of the legs and hips. Again, productivity goes down and turnover rates go up.
Discomfort and chronic pain can be one of the causes in loss of focus.
Some reasons for this kind of pain are listed below:
- A desk which infers with movement and restricts leg room.
- Shelves and cabinets which the person has to stretch to open or to reach.
- Back pain as well as shoulder pain from badly designed furniture.
- Eye strain, headaches and migraines from poorly placed furniture in relation to computer screens.
The benefits of ergonomics
The way a person sits affects the way and length of time, they work. If they are in pain, the pain is distracting and cause loss of work production too. Breaks are taken more frequently just so that the person can get up and walk around to relieve the pressure on the back and in the legs. However, with the proper chair, the person is more productive and not in pain. Office furniture which is ergonomic has been designed to support a person’s natural function, well being, and facilitate comfort then. For example, below are some of the benefits of an ergonomics chair.
- When a person’s body is in the correct posture, the body stays aligned and there is less discomfort experienced. When an adjustable chair is used, it permits a person’s feet to remain flat on the floor too. The knees remain at a 90-degree angle and parallel to the person’s hips for good body support.
- If a person sits in a chair without a head rest, it causes both shoulder stiffness and a sore neck. The headrest will support the person’s head while talking on the phone or writing a report though.
- If a person doesn’t have proper support for the back and spine, it can cause stress on the body. This can cause minor to severe pain. The backrest of the chair should be tall enough then to support the entire spine. It needs to follow the curve of the spine at the right angle to fit the person’s body.
- When sitting in a hard chair, it puts pressure on the hips. Selecting a chair that’s padded with a seat depth that’s sufficient will help to reduce this kind of stress and pressure. The chair needs to have seat depth of 2-4 inches when it’s measured from the back of the person’s knees then.
The chair a person sits in should be user friendly. Because discomfort and pain are distracting and take away focus on work. This disrupts co-worker teamwork too when people are in pain. With ergonomic chairs though, productivity improves, attention is retained and creativity and problem solving is at the front where it belongs.
Ergonomic office furniture promotes employee well being and provide better levels of energy. It adds to greater cognitive focus because there are less physical distractions caused by pain and discomfort. It improves the circulation of the body and reduces strain in the neck and shoulders.
When all ergonomic office furniture available is considered, the workplace is a better place.