As I write this blog, I’m sitting at my desk after changing around some of my equipment, and where it’s positioned in relation to how I sit. I’m hoping my body will be less angry at me after today…I still probably have a ways to go. If you’re anything like me, you probably have the same desk setup you’ve had for a while. So, when was the last time you gave some thought to ergonomics, and truly assessed your setup?
Over time, I’ve learned there are so very many considerations when assessing an employee workstation (I’m generally speaking to an office workspace, but it also relates to other environments where repetition or lifting heavy objects plays a role in employees’ duties). The needs can vary from easy and inexpensive (like posture) to…well, needing a new desk entirely. As I just mentioned, posture is important, and I’m admittedly terrible with this one. I love to sit slouched over, or with one leg crossed over the other knee, and I’m notorious for not having my shoulders face the monitor I’m using. At the end of the day, it’s no wonder I’m hurting and need to see a chiropractor so regularly!
Another big one is chair/desk height. In my line of work, I sit at assorted desks and in chairs that definitely weren’t designed for someone of my height, and it makes such a big difference whether the desk is too high such that I end up looking like the kid at the grown-up table, or if the chair is old and stuck in the highest position and my feet don’t touch the ground. Even after years of hearing about ergonomics and how important it can be (and expensive, too! According to OSHA, 34 percent of all lost-workday injuries and illnesses are work-related musculoskeletal disorders, costing employers $15 to $20 billion annually in workers’ compensation costs), most of us aren’t set up optimally.
In addition to costs associated with workers’ compensation, poor ergonomics can also convert to poor productivity. For some interesting tips on assessing your office ergonomics, visit https://zapier.com/blog/how-to-set-up-your-desk/.