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Keeping The Ergonomic Heartbeat Running In Offices

Companies are looking to revamp their offices in order to promote wellbeing

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Back in the 1980s, the demands of computer work intensified, and ergonomic researchers focused on gaining a deep understanding of the biomechanics of sitting solutions which could be developed to contribute to a healthier day at work.

Since then, there’s a powerful movement going on in the workplace as an increasing number of companies are looking to revamp their offices in order to promote wellbeing. A revolutionary wave of truly supporting the body and provide unrestricted natural movement, ergonomic furniture is enabling greater efficiency and productivity at workspaces.

Here are some insights on how combining art and science to work, and strategically investing your capital into the right asset can help bring greater physical diversity

A Healthy Workplace leads to Healthier employees

We are always so captivated by the computer screen that we tend to sit in poor postures for long periods. This can impact our health and result in low productivity levels. Introducing height- adjusted work surfaces help employees to spend portions of their workday standing. This avoids unnecessary weight gain and lack of blood flow.

Sitting in the right posture helps avoid neck pain, shoulder pain, and vision issues. Most of the time, the core challenge is that employees are sitting in chairs that don’t encourage healthy spinal motion. When a user reclines, the upper spine wants to arch backward, while the lower spine wants to march forward. Yet most chairs don’t mimic this motion. Therefore, by offering employees with high quality and ergonomically advanced task chairs, employers can significantly promote workplace health. 

Diversified Work Modes for the changing demography

An influence that researchers observed was generational. With five generations now in the workplace, there is greater diversity in postural preferences, from casual reclined to formal upright — and everything in between. This calls for the reassessment of chairs that have a better interface between the body’s core and limbs.

Moreover, whether it’s individual work, working in pairs, or working with a group, we know that people perform best when they can choose where and how they work. 

To achieve an overall work-life balance, employees should be motivated to choose the space they want to work in. So besides the obvious physical benefits of more daylight, a blend of work modes support multiple modes and working styles, do the trick. This not only makes the infrastructure more usable but ensures that employees have the best place to work, at any given time.

Therefore, it is essential to incorporate a palette of place, a menu of different workspace choices for different work modes. 

Accommodating the posture evolution  

Newer smaller touch-based technologies i.e., smartphones and tablets are dramatically changing work postures. The multi-tasking employee is continuously shifting or handling multiple devices and in the midst of its changing postures. Research says that among 30 different postures that were observed, nine were entirely new which were causing pain and contributing to unhealthy stresses and strains on the body.

Besides adopting the sit, stand and walk strategy, there is a dire need to introduce the right furniture. Poor sitting, too much sitting, [WC1]and poorly designed seating can contribute to worker discomfort, health problems, and low productivity. If they’re sitting in chairs that fit their bodies and that are appropriate to their tasks, the workers can move in a range of healthy postures while they work, stay oriented to their work and stay engaged and focused on their tasks.

Today, work is physically as well as cognitively demanding, and to ensure quality, workplaces need to be ergonomically friendly, to help deal with the stress it causes. Synergizing these factors, whether, through a benching work environment, standing stations, collaborative zones, et al., these kinds of ergonomic designs can have a huge impact on employee wellbeing. 

[WC1]Sitting too long or in static posture for long time will not help blood circulations

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Tags assigned to this article:
workplaces wellbeing employees offices

Praveen Rawal

The author is Managing Director, Steelcase India

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