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Posted by Lauren Stone on December 16, 2013
When you think of a workplace “injury,” the first image that may come to mind would be a pulled muscle in the back from lifting too heavy a box in a giant warehouse. While these types of heavy-lifting injuries are very common, so are those of smaller body parts; the fingers, wrists and elbows just to name a few. Conditions such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Frozen Shoulder and Tendonitis are likely to strike the workforce over a significant amount of time behind a desk, hunched over a computer and scrolling the cursor of the mouse for hours at a time.
These conditions result in not only a costly expense for the company itself, but a significant decline in work productivity year after year. The amount of missed work days by employees totals over millions of dollars, but with a few additions and adjustments, this time and money may be salvageable.
“A myriad of ergonomic products are available to prevent these injuries, ranging from wrist rests to adjustable office chairs. Each piece of equipment should be designed for reducing injury and promoting ease of use. As a rule of thumb, optimum posture may be defined as the midpoint of any limb’s range of motion. For instance, a desktop computer workstation should allow the user to keep his or her elbows at a 90-degree angle. Wrists should remain in a neutral position; there should be no bend from forearm to wrist. Meanwhile, the top of the monitor should be parallel to the top of the head. Thus all components of the workstation must support a proper working position.” (Source: Ergo Works, Inc.)
According to The New Zealand Ergonomics Society, the following three examples illustrate what can occur when resources are invested in the application of ergonomics:
These problems and more can easily be solved with the introduction and utilization of ergonomics. Studies have shown that faster learning times, fewer errors, less absenteeism and less labor turnover result where ergonomics are applied. Certainly a sound investment to increase profitability for companies across the globe.