Achieving Wellness in the Workplace
The importance of a corporate wellness program in the workplace is a strategic imperative that yields more benefits than just safe and healthy staff. Companies can not only save money on health care costs, but staff morale improves to a point where productivity and job satisfaction rates increase significantly.
Workplace wellness goes well beyond healthy snacks in the vending machine and a staff volleyball team, however, and in fact, can be much more straightforward. Workstation setup combined with a reduction of sitting can be immensely beneficial. Let's delve into the category of ergonomics and how it can help your team today.
What is ergonomics?
The official definition of ergonomics is "the science of fitting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of the working population." This sits beside factors like biometric risk assessment or how healthy, and physically active the employee is on an individual level. Ergonomics refers to their specific job role and how their related daily activities affect them.
Prolonged sitting at a poorly designed workstation can contribute to injuries like musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) that include tendinitis, lower back or neck dysfunction, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
These issues are often thought of as being caused by heavy lifting, but merely sitting at a desk all day for prolonged periods can reduce blood flow, irritate nerves, and cause micro-trauma to specific muscle groups.
How to achieve an ergonomic setup?
Avoiding these potential health issues requires a proper computer workstation setup. There are several ways to achieve the correct workstation setup by ensuring:
- All joints are correctly aligned in a neutral position
- Chairs are adjusted correctly
- The back is supported
- The right height of the computer monitor, keyboard, and mouse specific for the employee
In office environments where desks have a fixed height, everything else must revolve around them. To combat this, focus on your monitor adjustment by centering the monitor in front of you, directly above the keyboard. The top of the monitor should sit around two to three inches above your seated eye level.
If the monitor is too low, raise its height with a monitor stand or an adjustable monitor arm. If the monitor is too high, raise your chair to ensure your eyes are at the right height at the top of the monitor. Keep in mind that raising the chair seat height may require a footrest if your legs don't touch the floor.
Sit at least an arm's length away from your monitor and reduce any glare by positioning the screen and adjusting curtains as needed. You also can use optical glass glare filters, blue-light glasses, or secondary task lights.
As they say, sitting is the new smoking, as prolonged workplace sitting is a significant risk factor that can cause many adverse health outcomes. Prolonged sitting time can be associated with premature death, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
The flip side of this is breaks in prolonged sitting time and health benefits, such as lower waist circumference, body mass index (BMI), blood glucose levels and triglyceride levels, along with the reduced risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
So, in addition to the workstation setup, we need to get up and move. Sit-stand workstations are a vital component of any comprehensive ergonomics program (keeping the same monitor principles as listed above).
It is important to alternate between sitting and standing as standing all day isn't healthy, either. Incorporate the standing component gradually and ensure you have the right footwear (ladies, avoid high heels).
Making the most of sitting when you do it
Finally, it is vital that your office chair accommodates the ergonomic principles, and that's where Chair Dinkum comes in.
We have a massive range of stylish and comfortable ergonomic chairs at excellent prices, so if your office wellness program is essential like it should be, have a browse of our collection and let us help you today.