Back in the office: A refresher on the importance of ergonomics

The importance of back to work ergonomics

As more Australians return to offices, increasing numbers are facing health issues due to non-supportive work setups, claims Jenny Folley, an expert in appraising office spaces and owner of @WORKSPACES. In addition, she says achieving the right work setup will keep staff coming back into the office instead of working from home.

“Ergonomics isn’t as simple as sitting on a comfortable chair. Most people associate the word with office furniture but the term refers to the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment. Ergonomics involved assessing a person’s efficiency in their work activities and movements then setting up a workspace that meets their needs.”

Research shows people who work in spaces that lack office ergonomics can suffer from a variety of health complaints (lower back pain is one of the leading causes of workplace absence in Australia and ergonomic furniture helps with reducing back and neck pain) and providing a safe and comfortable workspace not only benefits workers, it also minimises the risks to business as well. “When staff are happy, comfortable and supported with the right tools and furniture, they feel better, are more productive and are likely to stay with the business,” says Folley.

Here are Jenny’s top tips for EAs who need a refresher on ergonomic furniture that provides better support for posture and repetitive movements:

– Ergonomic chairs are fully adjustable to align with your height and workstation, so you can remain in the correct sitting posture at all times. Factor in two points: seat height should be adjustable, and seat width and depth should be sufficient to support you.
– Ergonomic desks are designed with comfort and productivity in mind. One of the best options is the sit-stand desk, so that you can take a break from sitting and stay a bit more active. Do check out the treadmill desk too!
– Besides these big items, other assets should feature ergonomic comfort – your keyboard, mouse and lighting, plus stress reducers like plants and air purifiers: “When talking about office ergonomics, it’s not just the individual items, but the big picture. All the different components come together to benefit the team”.