Why Is Ergonomics So Important?

You may have only heard of the term ergonomics within the last ten to fifteen years, but it has been around much longer than that.  While its origins are somewhat difficult to pinpoint, records show that ergonomics had been used in published works since the early 1900s.  Even today, many people may be confused as to what ergonomics actually is, so please allow us to explain.

Ergonomics is a discipline grounded in science that borrows from several different subjects.  Information and knowledge are used from subjects like anatomy and physiology, psychology, statistics, and even engineering.  In a nutshell, ergonomics is the study of designing with a focus on improving the human experience.  Furniture Soup understands the importance of ergonomics better than most. 

We’re not like other office furniture companies.  When we work with our clients on things like office renovation design, we want to address both fashion and function.  We’d like to take this opportunity to discuss ergonomics a little more and some of its big benefits.

Ergonomics has played a big role in how things have been designed for a very long time.  It has affected everything from the way tools are made to the way cars are built.  But there is one area where its influence has been bigger than any other – the workplace.  Studies have shown that every year, nearly two million people in the United States suffer from work-related injuries.  Six hundred thousand of those injuries resulted in employees missing work.  Today, many people’s homes are doubling as their workplace, as millions of people are working from home because of COVID-19. 

Employees may have developed bad habits over the years in the workplace, or perhaps they have even acquired new ones in the last year working from home.  Any job where your body endures irregular posture, tremendous shifts in temperature, or repetitive movements can lead to workplace injuries.  Some of the most common injuries that happen in the workplace result in carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and back injuries.  These injuries are commonly designated as MSDs or Musculoskeletal Disorders.  Ergonomics works to reduce these types of injuries as much as possible.  When ergonomics is implemented in the workplace, it puts an emphasis on making the job fit the employee and not the other way around.

The positive aspects of ergonomics extend far beyond just reducing workplace injuries though.  There are several direct and indirect benefits that stem from ergonomics.  Ergonomics can be a source of cost savings, as nearly thirty-three percent of the money spent on worker’s compensation can be connected to MSDs.  If those injuries can be reduced, companies can reallocate funds attributed to worker’s compensation to other areas.  Ergonomics has been shown to improve productivity and quality of work as well.  When a job is designed to allow for things like less reaching for things that are too high or too low, limited exertion, or better posture, a job can become more efficient.  This can also lead to less fatigue both physically and mentally, which can result in a better quality of work.

Some indirect benefits of ergonomics come in the form of increased engagement from employees and improved confidence.  When workers see that their employer is putting forth an effort to ensure that their workplace is safe and they are investing in their safety, they understand that they are integral to that business.  This can contribute to decreased turnover and absenteeism and an increase in morale.

Furniture Soup wants to improve your workplace, whether at the office or home.  We can introduce furniture into an office renovation design that will promote ergonomics and all of the positive aspects that come with it.  Chairs that have lumbar support, adjustable head and armrests, sufficient padding and stable bases can replace old chairs or the kitchen stool you may have been using.  Desks that that can be raised or lowered to accommodate sitting or standing can improve ergonomics.  We can help with creating storage or with the placement of shelving to decrease improper stretching or dangerous reaching. 

While some office furniture companies can try to deliver on this, Furniture Soup can do it while staying within budget and remain pleasing to the eye.  If you are located in the Lancaster, Reading, or greater Phila area, Furniture Soup wants to help improve the ergonomics of your workplace, whether in the office or at home. 

Contact us to see how we can improve your ergonomics and request a quote today!