A picture of a remote worker typing away on a comfortable couch or bed is familiar and describe comfortable. As workers do this on a regular basis, however, they risk developing musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), which not only affects their quality of life but also has a financial effect on the company due to higher healthcare costs and lower productivity. That’s why remote workers must care with ergonomics as Good Ergonomics Keep You Fit While Remote Working.
The impact on a company’s bottom line when remote workers use poor ergonomics can be significant. MSDs are the most prevalent form of occupational injury, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accounting for about 30% of worker compensation costs.
Since Covid-19 sent staff home for months, the situation has only gotten worse. According to a 2020 study, 40% of workers developed new or deteriorated MSDs after starting to work from home at the start of the pandemic. So, let’s discuss the Ergonomics and how Good Ergonomics Keep You Fit While Remote Working.
The Basics of Good Ergonomics
According to Kermit Davis, a professor of the University of Cincinnati in the College of Medicine’s Department of Environment and Public Health Sciences and a certified professional ergonomist, an ergonomically correct at-home workstation would start with a desk, table or chair (no beds, couches or the floor) and would also include:
- An office chair with lumbar and arm support that can be adjusted. “Using a chair without armrests puts pressure on the forearms and upper back, according to Davis. If an office chair isn’t accessible, Davis suggests that employees simply put a small towel on the table’s edge to avoid touch tension. A lumbar support can also be provided by a rolled-up towel.
- An external monitor, as well as a mouse and keyboard, are required. To prevent workers needing to look down when working, the monitor should be cantered and positioned so that the top is at eye height – a stack of books or a box is a simple fix if required. “Because a laptop is only intended to be used for a few hours at a time, having an external monitor at the proper height is essential,” says the author.
- Minimized glare. Glare is a problem that many at-home workers ignore. “Due to sunlight exposure through untreated glass, homes usually have more windows than offices,” Davis says. He recommends orienting the workstation so that the monitors are perpendicular to the walls, with the windows where necessary behind the monitor.
Not only do remote workers need suitable equipment to operate, but they also need to get up and travel on a regular basis, preferably every half hour. According to study, remote employees travel less often than those who work in an office.
Just standing up for a few minutes can be very powerful – our previous work found this can significantly decrease discomfort and increase productivity,” Davis says.
Good Ergonomics Means Wellness and Productivity
For remote workers, it is important to equip yourself with proper equipment. Also, train yourselves to move your body periodically. Companies also must educate employees on why ergonomics matters and invest in helping their employees in achieving it.
Source : www.forbes.com
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