The benefits of working at an ergonomic workstation are becoming more widely known as the physical and economic benefits are realized.
Companies who invest in ergonomics on behalf of their employees are not only doing right by the staff for their physical comfort but are improving their bottom lines as costs related to workplace health issues have been proven to be reduced.
What does ergonomics mean? It is defined as "an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely".
Company managers as well as their staff are being made increasingly aware of working ergonomically.
The health risks associated with continuous hours of sitting in one position in an uncomfortable chair at an uncomfortable height have been widely circulated by medical professionals. Additional factors such as extremes in temperature or repetitive movement are also risk factors.
The musculoskeletal system, which holds the muscles and skeleton together, is affected by bad posture, causing discomfort, pain, and fatigue. MSDs or musculoskeletal disorders affect the body's musculature structure, comprising nerves, muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons. MSDs can present as carpal or radial tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, or even a slipped disc. These symptoms may develop over time or cause instant discomfort if the body feels it has been overworked.
Illness related to a sedentary lifestyle are not limited to MSDs, but can result in heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and even death.
It is therefore vital that companies implement programs to encourage employees to take regular breaks, move position, stay hydrated and eat healthily. Simple stretching exercises or taking a short stroll – anything that gets people moving and changing posture can only be mutually beneficial; lower health risks translate into higher productivity and thus higher profits.
Other alternatives to physically leaving the workstation include utilizing ergonomic workstations.
The University of Washington's SHARP (Safety & Health Assessment & Research for Prevention) program has conducted a number of investigations into health research and prevention in the Department of Labor and Industries in Washington State.
They found that the essential constitution of office work led to an unsurprisingly sedentary lifestyle. Modern ergonomic designs in office furniture have gone a long way towards combatting the fatigue and physical stress that the body endures when inactive for extended periods. The emergence of sit-stand desks, adjustable height desks and chairs and other innovations by companies such as FlexiSpot has undoubtedly saved companies large amounts of money that would have been spent on health care for their workers.
Some companies might question whether the financial investment into ergonomics is worth the outlay, but numerous studied have confirmed beyond doubt that good ergonomics translates into a healthier, happier, and more productive workforce. Ergonomics not only reduces obvious costs in relation to healthcare, but indirect costs in saving on lost workdays and worker's compensation. Loss of concentration is a side effect of poor ergonomics, increasing the likelihood of accidents with heavy machinery, especially where work is repetitive.
If employees know that their company places value on their health, they are more likely to remain loyal, and staff turnover is reduced accordingly.
Not only health, but morale is increased, and happy staff means a happy bottom line.
In certain cases. The staff themselves may not be enthusiastic about embracing good ergonomics. Supervisors should draw up a program outlining the benefits, where cost savings in healthcare subsidies could potentially be translated into higher wages.
However, the actual healthcare benefits should be emphasized, and employees encouraged to lead less sedentary and more active lives and embrace healthy eating habits.
In 2018 the University of Washington awarded a grant of $174,757.00 towards the development of a computer/smartphone application that monitored workers' posture in real time through hi-tech cameras and wearable sensors. The REBA (Rapid Entire Body Assessment) tool would be utilized to extract and identify trends of posture an movement, enabling assessment of the motion and angles of joints, how often activities were repeated and load conditions.
The data would be shared with workers and management via the app, allowing recommendations on reducing the consequences of ergonomic hazards to be freely available.
Many ergonomic products are available on the market: FlexiSpot has a wide range, many components of which can be adjusted to suit individual requirements. These include standing desks, height adjustable desks, standing desk converters and a variety of regular chairs and other seating options, even extending to exercise equipment which can be used at the workstation.
Related equipment such as standing desk anti-fatigue mats, ergonomic mouses and keyboards, and monitor mounts also play important roles in workers' safety and comfort.
A standing desk has been proven to be highly effective in combatting fatigue. FlexiSpot's electric height adjustable standing desk pro-series come in a variety of colors, sizes, and materials.
Available in sustainable bamboo 0.7" thick, colorful laminates or solid durable wood, these standing desks are not only comfortable but attractive and modern.
The 1" thick laminates are available in numerous colors:
• custom graphite
• marble grey
• special walnut
• brown wood grain
and numerous sizes:
• 48" x 24" retailing at $399.99
• 48" x 30" retailing at $399.99
• 55" x 28" retailing at $429.99
• 72" x 30" retailing at $559.99
• 80" x 30" retailing at $579.99
The EC-3 and EC-4 series come with a dual-motor system which powers each leg with its own motor, greatly increasing overall weight capacity while maximizing stability, speed, smoothness, silence, and strength.
The EC-3 series has an adjustable height range of 28.1''- 47.5'' and adjustable width range of 43.4"- 66.9". The desktop area measures 47.2" x 80", ensuring more than adequate workspace. The lifting mechanism has a load capacity of 220lbs.
The EC-4 series has an adjustable height range of 22.8" x 48.4" and adjustable width range of 43.3"- 66.9". The desktop area measures 47.2" x 80", ensuring more than adequate workspace. The lifting mechanism has a load capacity of 275lbs.
The dual motor system operates at a noise level of less than 50dB. Both units come with three pre-set memory functions and a programmable sit/stand reminder system. This enables the worker to easily change positions with friendly alerts when it's time to stand.
FlexiSpot is a front-runner with a 5-year warranty which covers the frame, motor, and mechanical components, and a 2-year warranty which covers the controller, switch, and other electrical parts.
Anti-fatigue mats have proven to be effective against aching legs and tired feet.
The FlexiSpot MT-1 anti-fatigue mat measures 39" W x 20" D x 0.75" H. It weighs 4.1lbs and holds a weight capacity of 300lbs. It consists of PU (polyurethane) & PVC.
It is durable and has been designed for comfort, with a safe, easy-clean wipe down non-skid surface. The beveled edges ensure the mat will not curl up – or trip you up, unlike those of competitors.
The ergonomic mat with its cushioned layer of support need not only be used in an office environment. It can be used anywhere the user needs to stand for an extended period of time, for example the kitchen, or anywhere chores need to be done, such as painting or stacking boxes.
Customer reviews gave the MT-1 mat a 92% 5-star rating, that is 251 out of 274 reviews. The remaining 8%, or 23 reviewers rated the mat with 4 stars.
The MT-1 anti-fatigue mat retails for $49.99.
Yet another innovative ergonomic solution offered by FlexiSpot is their dual monitor mount. There are two models available, the F7D and F8LD.
Both models allow a maximum monitor height of 15.5" and a maximum extension of 20.7". They have been designed to be installed on a desk. It must be ensured that the desk or mounting surface can support the combined weight of the mount and the monitor. It must also be ensured that the mounts will support the combined weight of the equipment and the hardware; the maximum load capacity of each mount is 11lbs. All screws should be checked periodically in case any have worked loose.
The dual monitor mounts allow either screen to be rotated, swiveled, extended, or tilted to the exact angle required, all at the touch of a finger. They can be configurated either as
spaced evenly apart
For ease of reading, either or both monitors may be rotated to
both widescreen (landscape)
landscape and portrait
Different sized screens may also be used together, between 24"-36".
The monitor mount is attached to the desk or other suitable surface with either sturdy C-clamps or grommets. C-clamps can be attached to a surface between 0.8" – 3.94". Grommets can be used on a surface between 0.8"-3.5".
In addition to the additional desk space that using a monitor mount gives the user, the F7 also provides a cable management system to organize and tidy your cables out of sight.
The FlexiSpot dual monitor mount F7D and F8LD retail for $69.99.
Customers who reviewed the product awarded it 4.9 / 5 stars. These comprised 365 reviews, of which 303 (83%) awarded the product 5 stars and the remaining 62 (17%) awarded 4 stars.
It is clear that FlexiSpot is a market leader in ergonomic pieces. They offer many other products designed for workers' comfort and convenience, all distinctly well-designed with the end-user in mind.
*At FlexiSpot, we're passionate about bringing healthy movement to the modern workplace and home and strive to create new, innovative ways to stay active in our increasingly sedentary lives.*
In addition, FlexiSpot offers:
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