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Trends in Ergonomics: What to look forward to in 2023

06 January 2023

Ergonomics is the science that focuses on designing products and processes to be safe and efficient for people. It focuses on how the environment can be designed to promote comfort and productivity. Ergonomics is not just about using ergonomic furniture or office design tips; it also includes taking care of your health by following simple ergonomic tips.

To maintain our health means, we need to remember to take breaks. Sitting for long hours without a break can cause back pain, eye strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and even weight gain. So it is vital for us to take short breaks every hour or two and stand up at least once an hour. Next, we should take care of our posture while working on our desktops or laptops, as this will help us avoid neck and back pain in the long run. It's also essential to keep our wrists straight when typing, preventing carpal tunnel syndrome from developing due to repetitive movements with our hands and wrists. In this article, we will address the trends to be seen in ergonomics in 2023.


More Remote and Hybrid Working Options

Remote and hybrid working is a trend that will continue to grow in 2023. With the rise of remote and hybrid work, more companies are looking for ways to optimize the experience.

There are many benefits of remote and hybrid working. It can help reduce costs, increase productivity, improve collaboration, and more. However, some challenges must be addressed as this becomes a widespread trend.

Many people today spend large amounts of time sitting at workstations or at home on their computers, and this can cause serious health problems if not done properly. This is especially true for those who work at home or in hybrid situations where they commute between home and work multiple times a day. Home-based workers are at risk of ergonomic risks because they may be more likely not to take breaks, eat and drink at their desks and have poor posture.

The most common ergonomic risk is musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), which can result in pain, disability, and early retirement. Empirical research finds that home-based workers are at risk of ergonomic risks due to their work environment, work habits, and physical activity. If you're going to be working from home or in a hybrid situation, it's important that you create an ergonomic environment for yourself. Here are some tips:

Get up and walk around every hour or so. This will keep your blood flowing and reduces the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Make sure your workspace is ergonomically correct. Your desk should be at the right height, with good lighting, and have proper ventilation. Keep your computer screen at eye level and use a monitor stand if possible.

Use adjustable furniture that allows you to sit or stand with good posture (shoulders back, head up), and chairs have adjustable armrests, so you don't have to reach for anything with your arms stretched out in front of you.


Designing for Diversity

The future of ergonomics is predicted to be about making workplaces more accessible for those who have disabilities and more inclusive for all genders, races, and ages. This will include designing workplaces better suited for people with neurodiversity, like ADHD and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The goal is to make offices safer for people with these conditions so that they can fully participate in their jobs without being distracted by the symptoms of their disability. Designing workplaces with these groups in mind will help create an environment where everyone can thrive. This means taking into account things like:

Accessibility — designing workplaces that aren't only accessible for those with physical disabilities and mental health issues.

Inclusion — creating open-concept offices that are friendly to introverts and extroverts alike.

Gender equality — creating offices that don't make anyone uncomfortable or excluded based on gender identity.

Multi-generational workplaces — creating spaces that accommodate millennial workers as well as older employees so they can work together effectively.


Sustainability in Ergonomics

In 2023, there will be a push for a more sustainable approach to ergonomics. This means that all aspects of ergonomic design will be focused on sustainability, going green, and investing in greener technologies like solar panels. People will be encouraged to work in an office equipped with natural light, access to fresh air, and ergonomic furniture. There will be a push to recycle and reuse instead of producing more waste. Many people would like to work in an office with natural light and fresh air, but the efficiency and productivity that comes from working in a dark room could make this difficult. The main goal of ergonomics and sustainability is for people to have their workspace set up the way they want it while keeping the environment safe, green, and healthy for people to function.


Marrying Exercise and Work Life

Another interesting trend is how physical activity will be more incorporated into our daily and work lives. Over the past few years, we've seen an increase in standing and treadmill desks, which allow you to walk or run while you work, though many companies have yet to adopt these technologies because they can be expensive and difficult to implement.


Promoting work-life balance

In a fast-paced world, work-life balance can be challenging to achieve. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American works approximately 42-54 hours a week, and others work even more than the average. This is not only unhealthy for us as individuals but also for our companies and society in general. Luckily, there are several ways employers can encourage a better work-life balance among their employees. Here are some examples:

Flexible Hours: One of the simplest changes that can be made to improve your employees' work-life balance is allowing them to work flexible hours. This might mean letting them start or stop early on certain days, giving them the option of working from home, or allowing them extra time off during the holidays if they need it.

Four-Day Week: Although this may seem like an extreme solution, some countries like Scotland and Ireland are experimenting with four-day weeks — and finding that they save money by doing so! This can be particularly beneficial for small businesses or remote teams who don't need as many people on-site during certain days of the week. It also gives employees more time to enjoy life outside work without feeling guilty about taking time off.


Minimizing the Effects of Zoom Fatigue

The future is here, and it's in our phones and computers. But this has led to a phenomenon called zoom fatigue. "Zoom Fatigue" is the term used to describe exhaustion you feel after frequent video conferencing. The reasons for zoom fatigue are excessive amounts of close-up eye contact during video conferencing, which is highly intense, video chats dramatically reduce our usual mobility, the cognitive load is much higher in video chats, and seeing yourself during.

In order to minimize the effects of zoom fatigue, there are recommendations. First, employees should take breaks from video calls. The best way to do this is by taking advantage of video conferencing software that allows for screen sharing or whiteboarding during meetings. This will allow participants to break up their time in front of the computer screen and give them opportunities to interact with others in different ways.

Take regular breaks from your screen by getting up and doing other activities for a short time to stretch and recharge. If you can, leave your devices outside the room where you are working so that you don't have access to them.

A great way to avoid overusing your phone is to set time limits on using apps. If you want to stay connected and avoid overuse, try setting a timer on your phone that will alert you when it's time to put down the device. Also, scheduling meeting times and being time conscious so as not to prolong meetings is another recommendation.

So, what's the big deal? Why do we need to focus on ergonomics? Because it is the idea of making design products for people to use. It studies people's efficiency in their work environment, from office chairs and desks to taking breaks and even smartphone accessories. All these things have ergonomic variations. Though ergonomic trends are the changes in the way people interact with their work environment, it isn't something that we want just as trends or fashion statements. It should be our day-to-day reality, and in order to live a healthier and painless life, ergonomics should be something we look forward to having more in our lives. So, here's to a better future and brighter lives!