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Ergonomic workstations can transform staff engagement

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The following is from an article published in Talkback Autumn 2017 by BackCare

When a business invests in its employees, it showcases that health and wellbeing are prioritised and that staff are valued. The outcome include increased employee satisfaction and participation – while reducing the likelihood of hardworking individuals seeking employment elsewhere.

Unfortunately, a vast number of companies remain oblivious to these needs.

Steve Bays, director at Century Office, said “in the UK today, we have a very mixed group of employers. Some will buy any type of office chair, as long as it has “office chair” written in the description. Some will buy cheap chairs and throw them away when broken; some see furniture as a non-profit-making necessity; others recognise the benefits of good furniture over workers’ performance and staff retention.”

Early prevention is key, as possible health conditions can easily be avoided with the right chair. Additionally, it is important that employers are able to recognise signs of employee discomfort – and, ideally, be the first to face the issue, before the workers need time off due to health-related issues.

Equally, it is essential for the employees to alert those in charge of potentially painful and hazardous seating.

Flexibility Checklist

NOT ONE person is built the same. You will likely have staff of all shapes and sizes, and the chair you buy ultimately needs to flexible and versatile and fit them all. So go for seating that you can adjust to guarantee a more comfortable workspace for everyone. This includes:

  • Height: Being able to increase and decrease your seating’s height allows each person to have their feet flat on the floor and thighs at a 90-degree angle. If necessary, use a footstool to achieve this. Adjustment of the height should take forearms into consideration: make sure they are level with the desk and there’s enough space for hands and wrists to be fully supported. Another factor is the height in relation to the VDU screen; eyes should be level with the top of the screen and the distance needs to be about 700mm.
  • Width and depth; It is important to be able to change the seat depth so all can sit comfortably while leaving 50mm between the seat edge and the inside leg.
  • Seat: An adjustable seat is necessary. Make sure it is slightly tilted forward to achieve even pressure on the underside of the leg and buttocks.
  • Support: Special focus should be on the lower back. This area needs to be fully supported or you can begin to slouch, which in turn eliminates the natural curve of your back.
  • Flexibility: The office chair needs to encourage movement in all directions without having to stand up abruptly and subject your back to unnecessary strain and harm. The swivel of the chair is, in this case, vital for well-functioning office seating.

Here is a link to a publication from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, for those sat at their desk all day and some handy exercises. Exercise Leaflet

If you should need any assistance please contact me at DDB Physiotherapy Clinic.

October 10, 2017

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