Today’s workers spend more and more time sitting at desks, staring at monitors, and typing on keyboards. Sitting in a single position and performing repetitive tasks throughout the day can quickly lead to normal aches and pains as well as more serious conditions, like repetitive stress injuries and musculoskeletal disorders.
One of the top ways businesses can invest in their workers is by investing in ergonomic furniture. High-quality ergonomic office furniture can prevent worker injuries, improve worker comfort, and boost your office’s productivity. Is the secret to more profits really a matter of your office furniture? The surprising answer might be yes!
What Is Ergonomic Furniture?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, ergonomics is the “science of fitting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of the working population.” Another way of saying this is that ergonomic furniture is designed to fit the needs of your employees. Ideally, ergonomic office furniture:
- Increases employee efficiency
- Improves employee productivity
- Reduces employee discomfort
- Lowers rates of employee injuries
In a typical office setting, ergonomic furniture could refer to:
What Is Considered Ergonomic Furniture?
What differentiates ordinary office furniture from ergonomic furniture? The answer is that ergonomic furniture is designed to adjust to and accommodate the bodies of your employees.
Let’s provide a familiar example: an office chair.
If you’ve ever had to sit in a simple metal folding chair for several hours, then you know how uncomfortable they can be. After only a short while, you may notice your lower back beginning to ache. The next day, you may feel tightness in your shoulders, neck, hips, and ankles.
In comparison, an ergonomic office chair will offer lower lumbar support to protect your back. Its height will be adjustable, so you don’t have to tilt your head up or down to see your monitor. Many ergonomic office chairs include adjustable armrests and seats to fit a wide variety of bodies.
Likewise, adjustable desks are also growing in popularity. Many of today’s desks can be raised or lowered, allowing employees to sit and stand throughout the day. Simply changing position can help ease discomfort and prevent injuries.
Why Is Ergonomic Furniture Important?
Is ergonomic office furniture worth the extra investment? The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries reviewed a whopping 250 different studies of ergonomic furniture, and the overwhelming conclusion is yes. The benefits of ergonomic office furniture are many. Here are just a few:
Less Pain Equals Less Absenteeism
Poor furniture design can cause your employees pain, resulting in them taking more time off work to recover. The right furniture can keep your employees healthy and happy so they will be ready to work. The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries report referenced above cites an OSHA case study of Blue Cross & Blue Shield workers in Rhode Island, which found a 70% reduction in lost workdays (from 345 a year to 104 a year) after implementing ergonomic equipment and training.
Eventually, the pain from poor office furniture can result in injuries, including repetitive strain injuries and musculoskeletal injuries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these injuries accounted for 33% of all worker injuries and illnesses in 2013.
The takeaway: the right office furniture can protect your employees and reduce or even prevent injuries. An ergonomics intervention at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas reduced injuries from 103 a year to 52 a year.
Fewer Workers’ Compensation Claims
When workers become injured on the job, not only are they unable to work, but they also seek workers’ compensation, which can be a big drain on a company’s insurance policy. When ergonomic furniture prevents injuries, it also inevitably lowers workers’ compensation claims. No wonder Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas says their workers’ compensation claims dropped from $526,000 to $137,000 over a 10-year period after adopting ergonomic practices, including ergonomic furniture.
It can be difficult for your employees to focus when they’re in pain. An aching neck, stiff fingers, inflamed wrists, and a throbbing lower back can lead to errors that slow down your workforce’s productivity and cost you money. Healthy employees are less likely to make mistakes, which is why a Singapore Airlines computer center achieved an astounding 92.8% reduction in errors over a 12-month period after redesigning their work area and adding adjustable chairs.
Healthy employees are happy employees. When employees can work without pain, they generally feel better about their job and enjoy their time at work more. It can be difficult to assess the exact value of happy employees. Still, common sense dictates that employees who are happier at work are generally more productive, more loyal, and more likely to work better on teams.
How Does Ergonomic Furniture Increase Productivity?
One of the biggest benefits of ergonomic office furniture is that it can increase your employees’ productivity. Employees who are more comfortable during the day can work harder and longer.
The data backs up these facts. In a study called Promoting Health and Productivity in the Computerized Office: Models of Successful Ergonomic Interventions, the authors compared “optimal” and “suboptimal” workstations and found that the optimal workstations improved productivity by 23.3%.
Business leaders know that productive employees can make a huge difference to the bottom line, so if you want to boost your profits, consider upgrading the office furniture for your employees or buying ergonomic furniture for employees who are currently working from home.
Where to Get Ergonomic Furniture
There’s only one place to buy high-quality ergonomic office furniture at an affordable price. At StoreMoreStore, we offer an excellent variety of ergonomic furniture, from chairs to desks, tables, and more. Take a look at our many available options today and enjoy a healthier, happier, and more productive workforce. Request a quote today by calling us at (855) 786-7667 or emailing us.