How Poor Office Ergonomics Lead to Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD)

Regardless of the fact of whether one goes to an office routinely daily or one works from a home office overlooking or disregarding ergonomics can cause long term negative health issues.

The importance of working from an ergonomic office that is equipped with a correct ergonomic desk, an ergonomic office chair with the computer monitor, keyboard and mouse placement goes a very long way that will prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders.

It has been proven beyond doubt that musculoskeletal disorders that are related to office work can be prevented with proper ergonomics which revolves around the science of fitting a specific workspace for a specific individual. Apart from the fact that it keeps office employees physically and mentally healthy, ergonomics has also been proven to increase productivity significantly.

This article provides details on what one needs to know to setup an office space that supports health and comply with the Australian Occupational Health & Safety Act of 2004 at the same time.

About Ergonomics in Brief

In most case scenarios the average employee is assigned to a workstation and is expected to do his or her work with whatever they are equipped or provided with as indicated by the occupational therapist, Julie Dorsey. Dorsey who specializes in the science of ergonomics and work related health issues is an associate professor at a reputable College in New York.

According to her, in essence, ergonomics revolves around methods to improve ‘fitting’ the ‘work environment’ or ‘workspace’ according to the physical attributes of the employee and not the other way around in order to support the employee’s long term health and wellbeing.

Having standard office desks and chairs for the entire office is a thing of the past as employees come in all shapes and sizes and subjecting them to an environment that is too small for them, or too big or high or low will simply not cut it as it will not only cause health problems in the long term, but it will also lower productivity, stated Dorsey.

Vision/ Eyesight Issues

A significant number of office based employees eventually suffer from CVS or computer vision syndrome which include eye irritation, double or blurred vision and dryness which is directly attributed to working with computers for extended periods of time. Studies have revealed that CVS not only causes headaches, but it also leads to neck, shoulder and back problems.

Normally these issues with the office employee’s vision are mostly due to poor lighting that leads to eye strain first prior to leading to other issues. In order to avoid these issues, apart from positioning the monitor, keyboard and mouse comfortably and correctly (with ergonomic keyboards and mouse), anti-glare filters may also assist in alleviating these problems.

Ergonomic Office Chairs

It is actually more common than thought that a significant percentage of office employees suffer from upper back and neck discomfort and sometimes even suffer from lower back pain or discomfort. The main reason for this is attributed to the lack of a supportive chair and of course the right type of desk. An ergonomic office chair would effectively reduce the probability of employees ending up with back issues in the long run.

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