Why ergonomics must be part of any workplace wellness plan

March 29, 2018 Sanjana Saluja

Ergonomics is the science of matching the work to the worker. The Globe and Mail explores why the organizations should ensure that employee workstation fit the worker – not the employee made to fit the workstation.

Workplace wellness in most organizations centres around health promotion activity or policy development to support healthy behaviour and improve health outcomes in the workplace.

A "workplace wellness" Google search reveals a range of programs focused on fitness, weight management, smoking cessation, stress management, work-life balance and occasionally flexible work scheduling. These are legitimately important aspects targeted at improving specific health outcomes.

It is important to realize that the average office worker spends over 65 percent of their time at work in a sedentary seated position. No doubt you have seen the media campaigns touting the health concerns related to sedentary behaviour, some going as far as labelling sitting as the new smoking.

Prolonged sitting has been associated with cardiovascular problems, increases in musculoskeletal discomfort, and decreases in concentration and productivity. Improper sitting and workstation setup has been associated with an increase in musculoskeletal pain and injury (MSI) in the neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, legs and lower back. MSI are associated with the wear and tear on the muscles, tissues, ligaments and joints of the body. It is for these reasons that office ergonomics should be on the workplace wellness program menu.

Click here to find out how office ergonomics can have a positive impact on employee's health.

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