With most office workers spending between six and eight hours a day sat behind a desk, it is unsurprising that 8 out of 10 of us have reported a work related injury in the last three years. And in 2014 9.5 million days were lost due to a work related health issue. Injuries and illness from work practices cost UK businesses a whopping £300million in lost working hours; a figure which is on the rise.
The question is: What can employers do to reduce workplace injuries. Start with ergonomics.
Most employers are not aware that it is the law to carry out a Workstation Risk Assessment. Completing this assessment can highlight problems which are easily resolved and can save your business money, stress and time.
With the right attitude and steps taken, there are some simple ways to reduce the stress, pain and cost of work related illnesses and injuries. If you and your team don’t have the motivation to do desk exercises or to go for a walk in your lunch hour, here are some key zones of interest to improve the quality of working conditions in your office.
Zone 1 – Prevent Back Tension
Sitting for long periods of time can play havoc with your back. Whilst suggestions of regularly standing up and stretching can help, the tension built up in a person’s back is one of the most common problems in an office.
There is a fantastic range of products that can help relieve pain, or correct posture to give an office worker a better sitting position at their desk. From ergonomically designed chairs to stylish and easy to fit additional fixtures, there is a product for everyone. Tailored for users, these can focus on the area of the back that need help the most support.
Zone 2 – Avoid Wrist Pressure
The pressure we put on our wrists during a working day is often overlooked. Whether it is extended periods of handwriting, hovering over a keyboard, or the carrying and filing of large piles of paperwork.
As computers take up so much of the working day, and many of us go home to continue tapping away at a keyboard or phone screen, it is important that we pay more attention to taking care of our wrists.
Something as simple as a wrist support as part of your mouse mat or keyboard can make a huge difference. Check out the different designs, colours, gels and materials that can cushion your wrist during prolonged computer usage. Give them a squeeze and they also work great as stress relief!
For a more advanced solution, the I-Spire Laptop Quick Lift comes in black and white and raises your laptop screen to eye level, also putting the keyboard at a more comfortable angle. Click here to find out more.
Zone 3 – Relieve Neck Strain
Whilst many of us think we have great posture, some look more like the hunchback of Notre Dame when sitting at our desk. This leaves many of us rolling our neck and making noises we recognise from our dads.
Posture can be affected by several factors including our chair, how far we sit from the desk, or the height of our computer monitor. Monitor supports and document holders can drastically change how we work. By having your screen, and the paper you are looking at, at the same height means your neck is not flitting up and down and side-to-side as much. This reduces strain and boosts concentration at the same time .
Zone 4 – Healthy Environment
During the summer, the office is plagued by hay fever and an inevitable “something’s going round”. In the winter the sounds of coughs and colds take over. Part of a positive working environment is the health aspects as well. Whether you stock up on extra cleaning supplies to make sure surfaces are spotless, or invest in an air purifier, there are a multitude of options, eco friendly alternatives, and solutions to ensure your team are as healthy as can be.
It’s the little things that matter, and sometimes a tidy desk can give you a tidy mind. Having a desk organiser or a filing system that gives everything its place can reduce stress, increase concentration and efficiency and make employees happier in their work place. Check out the stunning range of desk accessories to help put work in order by clicking here.
How have you improved working conditions in your office? Are there any products, or tips that have shown improvement in health and safety? Let us know by emailing us here or getting involved on twitter @KeeleyTravis #ErgonomicZones