Seattle, WA: 206-521-5676 Olympia, WA: 360-236-8748 Portland/Salem, OR: 503-768-9742 Info@SolutionsNW.com
How to Optimize Your Work Desk with Ergonomics

How to Optimize Your Work Desk with Ergonomics

How to Optimize Your Work Desk with Ergonomics

In This Blog, You’ll Discover:

  • The Essentials of Workplace Ergonomics
  • Optimizing Desk and Chair Setup
  • Ergonomic Monitor PositioningErgonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.
  • The Importance of Ergonomic Tools
  • Movement and Posture Considerations
  • About Professional Ergonomics Assessments

“How to Optimize Your Work Desk with Ergonomics”

In the modern workspace, ergonomics is not just a trend; it’s a necessity for ensuring employee safety and enhancing your company’s productivity.

In today’s blog article, the ergonomics consultants at Solutions Northwest Inc. will offer some practical steps to help you optimize your work desk with proper ergonomics. Having an ergonomically designed workspace is crucial in reducing the risk of musculoskeletal disorders, which are prevalent in office settings that have poor or neglected workstation design.

Understanding Workplace Ergonomics

Before we explore how to set up your workspace, it is important to understand what ergonomics is all about. Ergonomics involves designing offices and workstations to fit an individual employee’s needs, thereby reducing workplace injury risk and discomfort.

In fact, regular ergonomics assessments are critical in identifying potential issues and making necessary adjustments. An ergonomics assessment will examine various factors, including the physical setup of the workspace, the user’s interaction with it, and the workflow processes.

If your workplace does not currently have an ergonomics strategy, best practices suggest that one hire a team of ergonomics consultants to perform this assessment as a professional service. However, you may use this article as a guide on what to look for when attempting to evaluate your workplace setup.

Applying Ergonomics to your Desk and Chair Setup

The foundation of every ergonomic workspace is likely going to be the work desk and chair arrangement.

According to the ergonomics experts, work desk height should align with one’s sitting elbow height, allowing for a comfortable and natural posture. It is also recommended to use an adjustable sit-stand desk to achieve the perfect height and allow for the option to rotate between sitting and standing throughout the workday.

Regarding ergonomic chairs, the chair should provide adequate back support and be adjustable to suit different body types. They should offer lumbar support, easy adjustment of seat depth and armrests, and the ability to swivel and move freely, enhancing mobility and flexibility.

Related article: “Sitting vs Standing at Your Desk

Position Your Monitor the Ergonomic Way

Correct monitor placement is crucial in preventing neck and back strain at work.

Our ergonomics consultants suggest that an employee’s monitor should always be positioned at arm’s length away, with the top of the screen at eye level. The monitor’s tilt should be adjusted to minimize glare and reduce eye strain. Furthermore, the monitor should be directly in front of the user to prevent them from twisting their neck and back too often, which is essential for maintaining good posture throughout the workday.

Related article: “The Ergonomic Way to View Your Monitor

Invest in Ergonomic Tools and Gadgets

Investing in ergonomic keyboards and mice significantly reduces the risk of repetitive strain injuries.

When purchasing an ergonomic keyboard, consider keyboards that feature a split design or a gentle slope, which will help with maintaining natural wrist alignment.

An ergonomic mouse will come in various shapes and sizes to fit different hand sizes and grip styles, reducing strain on the wrist and forearm.

For our recommendations on an ergonomic mouse and keyboard, read “Ergonomic Mouse and Keyboard Review.”

Ergonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.Be Mindful of Movement and Posture at the Work Desk

Encourage proper posture among employees, with their backs straight, neck and head upright, and feet flat on the floor. Dynamic movement is key in an ergonomic workplace.

Every workplace should also be encouraging short breaks for stretching or walking, which can significantly improve circulation, reduce fatigue, and prevent the stiffness associated with prolonged sitting.

Related article: “4 Tips to Improve Your Posture at Work

Invest in a Professional Ergonomics Assessment

The best way to achieve proper ergonomics is to hire a professional ergonomics company. While it may take an initial investment, it will pay off with long-term benefits. Ergonomic design has routinely been shown to boost worker productivity and engagement, reduce absenteeism, and improve overall job satisfaction. Happy workers are productive workers.

If you’re searching for a team of professional ergonomics consultants, consider our team at Solutions Northwest Inc. – we offer comprehensive assessments and consultations to optimize workplace ergonomics, tailoring solutions to each unique office environment.

Solutions Northwest Inc. offers both on-site and virtual assessments, ensuring that every office, whether traditional or home-based, meets ergonomic standards. These assessments involve a detailed analysis of the workstation, including desk setup, chair positioning, monitor height, keyboard and mouse placement, and overall workspace layout.

In Conclusion
Implementing ergonomic principles in your workspace is a strategic move for any business. It leads to a healthier, more productive environment for employees and contributes to the overall success of the organization. The initial investment in ergonomic equipment and consultation can result in long-term benefits, including reduced health risks and increased productivity.

Ready to ensure that your workplace is ergonomically sound? Contact our ergonomic consultants, who bring both expertise and a passion for creating comfortable work environments.

For a quarter of a century, Solutions Northwest Inc. has championed the cause of ergonomic excellence in Seattle, Portland, and Olympia, WA – assisting countless businesses in creating healthier and more productive workplaces.

Not based in the Pacific Northwest or need help with remote workers? Consider our Virtual Ergonomics Assessment available nationwide, a solution is always within reach.

Don’t compromise on your staff’s well-being and the overall efficiency of your workspace. Contact Solutions Northwest Inc. today and elevate your office environment. For ongoing insights and ergonomics tips, consider subscribing to our blog.

Contact the Ergonomics Experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. Below:

Multiple Locations

Corporate Office: 120 State Ave. NE #397
Olympia, WA 98501
Business Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Corporate FAX: 360-866-4773
Email: Info@solutionsnw.com

Olympia, WA

360-236-8748

Portland/Salem, OR

503-768-9742

Seattle, WA

206-521-5676

Contact our Ergonomics Experts

Ergonomics for the Aging Workforce: Adapting Workplaces for Comfort and Efficiency

Ergonomics for the Aging Workforce: Adapting Workplaces for Comfort and Efficiency

Ergonomics for the Aging Workforce: Adapting Workplaces for Comfort and Efficiency

In this blog, you will learn:

  • The expected shift in jobs to workers over 55 by 2030.
  • How ergonomic assessments can enhance workplace comfort and productivity for the aging workforce.
  • The importance of adjustable furniture for tailored ergonomic support.
  • The need for improved lighting in accommodating aging vision.
  • Design strategies for accessible workstations to meet the needs of older employees.
  • The benefits of ergonomic tools in reducing physical strain.
  • Why regular breaks and movement are essential for maintaining musculoskeletal health.
  • The strategic advantages of investing in ergonomics, from health to productivity.

Ergonomics for the Aging Workforce: Adapting Workplaces for Comfort and Efficiency

“150 million jobs will shift to workers over the age of 55 by 2030,” according to a recent study from Bain & Company. This big demographic shift in the workforce presents unique challenges and opportunities, especially in the field of workplace ergonomics.Ergonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.

As experts in workplace ergonomics, Solutions Northwest Inc. recognizes the critical importance of adapting workplace environments to meet the needs of an aging workforce. This ergonomics blog will explore how ergonomics assessments and adaptations can help not only with comfort, but also productivity for older employees – ensuring a healthy and efficient work environment, no matter the setting.

Understanding the Ergonomic Needs of Older Workers

As people age, their physical capabilities and limitations change. Older workers may experience reduced mobility, decreased strength, and vision changes, making traditional workplace setups less suitable. Ergonomics assessments are useful to identify these changes and recommend adjustments to create a more inclusive and comfortable workspace.

5 Key Ergonomics Considerations for Aging Employees:

  1. Adjustable Furniture: The use of adjustable desks and ergonomic chairs is crucial. Ergonomic furniture will allow for the personalization of workspaces according to individual height, comfort, and mobility requirements. Read our blog, “Setting up an Ergonomic Standing Desk” for more detail on this subject.
  1. Improved Lighting: As vision deteriorates with age, proper lighting becomes essential. Ergonomics assessments will help determine optimal lighting solutions to reduce eye strain and improve visibility for workers. Read our blog, “The Right Office Lighting” for an in depth look at this subject.
  1. Accessible Workstations: Designing ergonomic workstations that are easily accessible, with minimal need for excessive reaching or bending, is vital for older employees. This includes the placement of frequently used items within easy reach. Read our blog, “5 Signs Your Office is Ergonomically Unsound” to ensure your office is in line with proper ergonomics practices.
  1. Ergonomic Tools and Equipment: Providing ergonomic keyboards, mice, and other tools can significantly reduce the strain on joints and muscles, which is particularly beneficial for older workers. Read, “3 Ergonomic Gadgets Every Office Worker Needs” for a few ideas on ergonomics tools for your office.
  1. Frequent Breaks and Movement: Encouraging regular breaks and incorporating spaces for light physical activity can help maintain flexibility and reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders. Read our blog, “5 Reasons Work Breaks Boost Productivity,” for an in-depth look at this subject.

The Role of Ergonomics Assessments in the Workplace

Professional ergonomics assessments will be key in identifying and addressing the specific needs of an aging workforce. During an assessment, you should receive a comprehensive evaluation of the following:

  • Evaluate the current office setup and identify areas of improvement.
  • Provide personalized recommendations for each employee, considering their unique ergonomic needs.
  • Offer training and education on maintaining ergonomic practices and understanding the importance of ergonomics in preventing injuries.

The Benefits of Investing in Ergonomics for Aging Workers

Investing in an ergonomics assessment is about more than just comfort; it’s a strategic decision that brings several benefits:

  • Reduced Health Risks: Proper ergonomics can significantly decrease the risk of work-related injuries, leading to fewer sick days and lower healthcare costs.
  • Increased Productivity: Comfortable employees are more productive. Ergonomic improvements can lead to better focus and efficiency.
  • Enhanced Employee Satisfaction: Demonstrating care for employee wellbeing enhances morale and loyalty, which is especially important for retaining experienced older workers.
  • Compliance with Regulations: Adhering to ergonomic best practices ensures compliance with health and safety regulations, avoiding potential legal issues.

Be Proactive About Ergonomics for your Aging Employees

As the workforce ages, the importance of workplace ergonomics becomes increasingly vital. Solutions Northwest Inc. is at the forefront of this change, offering expert ergonomics assessments and solutions tailored to the needs of older workers. By adapting office environments to be more ergonomically friendly, we can create a workspace that supports all employees, regardless of age, in maintaining their health, productivity, and job satisfaction.

Contact our ergonomic consultants, who bring both expertise and a passion for creating comfortable work environments.

Contact the Ergonomics Experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. Below:

Multiple Locations

Corporate Office: 120 State Ave. NE #397
Olympia, WA 98501
Business Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Corporate FAX: 360-866-4773
Email: Info@solutionsnw.com

Olympia, WA

360-236-8748

Portland/Salem, OR

503-768-9742

Seattle, WA

206-521-5676

Contact our Ergonomics Experts

Ergonomics for the Hybrid Worker: Balancing Office & Home Office Needs

Ergonomics for the Hybrid Worker: Balancing Office & Home Office Needs

Ergonomics for the Hybrid Worker: Balancing Office & Home Office Needs

In This Blog, You’ll Discover:

  • Hybrid Work Model: Navigating the blend of remote work and office work with an ergonomic focus.
  • Ergonomic Challenges: Tackling unique ergonomic issues in both home office and office settings.
  • Home Office Ergonomics: Tips for an ergonomic home office setup.
  • Office Ergonomic Compliance: The importance of ergonomic assessments and ergonomics consultation in the office.
  • Consistent Ergonomics: Strategies for maintaining ergonomic continuity between home and office.
  • Employer Support: The role of employers in fostering ergonomic practices.
  • Expert Solutions: How Solutions Northwest Inc. can help in enhancing ergonomic practices for hybrid workplaces.

Ergonomics for the Hybrid Worker: Balancing Office & Home Office Needs

“As of 2023, 12.7% of full-time employees work from home, while 28.2% work a hybrid model” according to Forbes.

As the work place continues to evolve, the hybrid work model has emerged as a popular compromise, blending the comfort of remote work with the structure of the traditional office. This model, however, brings unique ergonomic challenges as employees navigate between two distinct work environments. Ensuring ergonomic consistency is crucial for their well-being, productivity, and overall job satisfaction.

What is the Hybrid Work Model?

The hybrid work model essentially allows employees to split their time between working from home and the office. Many employees love the freedom, but designing both an office and a home office that meets ergonomic standards can be challenging. When done right, a hybrid work model can enhance employee morale and efficiency but requires attention to ergonomic detail.

Related Article: “5 Benefits of Designing an Office with Ergonomic Furniture

Key Ergonomic Challenges in Hybrid Workplaces

The first step is to be proactive – ignoring ergonomics may be okay for a little while, but it will eventually catch up to you.

At home, workers may improvise with less-than-ideal setups, leading to discomfort, pain, and musculoskeletal disorders. In contrast, office environments may offer better ergonomic furniture but lack the customization possible at home.

Education is key and consulting with ergonomics experts is always recommended. Remain proactive not only for the comfort of the employee, but also for the productivity of the company. After all, a company with happy and healthy employees will be more profitable and productive in the long run.

Ergonomic Essentials for Home Offices

Designing an ergonomic home office involves more than just a comfortable chair; it’s about the entire setup. Solutions Northwest Inc. suggests investing in a proper desk and an ergonomic chair with lower back support. The height of the chair should allow feet to rest flat on the floor, and the desk height should ensure monitors are at eye level to prevent neck strain. Simple DIY hacks, like using books to adjust desk height or a towel for lumbar support, can make a significant difference.

Related Article: “The Ergonomic Way to Sit at Your Desk

Ensuring Office Ergonomic Compliance

In the office, ergonomics assessments are essential. Ergonomics assessments help identify potential issues and ensure that workstations meet ergonomic standards. Solutions Northwest Inc. emphasizes the role of ergonomics consultants in optimizing office workspaces, designing environments to individual employee needs, and providing consultation on maintaining ergonomic integrity.

Consider investing in an ergonomics assessment, as it will pay off in the long run with improved worker productivity and a happier and healthier workforce.

Bridging the Ergonomic Gap Between Home and Office

To maintain health in a hybrid work model, employees should be determined to take ergonomics seriously in both settings. It’s easy to get comfortable when working from home, but if ergonomics is ignored at home, it won’t be long until things turn to discomfort, pain, or even potential musculoskeletal disorders.

Regular breaks and physical movement are essential to counteract the sedentary nature of desk jobs. These practices help prevent conditions like digital eyestrain and chronic pain, irrespective of the work location.

If you’re unsure about inviting an ergonomics consultant into your home, you can look into a virtual ergonomics assessment designed with remote work in mind. In fact, we offer this service at Solutions Northwest Inc. – visit our website for more information on that specific service: “Virtual Ergonomics Assessments for Remote Workers

Role of Employers in Supporting Hybrid Ergonomics

If you’re an employee, you may begin to feel overwhelmed by the task at hand. Do not hesitate to reach out to your human resources manager, office manager, or direct employer about your home office ergonomics needs.

Employers play a crucial role in supporting ergonomic practices. Providing resources and training for office ergonomics success, both at home and in the office, is vital. This support not only helps in maintaining the health of the employees but also in fostering a culture that values well-being.

Elevating Work Environments with Solutions Northwest Inc.

 

As workers embrace the hybrid model, the importance of ergonomics in both home and office settings becomes more important than ever before. Prioritizing health is essential for the long-term well-being of employees and the overall productivity of businesses.

For businesses and employees looking to enhance their office or home office ergonomics practices, Solutions Northwest Inc. offers expert ergonomics consultations and ergonomics assessments. Whether it’s setting up and designing an ergonomic home office or optimizing office workspaces, our team is here to help. Contact us today for more information and explore our website and blog for additional ergonomic tips and resources.

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How to Prevent Knee Pain When Working from Home
Do you suffer from knee pain during the workday? You’re not alone. A new study reports that one in every four Americans suffers from chronic knee pain.

Many people experience pain or discomfort in the knee joint. Some even end up requiring several surgeries if the knee pain is left unaddressed.Ergonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.

Knee pain can occur when working from home because of a sedentary lifestyle, environmental change, poor office ergonomics, or job stress.

This guide from the ergonomics experts at Solutions Northwest Inc., explains the causes of knee pain at work and how you can reduce symptoms. Keep reading to learn how you can prevent knee pain.

What Causes Knee Pain While Working?

Knee pain can happen to anyone at any age. Usually, knee pain is a result of lifestyle habits more so than a genetic predisposition. This is good news because it means with empowered decisions you can reduce, reverse, or prevent your knee pain.

Below are some common causes of knee pain:

  • Intense exercise or overexercising
  • Running “runner’s knee”
  • Unaddressed injuries
  • Being overweight
  • Poor workplace ergonomics
  • Bending your knees too often/for prolonged periods
  • Placing heavy weight on your knees
  • Crossing your legs for extended periods of time

One or a combination of these factors can cause your knee pain, below are five knee pain solutions to prevent knee pain.

Ergonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.1. Set Up Your Workstation Ergonomically

Since you spend about a third of your day at your workstation, how you sit while working from home has a huge influence on your knee pain. Keeping your knees bent for extended periods of time is not good. Make sure to stretch frequently or consider a standing desk.

Setting up a workstation with proper ergonomics can be a daunting task. Most workplace managers or human resource managers will hire an Ergonomics Consultant to design their employees’ workstations, whether in-office or remote. Contact your management today to see if this is something they offer. Or consider a virtual ergonomics assessment, which can be affordable enough to invest in for remote workers.

2. Strengthen Your Hips and Glutes

When the muscles surrounding the knees are weak, it puts all of the pressure of your body weight on the knees. Work on strengthening your hips and glutes with strength training twice a week. Doing so will build the surrounding muscles to protect your knees.

3. Improve Your Posture

Posture impacts everything from your vagus nerve to your knee health. It’s often overlooked.

The mid-day slump is a common cause of chronic pain for desk workers. Be mindful of your posture at all times.

Your feet should evenly touch the floor and your screen should be at eye level. Your shoulders should be relaxed on your armrests throughout your workday. Poor posture, if not addressed, will also strain the neck, back, arms, and legs.

Related article: “4 Tips to Improve Your Posture at Work

4. Move Every Hour or Half Hour

Even if you’re sitting in the best position with the best posture, your knees “lock” into a position. This is never good for them. Keep things fluid by taking 250 steps every hour (about 2 minutes of walking).

Consider setting a timer on your phone to remind you to take a break.

Related article: “5 Reasons Work Breaks Boost Productivity

5. Incorporate Self-Care

The workday puts a lot of stress on the body. Make sure to incorporate self-care into each work week. Go for walks, swim, get a massage, or try knee acupuncture.

Use Proper Ergonomics to Design Your Home Office Setup

Remote work is a luxury to be enjoyed. If you feel that working from home has worsened your knee pain, take charge.

Speak with your office manager or human resources manager and ask them to schedule an ergonomics assessment for your workstation.

You may also consider a virtual ergonomics consultation where a professional ergonomics consultant will advise you on simple changes that can prevent knee pain (all you need is access to e-mail or a smart phone). They’ll also address any other issues such as neck pain or carpal tunnel. Once your workstation is comfortable, you will likely find yourself working not only pain free, but in a timelier and more productive manner!

If you or your remote employees need to design an ergonomic home workspace, contact the ergonomics experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. for more information.

At SolutionsNW.com we value the importance of a positive workplace culture. Part of a positive workplace is a safe workplace, Contact Us to schedule an ergonomics consultation or ergonomics assessment for your office today.

Subscribe to our ergonomics blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics evaluations available in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, OR, Portland, OR, Salem, OR.

Virtual Ergonomics Assessment available nationwide!

Contact the Ergonomics Experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. Below:

Multiple Locations

Corporate Office: 120 State Ave. NE #397
Olympia, WA 98501
Business Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Corporate FAX: 360-866-4773
Email: Info@solutionsnw.com

Olympia, WA

360-236-8748

Portland/Salem, OR

503-768-9742

Seattle, WA

206-521-5676

Contact our Ergonomics Experts

The Real Cost of Ignoring Workplace Ergonomics

The Real Cost of Ignoring Workplace Ergonomics

The Real Cost of Ignoring Workplace Ergonomics

In This Blog, You’ll Discover:

  • The Impact of Overlooking Ergonomics: How neglecting workplace safety and office ergonomics affects productivity, morale, and financial stability.
  • Financial Consequences: The hidden costs and tangible financial implications businesses face by not prioritizing ergonomics.
  • Ergonomic Advantages: The wide array of benefits that come from integrating ergonomic solutions into the workplace, from heightened productivity to reduced medical expenses.
  • Implementation Guidance: Steps to introduce ergonomic practices, from working with ergonomics consultants to making informed decisions on ergonomic tools and furniture.
  • Ergonomics as an Investment: An analogy on viewing ergonomics as a preventative measure that saves businesses from future troubles and costs.
  • Partnering with Ergonomics Consultants like Solutions Northwest Inc.: How the expertise of Solutions Northwest Inc. can help businesses nationwide in fostering ergonomic excellence.

The Real Cost of Ignoring Workplace Ergonomics Ergonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.

When workplace safety and, more specifically, office ergonomics are ignored, the repercussions for companies can extend beyond mere physical discomfort, affecting productivity, morale, and financial stability.

Having no strategic approach to office ergonomics produces not just immediate physical consequences but also challenges that include absenteeism driven by chronic pain, diminished productivity due to disrupted focus, heightened employee turnover resulting from escalating dissatisfaction, and escalating healthcare expenditures for treating ergonomic-related injuries.

The Financial Repercussions of Ignoring Office Ergonomics

Ignoring the importance of office ergonomics has many financial implications. The most common ways that ignoring office ergonomics will impact a company financially is through soaring workers compensation claims from employees grappling with work-induced health issues, hidden costs related to recruiting and training replacement staff for those incapacitated, and a drop in quality and output, adversely impacting revenue.

The Benefits of Implementing Ergonomic Solutions

Strategically investing in office ergonomics and workplace safety not only mitigates risks but also unlocks many advantages. It enhances worker productivity by providing comfortable work environments, strengthens employee retention by showing them that you value their health, and reduces unforeseen absences by minimizing physical strain.

Moreover, preventing the likelihood of ergonomic injuries translates to substantial savings on potential medical expenses and creates a healthy, positive, and effectual workplace culture.

Ergonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.How to Introduce Ergonomic Solutions

Implementing ergonomic solutions can be straightforward, practical, and affordable. Firstly, we recommend engaging with ergonomics consultants to assess your workplace. An ergonomics expert can help identify ergonomic pain points and provide employee training that your workplace can seamlessly integrate into daily routines.

After an ergonomics assessment, you can better determine what types of ergonomic furniture and tools to install. You will also have a strategy for maintaining adherence through regular check-ups and adjustments to ergonomic practices, which ensures continuous effectiveness in an always-changing work environment.

Viewing Proper Workplace Ergonomics as an Investment

Starting out with ergonomic improvements might seem like it’s all about spending money but think of it as deciding whether to fix a small leak in your home. Fixing a leak demands time and some funds, but ignoring it lets the water slowly damage your home from the inside out. The cost of fixing everything later will be way more than the initial repair would have been. It’s similar with ergonomics in the workplace.

Bringing in ergonomics consultants, doing an ergonomics assessment, or getting new ergonomic furniture and tools will require a financial investment. However, these upfront investments pay off by preventing the “leaks” in your business – such as workers getting hurt, taking too many days off, or even quitting because they’re uncomfortable or unhappy.

Think of ergonomics not just as a purchase but as a smart investment that will save you money and trouble in the long run, keeping your team strong and your business flowing smoothly.

Elevating Work Environments with Solutions Northwest Inc.

Solutions Northwest Inc. advocates that ergonomic practices are the bedrock upon which thriving workplaces are built. Ready to shield your business and employees from the costs of neglected ergonomics and ensure that your business adheres to workplace safety norms?

Contact our ergonomic consultants, who bring both expertise and a passion for creating comfortable work environments.

For a quarter of a century, Solutions Northwest Inc. has championed the cause of ergonomic excellence in Seattle, Portland, and Olympia, WA – assisting countless businesses in creating healthier and more. Not based in the Pacific Northwest or need help with remote workers? Consider our Virtual Ergonomics Assessment available nationwide, a solution is always within reach.

Don’t compromise on your staff’s well-being and the overall efficiency of your workspace. Contact Solutions Northwest Inc. today and elevate your office environment. For ongoing insights and ergonomics tips, consider subscribing to our blog.

Contact the Ergonomics Experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. Below:

Multiple Locations

Corporate Office: 120 State Ave. NE #397
Olympia, WA 98501
Business Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Corporate FAX: 360-866-4773
Email: Info@solutionsnw.com

Olympia, WA

360-236-8748

Portland/Salem, OR

503-768-9742

Seattle, WA

206-521-5676

Contact our Ergonomics Experts

5 Signs Your Office is Ergonomically Unsound

5 Signs Your Office is Ergonomically Unsound

5 Signs Your Office is Ergonomically Unsound

Ergonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018, “there were 900,380 days-away-from-work (DAFW) cases in the U.S. private sector with 272,780 (or 30%) being musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) cases,” which are ergonomic related injuries.

While these numbers depict a stark reality of physical discomfort at work and decreased worker productivity, the silver lining lies in the fact that most ergonomic injuries can be prevented.

The key to unlocking this safety is understanding the nuances of workplace ergonomics and recognizing when an office environment isn’t up to par.

In this article, the ergonomics experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. will delve into the telltale signs that indicate your office might be ergonomically unsound, potentially putting your employees at risk and hampering your organization’s efficiency.

Do Not Ignore Ergonomic Red Flags

It’s important to underscore the broader implications of neglecting ergonomic standards. A staggering statistic from the CDC reveals that one in every four Americans grapples with lower back pain, with a considerable percentage attributed to work-related factors.

Given the real concern about workplace injuries, as highlighted by Solutions Northwest Inc., it’s clear every workplace needs to be proactive about preventing these issues before they start. Proactive ergonomic solutions are not just about physical comfort; they are intrinsically tied to employee productivity. Any compromise in ergonomic standards directly translates to a dip in work efficiency, punctuated by the pain and discomfort employees endure.

Let’s now identify 5 of the telltale signs of an office that may be setting its employees up for discomfort or even injury.

The 5 Signs Your Office is Ergonomically Unsound:

1. Poorly Adjusted Chairs

Considering that the average American worker spends around ten hours each day seated, having a well-adjusted chair to sit in becomes vital. When one’s chair is poorly adjusted, it sets the stage for a cascade of potential health issues.

A chair that’s too high can lead to dangling feet, causing circulatory problems, while one that’s too low can strain the thighs and knees. Armrests not set at the right height can either cause elevated shoulders or provide no support at all, leading to neck and shoulder strain while working. The back support plays a crucial role as well; a lack of proper lumbar support encourages slouching, which over time can cause chronic back pain and musculoskeletal issues for office workers.

When these work-related pains are combined over prolonged periods, not only does it affect the health of the individual, but it also takes a toll on their productivity.

Related article, “6 Benefits of Ergonomic Office Chairs

 

2. Strained Neck from Computer Monitors

A critical aspect of office ergonomics is the placement of the computer monitor, which can impact a computer worker’s neck and eyes.

Ideally, your monitor should be positioned directly in front of you, ensuring you don’t have to twist your neck to the right or left, which over time can lead to strain. Distance-wise, the monitor should be an arm’s length away. This distance helps reduce eye strain by keeping the screen at a comfortable viewing range. The top of the screen should align with your eyes, promoting a natural, horizontal gaze.

A poorly adjusted monitor might seem like a minor inconvenience, but over prolonged periods, it can escalate into chronic pain for office workers or cumulative trauma injuries. Simple ergonomic adjustments can significantly alleviate these risks, enhancing comfort and productivity.

Related article, “The Ergonomic Way to View Your Monitor

 

3. Workers Are Not Taking Enough Breaks

Some folks may think skipping regular breaks is helpful, but recent research has shown that it is detrimental to productivity. Furthermore, it also poses serious health risks to workers.

The human body is designed for movement, and being stationary for extended periods can lead to muscle stiffness, poor circulation, and metabolic health issues. Moreover, skipping breaks can exacerbate mental fatigue, reducing an individual’s cognitive abilities, concentration, and creativity. By simply standing, stretching, or taking a short walk, employees can reinvigorate their muscles, boost blood circulation, and alleviate mental stress for workers.

It is essential for every office to integrate breaks into the work routine, not just for enhancing efficiency and creativity, but also for safeguarding one’s physical and mental well-being of workers.

Related article, “3 Free Apps That Remind You Take Breaks From Work

 

4. Keyboard and Mouse Placement Issues

Improper keyboard and mouse placement is a leading cause of wrist and hand strain among desk workers. Using a mouse and keyboard repeatedly, especially in non-ergonomic positions, can intensify the risk of wrist pain and other related health issues, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

The right placement ensures that your wrists are straight, reducing the need for excessive twisting, straining, or stretching. Proper ergonomic equipment can greatly boost comfort, posture, and productivity. Ensure optimal positioning with ergonomic equipment, and consider an ergonomics assessment by experts, like those at Solutions Northwest Inc., to avoid potential health risks and promote a comfortable working environment.

Related article, “5 Benefits of Using an Ergonomic Mouse and Keyboard

5. Your Office Has Never Performed an Ergonomic Assessment

When employees voice concerns about discomfort at their workstations, it’s often a sign that the work environment isn’t ergonomically optimized. An ergonomics assessment provides a comprehensive evaluation of workplace setups, ensuring that workstations are tailored to individual employee needs, ultimately fostering a safer and more comfortable environment.

Ergonomic assessments are usually performed an ergonomics expert that has been trained to scrutinize critical factors in the office, such as monitor heights—which influence neck strain—mouse placements that prevent undue wrist strain, and back support crucial for preventing prevalent issues like back pain.

Moreover, a well-structured workplace designed through ergonomics consulting can significantly increase productivity, decrease absenteeism due to health concerns, and bolster overall morale. Employees working in ergonomically designed workspaces not only exhibit better focus and efficiency but also feel more valued.

Reducing workplace injuries not only results in financial savings but also enhances operational efficiency and boosts morale, leading to a positive workplace culture and increased productivity.

Related article: “Benefits of Conducting an In-Person Ergonomics Assessment

What to Do Next If Your Office is Ergonomically Unsound

In the modern office, the significance of workplace ergonomics cannot be overstated. From preventing musculoskeletal disorders to boosting overall productivity, a well-designed ergonomic workplace plays a pivotal role in ensuring both employee health and organizational success. While recognizing the signs of an ergonomically unsound office is the first step, addressing these concerns with a professional ergonomic assessment is the key to fostering a safer, more productive workspace.

For a quarter of a century, Solutions Northwest Inc. has championed the cause of ergonomic excellence in Seattle, Portland, and Olympia, WA – assisting countless businesses in creating healthier and more efficient workspaces. If you’ve spotted any of the red flags mentioned in this article in your office or are just looking to optimize your workspace for the better, don’t delay. Entrust your ergonomic needs to our seasoned ergonomic consultants, who bring both expertise and a passion for creating comfortable work environments.

Not based in the Pacific Northwest or need help with remote workers? Consider our Virtual Ergonomics Assessment available nationwide, a solution is always within reach.

Don’t compromise on your staff’s well-being and the overall efficiency of your workspace. Contact Solutions Northwest Inc. today and elevate your office environment. For ongoing insights and ergonomics tips, consider subscribing to our blog. Remember, a healthier office is just a consultation away!

 

Contact the Ergonomics Experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. Below:

Multiple Locations

Corporate Office: 120 State Ave. NE #397
Olympia, WA 98501
Business Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Corporate FAX: 360-866-4773
Email: Info@solutionsnw.com

Olympia, WA

360-236-8748

Portland/Salem, OR

503-768-9742

Seattle, WA

206-521-5676

Contact our Ergonomics Experts

How to Use an Ergonomics Assessment Form to Maximize Office Efficiency

How to Use an Ergonomics Assessment Form to Maximize Office Efficiency

How to Use an Ergonomics Assessment Form to Maximize Office Efficiency

How to Use an Ergonomics Assessment Form to Maximize Workplace EfficiencyErgonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.

Perhaps you’ve received multiple complaints from employees that their workstations are hurting them. And naturally, you begin to panic. When your employees — the lifeblood of your organization — hurt, your bottom-line hurts.

Common health issues stemming from poor workplace ergonomics include sprains, tears, and strains. They also include carpal tunnel and back pain.

The good news is that by making your workplace ergonomic, you can improve the efficiency of your workers.

A good place to start is with an ergonomic assessment form. This form can help you get an idea of what problem areas your office has and begin the process of making your office a safer and more comfortable place to work.

Ergonomic Evaluation Forms Should Address the Height of Each Worker’s Monitor

Your ergonomics checklist should call attention to your employees’ monitor heights at their workstations. This is important because the screen height impacts the neck’s soft tissue.

If monitors are too high or low, consider giving your workers monitor arms. Laptop risers and monitor stands can also help them to adjust their screens’ heights.

Placement of the Mouse

An ergonomic assessment form can also help you to improve your workers’ efficiency by requiring you to assess each worker’s mouse placement.

Every worker should have no problem reaching their mouse while their elbow stays against their body. The elbow shouldn’t extend forward.

If you discover that an employee’s mouse isn’t in a safe position for them, consider giving them a vertical mouse. This type of mouse will allow them to make bigger muscular movements from their upper arm or elbow. This is much better than moving just the wrist, as this may inflame the wrist and quickly cause carpal tunnel.

For employees who are struggling with shoulder comfort, consider introducing trackballs to them. This device will minimize their shoulder movement by keeping it in a relatively neutral position. This solution is best for any employee who moves their mouse forward all day.

Back Support

Finally, your ergonomic assessment form should motivate you to examine your employees’ back support. This is essential given that research shows that more than one-fourth of working adults currently have back pain.

Ergonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.To prevent or improve back pain due to work, you should give your employees chairs that have numerous seat adjustments. These adjustments should include armrest adjustments. Other adjustments include those for seat depth and height.

With the right chairs, you can reduce your employees’ back pain. This, in turn, can help them to perform better daily.

Consider Hiring an Ergonomics Consultant to Help You Improve Your Efficiency in the Office

A thorough ergonomic assessment form will help your office get an idea of what improvements should be made.

Furthermore, we recommend hiring an ergonomics consultant to ensure this assessment is properly performed by visiting your location in-person. This is a worthwhile investment, as it pays off in the long run with less injuries and better performance from your workesr.

Contact Solutions Northwest Inc. for an ergonomics assessment.

At Solutions Northwest Inc., we are vocational and ergonomics experts. We offer guidance to businesses on how to make their workplaces safe and productive. Contact us to schedule an ergonomics consultation or assessment for your business today.  

Using remote workers?  We offer an affordable virtual ergonomics assessment, which can be done remotely (all you need is access to e-mail or a smart phone).

Subscribe to our ergonomics blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc. – ergonomics assessments available in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, OR, Portland, OR, Salem, OR.

Virtual Ergonomics Assessment available nationwide!

Contact the Ergonomics Experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. Below:

Multiple Locations

Corporate Office: 120 State Ave. NE #397
Olympia, WA 98501
Business Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Corporate FAX: 360-866-4773
Email: Info@solutionsnw.com

Olympia, WA

360-236-8748

Portland/Salem, OR

503-768-9742

Seattle, WA

206-521-5676

Contact our Ergonomics Experts

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