The posture of office workers, particularly in front of a computer, should be a priority for business leaders. Companies that fail to examine how staff are sitting along with the equipment that they are using, could suffer due to staff absence and may find themselves in hot water with the health and safety executive – and this can cost them money.
“All businesses have a duty of care to ensure that their staff are sitting properly and provided with the tools to ensure that their posture is correct at their desks,” explained ergonomics expert, Richard Clarke of R&A Office Environments. “The benefit of doing this will mean that staff absence due to illness is greatly reduced, whilst their productivity will be increased.
“Symptoms of poor posture can include neck, back, knee and other joint pain” continued Richard, who works with companies to ensure that staff sit correctly and have the correct chairs and positioning of equipment within their workspace.
Recent studies by The British Chiropractic Association have shown that 56 per cent of their members say office workers are most vulnerable to back pain. To help you prevent this susceptibility, with Richard’s help, we have put together some hints and tips to help you to ensure that your staff are sitting correctly at their desks:
1. How do Your Staff Sit?
If you’ve noticed that an employee is hunched over their desk or is sitting with their legs crossed, then they need to be advised that they should be sitting with their feet firmly on the ground with a straight back. They may need a chair support or inflatable lumbar support to help keep their back straight.
2. Where is Their Equipment?
Is their keyboard directly in front of them in the centre and within easy reach? Is their telephone close to hand? Examine the height, positioning and angle of their monitor as well, as this can all have an impact on back and neck straining.
3. Do Your Staff Take Regular Breaks?
Whilst it is good to see that your employees are fully focused on the task in hand, it is also important to make sure that they take regular breaks away from the computer and desk. Even if it is a two minute stretch break, this will help alleviate any symptoms of poor posture and also re-focus your employee.
“Repetitive Strain Injuries are also common within office workers. This can be because of poorly positioned equipment and some employees may require wrist supports when they are typing or using a mouse,” continued Richard. “There are also specialised exercises that can be done regularly to help prevent wrist problems in the future.”
Have you evaluated the cost of bad posture to your business?
R&A Office Environments Ltd is a supplier of new and recycled office furniture & seating, and specialize in ergonomic assessments in the office workplace. For further information contact Richard Clarke on 07710 061800.