Find original article here.
It is told that good ergonomics is good economics. Is it really true or it is just like another advertisement gimmick!To go dipper into the debate we need to know little about ergonomics.
According to the definition of International Ergonomics association (IEA) Ergonomics (or human factors) is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of the interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theoretical principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well being and overall system performance.
The Ergonomics derived from the Greek word “ergon” (work) and “nomos” (laws) to denote the “science of work”. Ergonomics is a systems-oriented discipline, which is applied to all aspects of human activity. As per IEA, practicing ergonomists must have a broad understanding of the full scope of the discipline, taking into account the physical, cognitive, social, organizational, environmental and other relevant factors.
The main motto of Ergonomics is to improve the productivity by keeping human/user healthy and happy. If your employees are happy half the battle is won, your business will definitely flourish. The Bhutanese government has a unique practice; they consider gross national happiness (GNS not GDP) factors, as a key to growth of the nation. The logic is the happy people are more innovative and productive.
The computerization of work has completely changed the work scenario. The long hour of sitting mostly in static posture in front of the computers is taking its own toll to our body. It is important to hold yourself still in a static posture while performing computer work for considerable periods of time. Even to be in a fixed posture over long periods of time the body muscles need to work to generate a significant static holding force, which causes fatigue. The outcome is quite visible – work related musculo-skeletal disorders (MSD) or repetitive strain injuries; popularly called a RSI. These include back pain, shoulder pain, pain and or tingling, numbness in other body parts and joints. All these generally accompanied with visual discomfort, headache and so on. Work pressure, meeting deadline, office environments, hot summer month preventing employees to go out especially in Dubai, all add up to stress level of employees; be it physical or cognitive. These have ability to cause irreversible damage to our physical and mental health. We have a tendency to take these very lightly and try to adjust ourselves with the scenario without taking any precautions. When we realize; it is already too late!
In short, rather being happy the employees are becoming unhappy while working. Unhappy employees are never fully productive. It is a high time to think about the way we use the computers and workstation components. Proper work station design and choosing the right furniture according to the individual need is critical to deal with these kinds of problems.
Do you have any idea about the furniture in your office fit the majority of the staffs? Is it that individuals in your office require a different chair because of their height and weight? Does your employer allow short breaks in between the jobs? Being a manger do you ever bother to know about the most common workstation set up errors? How many people actually know how to set up an ergonomic workstation? Are employees aware of all the adjustments in the chair provided by the employer? Unlike west, it is even more critical for Dubai as it has a unique mix of world population to be accommodated in the same office.
Understanding the importance and trends associated with office ergonomics is very important for a successful business management. If you fail to address the core issues and trends there is a high chance that your business may fail. It is time to be aware and take action on ergonomics applications be it at home or at offices.