Ergonomics (from the Greek word ergon meaning work, and nomoi meaning natural laws), is the science of refining the design of a product to optimise it for human use.
This word has been making the rounds this past couple of months with a lot of misconceptions and myths around it. The notions that ergonomics is expensive, inefficient, and just a fad, can lead to organisations and individuals to miss out on life-changing benefits of an ergonomic workstation.
With many of us working remotely at the moment, these long-held myths need to be debunked. In this blog post, we delve into six myths about Ergonomics you need to know and stop believing –
Myth #1—Ergonomics is just about fixing aches and pains
While ergonomics does deal with fixing postures and working conditions, this statement is just half the story. The essence of ergonomics lies in optimising human performance. According to the report published by the Health and Safety Authority, “Ergonomics applies information about human behaviour, abilities and limitations and other characteristics to the design of tools, machines, tasks, jobs and environments for productive, safe, comfortable and effective human use”.
Believing that ergonomics is just about fixing aches and pains is looking at it partially. Ergonomics involves optimising physical, cognitive and organisational workflow equally. If you have pain or an injury, assessing your work environment can help you recover. However, getting an ergonomic workstation assessment even before you have any problem can prevent musculoskeletal disorders in the future.
Myth #2—Ergonomics is only for people who type all day
Most of us have only heard of the word ergonomics being used in relation to the office and computer workstations. But the office isn’t the only area where ergonomics products come into use. Yes, it is essential to have an office environment where employees have the correct equipment to work, but it is also applicable to people who work outside a traditional “office”.
Ergonomics can be introduced into your life irrespective of the nature of your job. Industries like healthcare, aerospace, military, and labs require correct ergonomics to carry out tasks. It is equally essential for people who travel or for people who work from home.
Myth #3—Ergonomics is very expensive
This is a big one. The thought that frequently comes to mind when we think of the word “ergonomics” is that it is time-consuming and costly. Getting your workplace assessed and implementing changes does come at a cost, but if you look at the bigger picture, this assessment will save you time, money and trips to the doctor in the long run. Think of this as an investment with a very high ROI. Studies show that a correctly designed workspace can lead to better productivity, efficiency and reduced absenteeism.
Ergonomic equipment does not have to burn a hole in your pocket, especially if you work from home. Here are a few work from home ergonomic essentials that do the job just as efficiently.
Myth #4: Ergonomic assessments don’t help
Ergonomic assessments will never work if the person assessing does not have the knowledge or expertise to carry out these assessments. In a world that’s leaning towards going digital, sitting incorrectly at your desk for 8 hours can be detrimental. When it comes to your health, prevention is always better than cure.
Spectrum Optimise are Ireland’s leading ergonomics experts that have a team of physiotherapists that will assess your workplace for you. From a single person consultation to a consultation for the whole company, they will support you every step of the way.
Myth #5: Ergonomics is just a fancy marketing term
Some people believe that ergonomics is just a made-up term used by furniture companies to sell over-priced products. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It is shocking to see how poorly most chairs are engineered in terms of comfort. Many office chairs offer no lumbar support, no mechanism to adjust the back angle and ineffective cushioning. These chairs might look very appealing but are doing your body more harm than good. A good ergonomic chair provides you with back support, a good posture and makes working so much easier.
Myth #6: Ergonomics follows a one-size-fits-all approach
No two of us are the same; we come in all shapes, heights and sizes. We all have different jobs, different workspaces and different needs. So why should your work equipment be homogenised? The central premise of ergonomics is the recognition and adaptation to individual differences. It is important to know your lifestyle, your concerns and then invest in a product that meets your requirements. Just because you see a chair that says “ergonomic” on it, does not mean it is right for you.
Click here to learn more about Spectrum Optimise and how they learn more about your work style, advise you and provide you with a tailor-made ergonomic experience!
Now that you know how ergonomics can transform your life for the better take action by talking to your manager or shopping for the perfect office furniture here.