year, almost a million people are forced to take time off
from work due to repetitive motion injuries or overexertion.
Many of these conditions are caused by poor ergonomics - in
other words, the environment in which a person works isn't
designed properly to reduce the risk of injury and maximize
In a recent study, office workers were selected to participate
in one of three study groups. One group received an adjustable
office chair and training in office ergonomics; the second
group received training only; and the third group received
the training only, but not until the end of the study period.
Workers who received the adjustable chair and the training
had lower average pain levels and fewer symptoms of injury
during the course of the study than workers in the other two
If you want to have healthy, productive employees, just training
them in ergonomics won't do the trick. In addition to proper
training, make sure your employees have equipment that is
easy to use and can be adjusted to a variety of heights to
accommodate their needs. And if you're an employee, make sure
your boss provides adequate training and work equipment, including
the appropriate chair, to keep you healthy, happy and productive.
It's a win-win situation on both sides.
Amick BC, Robertson MM, DeRango K, et al. Effect of office
ergonomics intervention on reducing musculoskeletal symptoms.
Spine 2003;28(24), pp2706-2711.
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