Can Ergonomics Reduce Stress in the Workplace

Can Ergonomics Reduce Stress in the Workplace

written by: Ms. April Stump
by: Ms. April Stump
Pexels-photo-450271 Pexels-photo-450271

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, this old proverb couldn't be more accurate with today's current work climate. Working too much can be detrimental to one's health.

The 21st century may have seen the decline in dangerous professions - although, they still inevitably exist - yet, there's been a rise in mental and physical health conditions. So if we as a population are working in safer environments, then why are we not only stressed but suffering from various disorders - what gives?

One word: ergonomics.

What is Ergonomics?

Ergonomics is the study of workers and how their work environment and can affect their health and wellbeing. The objective is to outfit the workplace to meet the needs of the worker in efforts to reduce jobsite injuries. Specifically, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) such as carpal tunnel syndrome. MSDs are the 21st century's primary workplace hazard due to the increase in office positions as well as our more sedentary lifestyle, making us more vulnerable to these kinds of injuries.

The other plague to our workforce is stress and its related disorders. Whether its job pressures or employee's bringing their personal problems with them to work, stress is a crippler to a workers productivity. In fact, many ergonomics experts name stress as a culprit for MSDs.

Can an ergonomically correct workplace reduce stress?

Ergonomics and Stress

One of the core philosophies in ergonomics is that if the workspace is set up correctly, to suit the needs of its worker, then this alone can help reduce stress. Evoker workplace wellness experts agree: while ergonomics itself won't rid a person entirely of their mental stressors - meeting deadlines or worrying over their kid's poor grades - but it can give the employee a leg up in the battle against worker burnout. Here are a few tips for an ergonomic workspace: If an employer wants a successful, productive workforce, they must ensure that they provide the safest most ergonomically thought-out environment possible - for workplace wellness. This tells the employees that they're valued which turns the tides against stress in the workplace.

  • Practice good posture: When seated sit upright and while moving evenly distribute your weight.
  • Monotony: Repetitive motion is not your friend, so switch it up and move around. Take breaks, get some exercise and remember to stretch.
  • Lifting: Don't lift with your back, lift with your knees.
  • Ergonomic chair: If you work at a desk, your chair needs to be set up especially for you, to help you maintain good posture.
  • Desk job: If your work in an office, you need all the desk products available to see to it that you don't get MSDs from repetitive motion. Things like a roll out keyboard so your wrists are level with elbows as you type.
  • Eye health: Do you stare at a monitor all day, then you need to protect your eyes from blue light with an anti-glare screen. And don't forget to blink!

Ergonomically Correct for a Decline in Stress

Why add to your employee's pre-existing stress load by having a workplace that doesn't look after their needs? Instead, reduce worker burnout or MSDs injuries by designing a workspace with workers in mind - desks with posture-loving chairs and encourage them to take breaks - this way it keeps the jobsite morale up which means higher productivity levels and a safer and happier workforce! Oh, and whole lot less stress!