Get Moving with Ergonomics
Creating a work environment that encourages movement can make a huge difference in the health of your employees.
Whether employees are complaining about the pain in their back or neck at work, it's highly likely that their discomfort is related to musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs). MSIs are caused by repetitive movements, awkward posture and being in the same position for long periods of time. MSIs can be prevented with the implementation of ergonomics in the workplace.
Investing in ergonomics will result in a healthier workforce. An important principle of ergonomics is to move, exercise and stretch throughout the day. To keep your employees healthy, we have put together some tips to keep them moving at work!
1. Standing Meetings
Sitting in the same position every day can lead to cramped muscles and back pain. To prevent this pain, we suggest you encourage your employees to stand more throughout the day with the introduction of standing meetings. A standing meeting will encourage employees who sit throughout the day to change positions.
You can also supply employees with sit-stand work stations to encourage movement, as employees will be able to alternate between standing and sitting positions. Employees who use their sit-stand work stations are likely to notice a decrease in long-term back pain.
3. Walking Conversations
Often when an employee needs to ask a question, they quickly send out an email or give a quick call to the person they need to talk to. To encourage more movement amongst your employees, we suggest encouraging employees to walk to the co-worker's desk to ask a question. If the conversation is long, employees should take a walk to have their discussion. This will help employees benefit from a movement perspective.
4. Ergonomic Stretches
So, you've encouraged your employees to move more throughout the day, but what if some of your employees are still leading a sedentary lifestyle? We suggest scheduling a stretch break for your whole office. Scheduling a 10-minute stretch break in the afternoon is an activity the whole office can do together to help avoid muscle pain. To ensure these stretches are reducing muscle pain, these stretches should focus on the neck and shoulders, hand and forearms, and back and legs.
5. Sitting Exercises
Having a ten-minute stretch break is great, but this isn't enough throughout the day. Let's say your employees don't have any meetings all day - they'd miss their chance to stand. Maybe you haven't had the change to invest in a sit-stand workstation yet. And maybe they didn't have the chance to have any walking conversations with their co-workers. Luckily, there are many ways to add movement into everyday work life - and you don't always have to leave your desk to do it! Introduce your employees to sitting exercises. The stretches can be as simply as sitting on the edge of the seat and stretching out your right leg in front of you for 30 seconds and alternate legs. Learn more about simple desk exercises that you can share with your employees here.
These are just some way to keep your employees moving at work. Keeping your employees moving at work won't only improve their health it will increase their productivity too! So, share these tips with your employees and both your employees and your business will benefit!