Key Signs That You Need To Do an Ergonomic Workstation Assessment

SPOT THE PROBLEM?

There are at least 5 key issues with both of their postures, can you spot what they are?

Bad posture - Man slouching over a desk Bad posture - Man slouching over a laptop
Bad posture - Man slouching over a laptop

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subtle signals by your staff will show that an Ergonomic Workstation Assessment is needed,  including comments, complaints and physical actions such as:

1.Demonstrating the need to take frequent breaks from sitting

2. Rubbing their area of discomfort

3.Requesting adaptations to the workstation

4.Complaining about their chair

5.Showing discomfort when sitting or walking

6. Behaving more stressed or low in mood than normal and being quick to lose their temper!

Pain has the ability to take over our minds, affecting our work and increasing our stress levels, and vice versa.   It affects our mood and ability to cope.

It, therefore, needs to be addressed promptly and preferably prevented in the first place.  Even if you have a system in place, such as online assessments, the above can be a sign that you need additional help in addressing problem areas.

Potentially saving you 1,000’s in lost time and sick leave, an expert individualised  assessment will quickly remove the risk of back pain affecting your staff’s well-being and productivity levels and will reduce symptoms from:

  1. Slipped, prolapsed or bulging discs
  2. Frozen Shoulder
  3. RSI and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  4. Back Surgery
  5. Scoliosis
  6. Fibromyalgia
  7. Arthritis
  8. Sciatica

Ergonomics is a psychophysiological discipline which uses a knowledge of biomechanics and anthropometrics to identify any physical influencing factors that are putting your employees at risk

There are significant benefits of ergonomic chair design and intervention, in relation to your bottom line and employee well-being, which includes:

  • Fewer incidence of Back Pain and therefore lower associated costs, by as much as 64%
  • Reduced Severity of MSK’s and therefore reducing lost workdays by up to 80%
  • Reducing employee turnover by up to 56%
  • Reducing Absenteeism by up to  63%

*source: Goggins et al, 2008, Larson & Wick, 2012)

So it is not so much as whether you can afford to do an Ergonomic Workstation assessment, but whether you can afford not to.

BACK PAIN and MSK’s (musculoskeletal disorders) ARE A GROWING PROBLEM

Most MSK’s are progressive and multi-causal.   Even if you don’t have a problem today, there is no guarantee you won’t tomorrow. That slouch you adopt, which often leaves you with a dull backache, well damage slowly builds up until your back ‘goes’ and you have no choice but to sort it out.
The slow take over of technology in all our lives is now blurring the work/home life boundaries.  No one has been prepared for the resulting increased risk of MSK injury and stress this has created.   And no one knows the full effect yet on our bodies, as it often takes many years of exposure before it starts to produce symptoms.

An ergonomic Workstation Assessment will identify and reduce any design risks in the workplace that exacerbate MSK’s.   In this way, it can greatly ease the pain and discomfort of all types of back pain and the distress this causes.   It will also prevent postural related conditions from occurring. Unfortunately, MSK’s aren’t rare.   A systematic study* found that lower back pain caused more disability than any other condition, and affects nearly 1 in 10 people.  It becomes more common as we age.  In fact, in my experience, I often see at least 1 in 4 people struggling in a large office.    It can be extremely debilitating and emotionally distressing.

So in addition to complying with the law (HSE 1992 DSE Act), you will also be creating a safer and more pleasant working environment. There is a clear link between good musculoskeletal health and mental health and wellbeing.  Not only that, but you will prove you care as a company, boosting morale and encouraging employees to stay.  Everyone likes to feel looked after and appreciated and will be loyal in return for a little TLC.

Ergonomic Assessments have been shown to give a quick ROI. It can cost from as little as an hour or two of the relevant workers time, yet potentially save days or even weeks of lost time if they had to seek treatment and recover from a chronic episode. Even the mildest muscle spasm can require a day or two off work to recover.

A large number of our clients work in finance and law, working long days at their computer.  By the time we see them, they have often been struggling for 10+ years but unaware that simple adjustments and changes in behaviour can have significant benefits and stop the cycle of pain. Recovery requires a positive approach with clear signposting and tools to assist a full recovery and prevent long-term disability.  If quickly addressed, it will prevent absences.  Too often, people get caught in a confused loop of pain, not knowing how to resolve it. Being multi-causal requires a multi-faceted approach so it is a case of addressing all of these to maximise recovery, including addressing stress, nutrition, exercise and posture.

Corrigo provides bespoke assessments as changing habits of a lifetime needs an individual and positive approach! They therefore include

  • Getting an understanding of an individual’s past history of back pain
  • Taking a detailed look at their current set up and identifying underlying causes for the above, both in the office and other outside influencing factors, using proven ergonomic tools to identify areas of risk
  • Making tailored adjustments to existing layout and chair to maximise comfort levels and comply with and exceed HSE guidelines.  Detailed recommendations are made if additional changes are required. One size does not fit all.
  • Identifying any other steps they may need to take to assist a full recovery such as physiotherapy visits
  • Educating them on how to ensure they look after their posture and back for the future.
  • Positive messages and a personalised, caring and sensitive approach provided with a smile!  (Maximising an individuals recovery is the reason we get up in the morning).
  • Expert Sourcing of additional equipment if needed, within your budget
  • Advise on further holistic steps to wellbeing.

All our Assessors have degree in ergonomics or higher and 10+ years experience.  I am in fact one of a few ergonomists who has a Masters in Health Ergonomics and one of only 11 registered technical specialists at the Chartered Institute of Health and Ergonomics and trains every assessor to this high standard.

Are you an SME OR LARGE COMPANY?

Whatever your company size We have a choice of options to suit your budget and requirements according to the number of employees you have:

  • Quick check of your whole team, identifying any who may need more in-depth support
  • In-depth assessments for key individuals or group assessments
  • Workshops
  • Home worker visits
  • Provision of educational material

In fact we have a SPECIAL OFFER

We are currently offering a free visit to assess your requirements and to create a bespoke package that suits your budget. This can include a quick review of your current systems in place.

CLIENT CASE STUDY

Website Designer, Tom was suffering from long-term back issues and had been diagnosed with a bulging disc.   His physiotherapist had always remarked on his bad posture but he didn’t know how to correct this himself and was too busy anyway to think about it.  He had repeatedly been told to sit up by his colleagues and in-house assessor but he didn’t see why this would help at all.  He therefore found he was constantly going back to the physiotherapist, getting a bit better, but then his back issues worsening whenever he worked long hours.  He felt as though any physiotherapy was then being undone when he went back to work.  The assessment showed that a few key adjustments were needed to enable him to sit up with his back supported, which were made then and there.

He was also given a full education on why good posture is so important and why particular changes will be so beneficial for his particular condition and pain issues.   His back has now vastly improved and he no longer feels he needs to look at back surgery.  In addition, he was reminded to always keep up with his physiotherapist’s exercises and to take regular breaks from sitting.  He now never works on his laptop without the key additional accessories either!

So you see some simple but powerful changes made a huge difference. Contact us today to see how we can help you look after your employees and prevent and reduce sick leave from back pain.

Contact us TODAY to find out more, and book a free meeting at info@corrigo-design.com