Ergonomics is a field of study that attempts to understand the relationship between an individual’s body and the work that he or she performs. To those who study ergonomics, or ergonomists, the physical work environment should be designed to optimize employees’ well-being, safety, and productivity. The goal of the ergonomist is to assess how job tasks and the work environment place stresses on the body, and to attempt to redress any imbalance in that environment.
If the workplace is not ergonomically suited to the human body and the movements workers must perform, they may develop physical maladies ranging from vision problems to musculoskeletal disorders. For example, experts have discovered that repetitive movements, furniture and workstations that force people into certain postures, materials handling procedures, and workplace layouts can harm workers’ physical health. Ergonomics is an important consideration both for workplaces where people perform physical labor, and for offices where employees are seated at desks. For those who work with computers, poor lighting, monitor-eye distance, monitor height, and glare can negatively affect their health and job performance.
As employers are becoming more mindful of these considerations, they have increasingly turned to ergonomic office furniture providers, such as AFC Industries, to provide adjustable work stations, foot rests, ambient lighting, and other key equipment to build healthy workplaces.