By Stephanie Vozza
Did you ever consider that the products you're ordering could be causing workers harm? According to the Society for Human Resource Management, one of the most common office hazards is poor workstation ergonomics. But considering ergonomic options for some of the most common office products could correct awkward posture and lessen the amount of strength needed to do a job, making movement easier. They also help speed up tasks, improving productivity.
You've probably seen ergonomic chairs that provide lumbar support and encourage good posture, and ergonomic desks that reduce back and shoulder pain by keeping equipment in the right position, but there are plenty of other specially designed products that can increase the efficiency and safety of your employees. Here are eight ergonomic products to put on your radar that can help your employees do their jobs.
How many hours a day are your hands on your keyboard? Ergonomic keyboards are designed to minimize muscle strain on hands and forearms that can cause injuries due to repetitive tasks. They're often designed in a split V shape that accommodates the natural shape and placement of right and left hands. An ergonomic keyboard not only reduces risk of injury, but it also helps employees type faster.
A traditional, non-ergonomic mouse puts unnecessary stress on the forearm, as the employee has to twist their hand to use it. An ergonomic mouse is designed to fit in natural hand positions, reducing muscle strain that can cause injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis and tendinitis. (Need proof? Try a non-ergonomic one right before using an ergonomic mouse and you'll feel the difference.)
3. Mouse Pad
In addition to an ergonomic mouse, using an ergonomic mouse pad helps reduce strain and pinching on the hand and arm muscles by providing support as the employee uses their mouse. A wrist rest on the mouse pad helps hold the hand and wrist in the proper position for efficient muscle movement.
4. Monitor Stands
Have you ever left work with a stiff neck? An ergonomic monitor stand allows employees to adjust the height of the monitor to match their line of sight and preferred view area. The stand reduces strain on the employee's head and neck posture; a monitor that is too low or high can cause neck aches.
5. Monitor Glare Filters
Most of us spend the majority of our days looking at a computer monitor. And traditional computer monitors can cause eyestrain after extended use. Using a glare filter, however, reduces the harshness of the light and allows employees to look at their screens for longer periods of time without developing headaches.
6. Document Stands
Here's a simple tip. Instead of placing documents flat on the surface of the desk forcing you to arch your neck, use an ergonomic document stand to hold them next to your monitor. This reduces neck and eyestrain, especially in a job that requires data entry from hard copies.
7. Chair Cushions
Sitting in an office chair puts pressure on your back, which can cause backaches. An ergonomic seat cushion improves posture, reducing the stress on muscles. It also supports your tailbone, preventing common injuries, and keeps blood flowing through your legs to ward off poor circulation.
8. Laptop Stands
Working on a laptop without a separate monitor can put strain on the back, neck and posture. But a laptop stand puts the screen at a position that keeps the user's back straight. The tilted laptop keyboard is also less stressful to the wrists, which helps employees type faster without strain.
This information should help inform your product buying decisions going forward. To determine the best ergonomic products for your workplace, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration offers a checklist that can help you evaluate your environment. Follow its guidelines to keep employees safe. When you invest in ergonomic products, you send a message to your employees that you care about their health.