Furniture: No One Size Fits All
If the science of ergonomics has taught us one thing, it’s that most furniture is not “one size fits all”. Since no two people share the same physique, ergonomics specialists have designed an entire line of furniture which can be adjusted and tailor-fit to each user’s unique makeup. Designed to maximize comfort and support the body in all the right places, studies confirm that ergonomic furniture increases workers’ satisfaction, decreases workers’ back pain and fatigue, improves moral, boosts productivity, and wards off a whole host of injuries associated with prolonged sitting, poor body posture, and awkward positioning on the job.
Cost-Justifying Ergonomic Expenditure
But when it comes to investing in possibly hundreds of adjustable workstations, ergonomic chairs, and height-adjustable desks, is it really worth all the expense? As a business owner, what is the projected return on investment (ROI) and can you really cost-justify the expenditure on ergonomic furniture? The answer, according to research, is a resounding “yes.”
Studies repeatedly confirm that business owners who “go ergo” not only enjoy a robust and positive ROI, but that most ergonomic investments have a payback period of one to three years or less. Furthermore, cost-benefit analyses demonstrate that investing in ergonomic equipment actually boosts profitability.
Ergonomics Each Day Keeps the Doctor Away
So what is it about user-adjustable furniture that makes them such a savvy business decision? How does the net benefit and payback from ergonomic solutions come about? In essence, ergonomics developed as a tool to prevent common workplace injuries, especially those associated with prolonged sitting, poor sitting posture, awkward or strained body positioning, and repetitive motions. As the old adage says: An ounce of prevention is worth years of good health!
The fact is that over 50% of the working population spends eight hours or more sitting behind a desk or glued to a computer screen, often with few breaks, even for lunch. This means hours upon hours of unnatural and unhealthy sedentary activity day in and day out. In turn, prolonged periods of sitting (or standing) wreak havoc on the human body, giving rise to conditions such as:
Stiff muscles and joints
Upper and lower back pain
Neck and eye strain
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSS)
Cumulative stress disorders (CSD) (including carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, and more)
Moreover – and most importantly for business owners – work-related MSS and CSD are the number one cause of missed days at work and are responsible for costly workers’ compensation claims and hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of rehabilitative and treatment expenses.
The Net Benefit of Ergonomic Investment
As an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure that your employees’ workplace meets regulatory requirements and that you provide a safe and healthy work environment. It is also your duty to identify risk factors and take appropriate action to ensure your employees’ safety. The good news is that when it comes to health of your employees –and your business – ergonomic equipment provides a win-win solution for all.
Citing one of many research studies in the field, a university-wide office ergonomics program evaluated the effectiveness of ergonomic investment. The goals of the research were to evaluate if office-related injuries, lost time from office-related injuries and illnesses, and workers’ compensation claims would decrease after the implementation of an office ergonomics program. The results indicated that over the 13-year period, the incidence of MSS and CST decreased by 53%, total days away decreased by 41%, office-related carpal tunnel syndrome decreased by almost 50%, and that equipment costs were indeed offset by a decrease in workers’ compensation claims paid.
Wholesale Ergonomic Furniture
Whether you run a small or large organization or business, the evidence clearly cost-justifies an investment in ergonomics. Nowadays you can save money by buying in bulk and purchasing wholesale ergonomic office equipment, which is available in many fashionable styles, colors, and cutting-edge designs. Finally, work-adjustable work surfaces are also ideal for flexible work arrangements and enable cost-effective desk sharing.
Karen Burke is the President and Founder of Kare Products. Karen has over 30 years of expertise creating ergonomic furniture that help avoid injury and promotes health for all types of discomfort and body sizes.