Ergonomics: It Matters in the Workplace

Ergonomics: It Matters in the Workplace

Illustrated by Taylor Susewitz, Reseat

The first time I heard of the term “ergonomics” was in my second year of college. It was most likely a Tuesday at “Zoom University.” Amidst the awkward silences that come with teaching on Zoom, my introductory psychology professor delivered his lecture and mentioned the term in explaining an experiment of sorts. I’ll go ahead and reiterate his exact words:

                  “When the item you’re using has your best interest in mind.”

Now, obviously, this is a pretty watered-down definition, if a definition at all. It personifies the item, forcing you to make some unclear inferences. To polish this definition in the context of psychology, ergonomics implies that the designer is taking into account your limitations and capabilities in devising the piece. The design of the product is contributing to your efficiency and productivity as a user. We might think of a pen designed with some extra cushion, allowing you to write novels upon novels. Okay, maybe not novels, but short stories perhaps?

How does ergonomics relate specifically to you though? Well, it relates to all of us. Its presence is a substantial element of what makes an office space functional, or any space for that matter. It helps us achieve maximum productivity.

Let’s dive into a more formal definition of ergonomics, shall we?

According to the ol’ reliable Google search, ergonomics is considered to be, “the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment.” In specific relation to the workplace, however, ergonomics refers to the science of designing the workplace.

Now that’s more up our alley. This is where the designer must remain mindful of the nature of human beings. They might have to ask themselves what we are physically capable of achieving given a set amount of time. Based on that answer, the product’s design is born.

So why does it exist as a science and how is this contributing to our health?

Well, the consequences of not valuing ergonomically-functional spaces can take quite a toll on the user, both mentally and physically. Yes, physically.

When we consume products that do not coordinate with the natural, physical capabilities or limitations of our bodies, we can experience some pretty severe consequences. This involves Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSIs), musculoskeletal issues, various illnesses, and lack of determination. Not only are you putting yourself at risk of losing your ability to physiologically and mentally function, but you run the risk of some hefty treatment bills. That being said, we hope you value ergonomically-rooted products that keep your mental and physical health in mind!

  Here are just a few some of our favorite products that reflect this notion:

Humanscale Freedom Chair

This is another prime example of an ergonomically efficient product! This Humanscale Freedom Chair with a headrest is a fantastic option for those who don’t want to constantly be wondering if their sitting position is taking a toll on their body or not. It lowers the risk of long-term injuries by cradling your body, presenting you with synchronously adjustable armrests, and including a thoughtfully-positioned headrest. The chair promotes your productivity and comfort by supporting your body’s needs, giving you one less thing to worry about!

This Steelcase Sit-to-Stand desk meets the needs of your positioning preferences! If you feel like you need to stand, the desk will accommodate. Using the functions of this desk promotes healthy blood flow, which helps keep your mind and body sharp as a tack!

Whether it be for yourself or an entire team of people, we truly hope you look out for and cherish ergonomics-oriented products as much as we do. They’ll save you some long term trouble, trust us!

Steelcase Sit-to-Stand Desk