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Why is Ergonomics Important

Summary: Learning 'why is ergonomics important', about computer desk ergonomics improves your overall health, prevents musculoskeletal disorders etc. Companies can make ergonomic risk assessments to improve productivity and reduce claims. See more examples of ergonomics below.

You might ask, Why is Ergonomics Important?

Firstly, for your own overall health. Most of us did not have our own personal computer desktop or laptop until about a decade ago or so. While we were all rejoicing at the affordability of each having our own computer workstation, most of us don't realize the harmful effects of the long hours of computer use...until many years later.

By not applying Computer Desk Ergonomics, or rather, being in ignorance of Ergonomics, we accelerate all our problems with our body, that people in their old age are now battling hard against. In short, we'll get old before our time.

Because the effects are not immediate, or very slight initially which we tend to ignore, we assume our neck pains, backaches, blurry vision and poor posture is our own fault for not exercising enough, being lazy, dreading work or even old age.

By being aware and applying your knowledge of ergonomics has its benefits. You will be in better shape and health, become more effective and find working a more pleasant and enjoyable experience.

Why is Ergonomics Important?

Because prevent is better than cure.

Do you notice your strain? Do you notice how you have been walking with a stooped posture and forward head? Do you realize that you've been sleeping face down because that's your body's way of 'resting' or coping with a strained back?

Do you know that when you sit, your back feels at least 2-3 times your body weight? Do you know that chairs are a 'modern' invention? That our bodies weren't designed to sit down all day. Our eyes weren't designed to stare at a light box.

why is ergonomics important

Our wrists are not designed to twist when we mouse alot or type with our arms in a wide 'L' shape.

Why do we sit the way we sit at our computer desks?

We think it's our fault...our lack of discipline. Actually, it is because the computer workstation was not designed to FIT US. We slouch, bend, push our neck forward and look closely at the screen...simply because it is more comfortable that way.

Sure our bodies are flexible and resistant, but if we do this day in and day out, we will develop eye strain and musculoskeletal disorders.

We cannot ignore ergonomics without suffering consequences.

The Importance of Ergonomics in the Workplace

For those who are managers or have the task of outfitting computer workstations for their company, you should also know that Ergonomics play a direct role in increased productivity. Ergonomic workstations improves concentrations of employees and hence a reduction in sick time. You'll also save on their compensation claims.

According to, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has identified that Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs) are the single largest job-related injury and illness problems in the USA.

  • Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders account for 34% of all reported illnesses and injuries, totally 626,000 days away from work.

  • Carpal Tunnel Disorders are the single most common injury in the workplace.

    Why is Ergonomics Important For Your Bottom Line?

    Thus the lack of Ergonomics in the workplace leads to these costs:

  • How much you spend on your employees' long term health and safety
  • How much you spend on boosting employees' and company morale
  • Turnover
  • Absenteeism
  • Productivity
  • Product quality (how much do mistakes cost?)
  • Lawsuits
  • Compensation claims?

    See also Workplace Safety Ergonomics

    If you are confident enough, you can get by without having to use an Ergonomics Consultant. However, they are expert on making ergonomic risk assesments in your workplace. There are many out there, and some companies hire an inhouse supervisor, to make sure their employees are at their optimum when using their new ergonomic workstations. If you do hire one, be sure to check their ergonomics certification.

    Alternatively, you can enroll your employees in an ergonomics course. Their participation in ergonomic courses are often rewarding, since employees can implement what they learnt immediately.

    Examples of Ergonomics

    Where Do I Begin In Ergonomics?

    To get a better grasp of Ergonomics, your education is first.

    Most people assume that once they buy a product labelled "Ergonomic", they indeed have an ergonomic workstation.

    If you're new, start with Ergonomic Pictures. It is true that picture speak louder than a thousand words.

    Although most of the ergonomics info on this website pertains to Computer Ergonomics, we have a handy page Ergonomic Tips for Industrial Workers which relates to the industrial environment.

    We also have a write up on Industrial Ergonomics.

    There are many excellent pages on Ergonomics written on this website that I believe will be helpful to you. Have a quick browse around on the left hand side nav bar or use the search button on the top left hand corner of the page.

    Take care and be well! - Eunice (editor)

    Thank you for reading 'Why is Ergonomics Important'!

    Go back to Define Ergonomics.

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