Over the past few years, there has been a steady shift in consciousness to improved health and wellbeing. People are making better decisions, at home and in the office, to take charge of their health.
At Interstuhl, this has become a hot topic, so much so that the team recently chatted to occupational physician Dr. med. univ. Irmgard Reisinger on the subject of ergonomics in the workplace. This is what they had to say…
How important is ergonomics in the workplace?
Ergonomic workplace design is an important part of preventive occupational safety; on the one hand it promotes the efficient and, ideally, fault-free execution of tasks and on the other – and this is really the crucial part for consultation on ergonomics – it promotes the health and safety of workers. In workplaces that have been optimally designed on the basis of ergonomic principles, people are supported such that they can work comfortably, even for an extended period of time, without running the risk of developing functional or morphological disorders.
What should be considered when designing a workplace?
It is much harder to restructure a workplace according to ergonomic principles because the people working there are experiencing issues such as muscle tension, pain in the locomotor system or supporting apparatus, tenosynovitis, headaches, rapid fatigue or dizziness, than to design an ergonomic workplace from scratch. When doing this, it is not only work processes that need to be considered, but also lighting and special conditions, and especially the varying physical requirements and individual needs each worker may have.
It is a lot more effective to involve specialists and, if possible, those who will work in the workplace in question in future in the planning stage to pre-emptively confront potential complaints and problems. If some workers are already suffering from health problems, specially coordinated ergonomic adaptations can not only help to reduce symptoms, but in many cases also represent important components for an effective therapy.
What is the significance of the office swivel chair in everyday work life?
The relevance of ergonomic considerations when equipping an office workplace, especially concerning the office swivel chair, cannot be emphasised enough. For many workers, office work requires hours of sitting in front of a computer. In this situation, the health problems resulting from poor sitting start to build up. In particular, it is the consistently rigid sitting position maintained over a long period which creates a high risk of contracting a number of health issues. The Interstuhl locomotor system especially, which is adapted to deal with a wide variety of stresses, needs to be optimally supported during long periods of sitting to prevent tension, tiredness or infections as well as the resulting pain and functional restrictions.
What minimum level of equipment should an office swivel chair have to offer in order to be beneficial to your health?
It must be possible for the office swivel chair to be customised for the user in terms of the size and inclination of the seat, lumbar support, the height, resistance and adjustability of the backrest and armrests and, of course, the height of the chair in general. All these functions should be adjustable in as dynamic a way as possible.
The most ideally equipped, most appealing and most expensive office chair can still have an adverse effect on the user if it does not correspond with their individual needs or if it has been incorrectly set up. It is recommendable to take a good amount of time to select and adjust the chair and potentially to consult experts, as problems often do not arise until after a certain latency period, which is why incorrect sitting is usually spotted too late. Primary prevention is also the aim at this stage.
Find a superior range of office chairs now available from Interstuhl and Geo Cloud. Geo Cloud’s core business has been ergonomic chair design and manufacturing to provide the best possible support. It is an exciting new era in office design and workplace wellbeing.
Contact: Geo Cloud.