Translated from the original Greek, "ergonomics" means “the study of work.” In the day-to-day reality of an office or classroom, however, it refers to safe, healthy and productive office furniture and fixtures for students and workers. The consequences of poor ergonomics in a business or educational environment are substantial. Workplace illness and injuries due to ergonomic issues represent a major loss of productivity. They also result in excessive sick pay and may even boost insurance rates. Worker’s compensation claims are a frequent consequence of ergonomic issues, as well.
Office furniture ergonomics are usually related to workstation configuration that determines how workers must sit, in what posture and for how long. Ambient conditions in the work area including light and temperature are also factors. How the job gets done, including what kind of movements are made, how balanced and congruous those motions are with musculoskeletal health and whether the movements are overly repetitive are also part of the ergonomic equation.
A good example of faulty ergonomics is the typical orientation of a computer monitor to the user. Staring straight out at a screen at eye level is an unnatural reading position. It triggers muscle tension, eye strain and stress. In addition, the screen blocks the frontal line of sight, often causing users to lean to one side or another to see or speak to others.
Nova Solutions’ Downview workstation addresses these issues by integrating the computer monitor below the work surface in a more ergonomically efficient position. Beneath a tinted plate of tempered glass, the monitor is angled at 35 degrees, the conventional angle for comfortably reading a book. This reduces neck strain and eye fatigue. It also removes the monitor as an obstacle to a clear line of sight to the front and sides of the desk. When the monitor’s not being viewed, the heavy plate glass covering the monitor serves as a work surface for writing or other desk functions.
Nova Solutions manufactures technology and office furniture to make the office or classroom work for you. Contact us for more information about maintaining healthy office ergonomics in your workplace.