Ergonomics is often one of the most overlooked health concerns within the office. While there are OH&S regulations for lifting, moving heavy objects, and safety when working with chemicals and electricity, and there are guidelines for how long a person should be “sedentary” (i.e sitting), there are no formal governance requirements for the chairs that people use, or their computer equipment.
Sitting for long periods of time day in, day out, has been associated with repetitive strain injury, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, chronic pain and metabolic syndromes (heart disease, obesity and high blood pressure). Musculoskeletal conditions costs $4.8 billion, and back pain costs $2.8 billion in Australia per year. This can be a serious cost to both businesses and the economy, and can also cause deep levels of dissatisfaction in working conditions and lifestyle.
Poor ergonomics is, by stealth, one of the greatest productivity costs in Australia, and IT has a big role to play in helping to address it.
Consider the eyes too
Staring at the wrong screen all day long can cause issues for two reasons:
- It can force the head into a position that causes strain, tiredness, and potentially causes damage to the neck muscles. It can also lead to poor posture habits in the long term.
- A poor quality monitor can also cause eye strain.
The expectation for professionals to sit in front of screens for long periods of time – whether working from the office or remotely – does not appear to be wanning, despite the health issues being well-known. So, with the needs of professionals in mind, Samsung has worked hard to develop a business monitor range to help promote healthier working habits.
Firstly, Samsung’s entire range of business monitors feature VESA mount compatibility, and a variety of tilt, swivel, and pivot control points designed to give the user fine levels of control for just about any environment. This is important because modern wisdom suggests that people should vary how they work through the day. In recent years, standing desks have become popular, because they are proven to improve blood pressure and reduce lower back pain. At the same time, standing at a desk all day can cause new problems, such as foot pain.
So, most office workers are encouraged to alternate between sitting and standing positions throughout the day now. However, shifting between sitting and standing reorients the body and requires fine control of the monitor to help maintain a comfortable head and neck position each time. This is what the VESA mount compatibility facilitates.
Meanwhile, the business monitors have also all been given TÜV certification for intelligent eye care. TÜV Rheinland is one of the world’s leading testing service providers, and it tests displays against the ISO 9241-307 standard to ensure that they reduce annoying reflections, are designed to safeguard image quality from different perspectives, facilitate adjustable blue light content and helps to ensure displays are flicker-free.
With as many as 90 per cent of digital device users experiencing the symptoms of digital eye strain, investing in monitors that are proven to minimise the strain on the eyes is a quick pathway in ensuring that the majority of the workforce are comfortable while at work.
The best practices while using a monitor
Of course, technology can only be part of the solution, and with ergonomics, best practices really need to be built into workplace policy and education to help protect the employees. With regards to monitors and computers, employers should complement the investment in ergonomic equipment by encouraging their employees to:
- Keep the monitor at a good distance. Larger monitors are actually good for this as they encourage the employee to position themselves further away to have a good view of the whole screen.
- Take quick and regular breaks to move away from the screen for a short time. This could be a quick coffee run or even a moment to step away from the desk and stretch out. It’s a good idea to leave the mobile behind when doing that, so that they avoid the temptation to look at a screen at all.
- Adopt a neutral posture. If sitting make sure to use the backrest, rather than hunch over forwards. If standing, be mindful to split the weight between both feet to distribute the weight evenly.
By looking after the ergonomics at a workplace, the organisation will enjoy better productivity and a more positive workforce. At a time where skill shortages are severe, it’s more important than ever to make sure that employees are healthy, well looked after, and happy in their jobs.
To learn more about the Samsung business monitor line, and its ergonomic benefits, click here: https://www.samsung.com/au/business/monitors/