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The scientific benefits of ergonomics

Frequently our clients ask us to list the benefits of ergonomics at work, preferably with facts and numbers. We usually start by giving them anecdotal evidence based upon experiences with previous clients. But when we notice that they want to hear more, we will take them through some influential ergonomics research reports.

Source: “Office ergonomics training and a sit-stand workstation: Effects on musculoskeletal and visual symptons and performance of office workers”, Michelle Robertson, Vincent Criello and Angela Garabet

In this blog I will share some scientific evidence that ergonomic workplace intervention can significantly reduce work related musculoskeletal disorder of upper back and neck and mimimizes visual discomfort like blurriness or difficulty in focusing.

The study that is summarized here was conducted in 2010 by Michelle Robertson, Vincent Criello and Angela Garabet. Their article called was published in Applied Ergonomics. We will save you the 13 pages of analysis and will give you our summary:

Twenty-two customer service representatives were randomly assigned to two different groups of 11 people each. Group A received extensive training in ergonomics and was explicitly shown how to use their sit-stand adjustable workstations. Group B did not receive any ergonomics training and did not learn how to use their sit-stand adjustable workstation. Both groups were asked to perform tasks that were heavily monitored for accuracy. Every day all representatives had to fill out a survey to indicate any pains in their necks or lower backs and to signal visual discomfort.

After 15 days the researchers concluded the following:

  1. Group A had maintained their knowledge about the importance of ergonomics and a good work posture over time
  2. Group A had reported a significant lower number of neck and back pain than Group B. You can see this in the image that comes with this blog.
  3. Group A had reported very limited visual discomfort, whereas Group B regularly reported blurriness or difficulty focusing
  4. As they had not received any instruction on how to use their sit-stand adjustable working station, NONE of the members of Group B had tried working in a standing position
  5. The researchers reported that Group A had performed their job with a higher level of accuracy than Group B

Otherwise please contact us and we are happy to take you through this research and our experiences in detail.