Ensuring employee wellness in the workplace is increasingly important for employers. To achieve this goal, employers must provide relevant employee training, a stimulating work environment and access to the right equipment. Certain work station adjustments can also improve well-being whether you work seated in an office or in a factory, where manual work in difficult postures is often required.
Different types of equipment, such as adjustable tables, have a positive impact in the workplace. Let’s see how using these tables optimizes both health and productivity.
Office work and adjustable tables
Certain statistics show that nearly 30% of people aged 12 and up spend most of their days sitting both at home and at work. Working seated may not seem physically demanding, but maintaining this posture over long periods of time leads to fatigue. Unlike tasks requiring muscular effort (construction workers, warehouse workers, etc.), remaining seated requires a static contraction of the muscles in the neck, shoulders and trunk. This leads to compression of the blood vessels which hampers blood circulation. Blood fuels the muscles, thus poor circulation leads to fatigue and an increased risk of injury over time.
An adjustable table allows the worker to stand every so often. It also ensures easy access to the computer and other equipment. It is therefore possible to use the keyboard, mouse and phone while maintaining a good posture. Moreover, it is easier to reach for objects when standing. This prevents excessive stretching which often causes discomfort in the shoulders and back area.
Manual work and adjustable tables
Adjusting a workstation or equipment according to each worker’s specific morphology is challenging. In fact, difficult postures are often required when using certain tools on equipment and pieces of different sizes. This is demanding on the back, shoulders, wrists and neck.
Adjusting the height of work surfaces facilitates both precision work and tasks requiring muscular effort of the upper limbs. An adjustable table promotes a comfortable work posture no matter the size of the worker. For example, working with a tool on a fixed work surface requires a different posture for a 160 cm tall worker than a 180 cm worker. The taller worker must bend at the trunk to use the tool and the shorter worker must raise his shoulders. Using an adjustable table allows optimal posture of the trunk, neck and shoulders according to different tasks.
Adjustable tables offer many possibilities
Adjustable tables come in different sizes and shapes according to preferences and available space. Options include rectangular, « U » shaped or « L » shaped for larger work surfaces. The surface finish is also adaptable according to different work environments (office, factory, etc.). Finally, different mechanisms are available to adjust height and size. Electronic mechanisms are controlled with a button and manual mechanisms with a crank or handle. Regardless of the mechanism, height adjustment is easy and fast.
Costs vs. benefits of using an adjustable table
Purchasing new equipment is costly; it is normal to think twice about the necessity of it. Keep in mind though, that optimal use of this equipment reduces the risk of repetitive strain injury.
In the office, an adjustable table allows users to alternate between sitting and standing. Remaining in a static posture is difficult and uncomfortable. Inactivity, long periods in a seated position for instance, affects alertness and concentration. Alternating between sitting and standing boosts productivity, improves blood circulation and increases worker energy consumption.
The impact of prolonged sitting should not be neglected. Inactivity at work leads to a number of health problems. Among them are obesity, diabetes, hypertension and even depression. Increasing activity at work reduces physical and psychological health problems.
Investing in adjustable tables can be expensive, especially if many work stations require them. However, these tables have a positive impact on worker well-being, health and productivity. In short, this type of investment clearly improves workplace efficiency!
For more information on adjustable tables and their usefulness in your work sector, feel free to contact an expert!