The way an individual interacts with their environment, particularly postural habits and movement patterns, has a huge impact on their physical health. Regardless of the quality and cost of the office furniture and computer accessories, without the appropriate use, employees are at risk. Many employers take advice and purchase top of the line chairs and desks, believing that by doing so, they have ensured the safety and comfort of their staff. In my experience, this is rarely the case. The reason being, most people are unaware of how to sit and how to set up their work space in such a way that they minimise risk of repetitive strain and maximise comfort. Even when employees have watched an on-line instruction video, their actual practice is less than ideal.
The best way to avoid this risk and to ensure your valued employees are working safely and efficiently is to provide education and one to one support. As a physiotherapist with specialist occupational health training and years of experience treating work-related injuries in clinic, I know first-hand how valuable a work based assessment can be. I provide education to the team to ensure they understand the anatomical and physiological reasons behind the correct postures. It is very rewarding to help an individual make minor adjustments and reap major rewards regarding comfort and safety.
Workplace wellness is all about promoting activities and organisational policies with the aim to support healthy behaviour in the work place, reduce risk and improve health outcomes. A small investment in your employees’ health will reap great rewards. Studies show that for every £1 spent supporting occupational health, there is a £3 return on investment.