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The Debate Continues: Ergonomic Furniture

Countless blogs and articles have been written on the subject of ergonomics and ergonomic office furniture for the reason of health. It is without a doubt that in the last 2 decades the amount of work related illnesses in the office is on the increase. This is mainly due to the fact that we are working more and more hours in front of the computer and combined with this, we are all under increasing pressure with our jobs and job security. There are many arguments for implementing ergonomic office furniture such as ergonomic swivel chairs and ergonomic wave desks, but what about the argument against?

Karin Griffiths the author of a new study into computer work and musculoskeletal symptoms says: "Workstation design has come a long way since the '80s and they are good changes," said Dr Griffiths, from the faculty of health science at the University of Sydney. What I also found was the proportion of people reporting symptoms has not changed much despite this, which means workstation design is not enough to keep up with health issues that arise from paperless,

IT-dominated offices." A survey was undertaken using 1000 workers across 6 government departments and the results were interesting however somewhat predictable. Firstly the department that spent the most time at their office desk working on their computer or seated in their office chair reported the highest level of work related problems. The survey also concluded that 85% of people that spent more than 8 hours a day seated in their office chair complained about neck pain, 74% had shoulder pains and 70% reported lower back pain. Griffiths finally adds "The problem is nearly everything can be done at the desk now - communication, library research, file retrieval, even meetings. It doesn't matter how good the chair is, it is not going to address the health problem of what some researchers are calling 'chair disease'.

Posted by: Office Reality

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