As health and safety in the workplace has improved and evolved over recent decades, posture and ergonomic support have become an increasing focus. Companies have strict health and safety rules and regulations they legally must follow to protect their employees. We all know that jobs that require physical labour and moving heavy objects present a risk of injury to employees not using the correct posture. However, there is also the less obvious risk in our modern workplaces of office and desk-based work and how it can wreak havoc on our posture in the long term. If you would like to learn more about how the posture and ergonomic support market is adapting to our modern-day society, we have put together the following post.
What Is Ergonomics?
Many of us are unaware of the stresses we are placing on our bodies from our modern lifestyles. We are sitting down more than ever, stretching our wrists to type, and straining to look at screens. Ergonomics (also sometimes known as human engineering or biotechnology) is the science of adapting our living and workplaces to best provide physical health, comfort, and support. Ergonomically designed furniture can cover a range of uses- from specially designed chairs for the elderly to office furniture and accessories. It not only helps us with reducing strains and pains on multiple areas of our body- but can also help boost our productivity in the workplace.
How The Covid-19 Pandemic And Working From Home Have Affected The Posture And Ergonomics Market
Throughout the pandemic, many of us have had to work from home and there has since been a surge in the sales of posture correcting equipment. For example, the back brace has become incredibly popular for those sitting at desks. Working from a desk is not naturally good for our posture anyway, but with the added factor of working within our own homes rather than a more formal work environment, it is easier for us to forget to use the correct posture. If we’re in a relaxed environment, we tend to slouch, lean back in our chairs, and hunch our shoulders. The increased strain on our back, shoulders and spine means remote working employees are feeling the effects of bad posture, and are having to invest in their ergonomic support. The market is adapting by creating new and improved posture and ergonomic support that is tailored to be used when working from home.
Technology And Its Influence On Changing Ergonomic Product Design
The posture and ergonomic market is an increasingly fast-growing area of medical device design. Posture support companies are constantly advancing the technology they are using when designing and developing medical devices. Many of us spend hours a day on our phones, so the influence of smartphones and apps in our lifestyles is even being incorporated into recent medical technology. Read on to discover some of the options for ergonomic support technology currently available.
Ergonomically Designed Chairs
Ergonomically designed chairs support the areas of your body affected by sitting down for prolonged periods. It is likely that at some point you have experienced that irritating twinge in your neck or back after a long day sitting down. Or you may have an elderly relative that struggles with back pain and getting up from a sofa. The science of ergonomics is becoming an increasingly important design feature to consider for companies creating seating. Office chairs that support posture are becoming very popular in workplaces and for those working from home. The S-shaped design of ergonomic office chairs helps to support the natural shape of our spine and reduce strain. Similarly, ergonomic chairs specifically designed for the elderly and obese feature back and neck support, as well as electronic rising and declining to reduce the risk of injury from trying to stand up.
Cushions And Wearable Devices
Products such as smart chair cushions that can link up to your phone are available, providing data on sitting habits, posture, and potential strains on your body. Wearable devices are becoming increasingly popular as a way for us to correct our posture, both sitting and standing, offering real-time feedback on how we need to improve our posture. When designing an ergonomic product, companies must consider how best it will fit the lifestyle of the customer.
As well as the more obvious benefit of burning more calories, standing also offers us other health benefits. When sat down we are placing static strain on our spine, which can be relieved by standing and stretching. Many companies are beginning to recognise the benefits of standing rather than sitting whilst working, as we have seen both for remote working and in offices, there is a growing popularity for standing desks.
However you choose to incorporate ergonomics into your lifestyle, it can be hugely beneficial for your comfort and health in both the short and long term.