5 Things We’re Grateful for in 2022 – Birthday Edition

It’s our birthday month at Ergonomicsdirect and we are celebrating all the amazing things we can currently be grateful for as a company. It really has been a tough last 2 years for most people, with a global pandemic that changed our world and working environment immensely.

There are of course way more than 5 things to be thankful for, but today, I thought I would stick to just the five things that came to mind as I wrote it.

Here they are:

  • The overall growth of the company – With the shift in focus to accommodate working from home/home offices due to covid, we were lucky enough to continue our business, but in a very different way than before. Remote working made ergonomics more relevant and helped us to continue assisting people to improve their health, comfort and productivity.
  • Growth of our product range – We take pride in stocking only the best quality ergonomic products and have added some wonderful new additions to our product range for 2022. We provide quality ergonomic equipment, and our passion is to help people improve their workspace in a practical and affordable manner.
Ergonomicsdirect Team - 2021
  • Growth of our team – We have been able to create full time job opportunities for three new team members since the end of last year. We’re excited to have Gene, Ralton and Nafiesha join our full-time team, and we know that they will be an integral part of our work family. We may be a small team, but we’ve always been fiercely proud of our work ethic and always ensure that our customers get only the best service.
  • New premises – In December 2021, we moved premises to Paarden Eiland, providing a bigger showroom, more office space, and an equipped warehouse to keep all our stock under one roof. We are still settling in, but feel beyond excited to be in our new home.
  • Impacting people’s lives – Not a day goes by that we don’t get clients thanking us for reducing their pain and fatigue, and for improving their everyday functioning. We feel so blessed to be able to make a difference every day. This is why we do what we do.

Different people define “gratitude” in their own way, but it’s officially defined as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”

We would like to thank our loyal customers for their ongoing support, we appreciate each and every person who has been a part of the Ergonomicsdirect journey.

Please stay safe out there.

Yours in Ergonomics
The Ergonomicsdirect Team (Piet, Jayson, Wendy, Denvor, Austin, Nafiesha, Gene & Ralton)

Benefits of Using Standing Desk Mats at Work

By Wendy van Wyk, Registered Biokineticist

Standing while working has become a popular work approach. Many offices are adopting the use of ergonomic standing desks for their employees to adopt a healthy lifestyle, encouraging them to move as they work. They have equally become a popular home office fixture, now that working from home has become the new norm for many.

Equipping the standing workstations with complementary accessories further enhances a comfortable, safe, and active work environment. Anti-fatigue mats for standing desks allow users to stand for longer with fewer aches and pains.

As the name suggests, the purpose of anti-fatigue mats is to reduce fatigue on the legs and body, which can occur when standing for a long time on a hard surface. They are placed directly underneath your desk and should be readily available to move into position when you move from seated to standing.

Anti-fatigue mats come in many different versions but have the same benefits, here are some of the benefits that standing on an anti-fatigue mat can offer.

  1. Reduce Stress on the body. Rather than standing on a hard, solid surface like tile or concrete, if a worker stands on a standing mat, extra flexibility is added, much of the stress is relieved, resulting in a less exhausting working environment.
  2. Promote Better Blood Circulation. Anti-fatigue mats reduce stress on a person’s joints and muscles which makes the blood flow more evenly and regularly throughout the feet and legs.
  3. Prevents Joint Stiffness. Stiffness can be avoided as anti-fatigue mats allow you to make minor changes to your standing position.
  4. Reduced Lower Back Pain. Anti-fatigue mats can also alleviate pressure on the spine and alleviate the strain on the muscles, thus reducing lower back pain.
  5. Reduced Foot Pressure. Anti-fatigue mats prevent foot and leg pain by softening the floor surface, making it ergonomic.
  6. Increased Productivity. Removing pain and discomfort from the workplace makes good business sense since employees will perform more productively and with greater accuracy.

Our Ergonomicsdirect team can assist in doing an ergonomic assessment of your workstation, and can then advise which solutions and products will meet your specific requirements to reduce/prevent fatigue.

We stock a selection of standing mat options, which you can find on our online store. To view/shop our range of anti-fatigue standing mats, click here

Till next time, please stay safe out there.

Yours in Ergonomics
Wendy

References:
https://ergo-plus.com/resources 
https://www.safety.duke.edu/ergonomics/ergonomic-resources 

3 Ways Ergonomics Can Improve Your Productivity

3 Ways Ergonomics Can Improve Your Productivity

Written by: Wendy van Wyk, Registered Biokineticist

Hello Ergonomic Enthusiasts, 

In these trying times, especially when working remotely, we all want to be more productive. How can ergonomics improve productivity?

The ergonomics improvement process reduces ergonomic risk factors and improves the interaction between the workplace and the worker. Done well, this process removes barriers to productivity and makes tasks easier and faster to accomplish.

Here are 3 ways that ergonomics can increase productivity:

Ergonomic Workstations Help Reduce the Risk of Injury

One of the biggest threats to productivity at the workplace is an increase in injuries, resulting in an increase in the number of employees who are absent at the workplace. A solution companies can consider is offering comfortable workstations that promote healthy postures, which in turn, help cut down strain and make work easier.

Employees Who Have Ergonomic Workstations Make Fewer Errors

Workers who work in ergonomic workstations concentrate better at what they are doing. In contrast, uncomfortable employees tend to get distracted from their work by the discomfort and end up making errors that they would have otherwise not made. 

Comfortable Workers Have More Energy, Therefore Work Better

Office ergonomics can boost employee mood and energy. Poor posture can lead to fatigue, stress, and discomfort, ultimately affecting one’s mood. By creating an environment that allows employees to succeed, they will feel more confident in their ability to perform and feel less overwhelmed. This environment can also enable employees to focus better and can motivate them to get their work done effectively and efficiently. 

ConclusionErgonomics can have a dramatic and far-reaching impact, including improving productivity. In today’s competitive business environment, it’s impossible to ignore ergonomics as a valuable and necessary process.

At Ergonomicsdirect we can assist to improve your health, comfort, and productivity in your workplace- contact us today!

Please stay safe out there.

Yours in Ergonomics 

Wendy

References:

https://www.oshaeducationcenter.com/articles/improving-ergonomics/

https://uir.unisa.ac.za/bitstream/

https://ergo-plus.com/workplace-ergonomics-benefits/

Ergonomics and the Evolution of Office Spaces

Blog - Ergonomics and the Evolution of Office Spaces

By Wendy van Wyk, Registered Biokineticist.

I did an ergonomic assessment and workplace set up for a client this week- he purchased all the recommended products for his new home office. At the end of the install, I made sure that everything was positioned properly, and he was in the best possible posture.

The next minute his phone alerted him of a notification, and to my dismay, he picked it up and immediately went into a hunched over, forward head posture to answer the message. 

It made me realise once again that our digital world has changed the way we work and the way we set up workspaces. I easily solved his problem by adding one of our amazing Ergo flex device holders to his workstation, which will position his phone better and reduce postural strain. 

Office spaces of today are much different from what they used to be. Since the dawn of the 20th century, workplaces were a lot less tech orientated – most business communication took place over landlines and in-person and documents were all hard copies. Offices have evolved from crowded spaces to shared workstations, from cubicle farms to remote and networked locations.

The way we work is constantly changing as are the tools used to carry out work. The explosion of technology in the past decades has not only provided us with new tools but has also changed the way offices look, how businesses organize themselves, and much more.

 

The coronavirus pandemic has increased our collective screen time, and that’s particularly true on mobile devices. According to a new report from mobile data and analytics firm App Annie, global consumers are now spending an average of 4.2 hours per day using apps on their smartphones, an increase of 30% from just two years prior. 

Smartphones, laptops, and 5G wireless connections mean that work is more and more something you do, and less a place you go to. As we continue to do more and more with less tech, the physical appearance of the office will be less tied to the hardware needed to carry out work.

In today’s digital world, smartphones are used for just about everything. It’s not uncommon to spend hours on social media, texting, or watching videos on your phone or tablet. 

Too much screen time affects your health in more ways than one. A condition called tech neck is a growing concern among healthcare professionals. All that time spent on digital devices is bad for your posture, your eyes, your heart, and your mood. Chronically having your neck in a forward, downward position results in headaches, neck and shoulder pain, stiffness, soreness, and more.

Mobile devices aren’t going away. If anything, they are going to continue to change the way we work, study and connect with others. At Ergonomicsdirect we can assist in setting up your workstation correctly and providing products that can position mobile devices and computers better.

Our passion is to help people improve workplace health, comfort & productivity in a practical and affordable manner. Contact me today on 066 170 0324 or wendy@ergodirect.co.za to do an ergonomics assessment, so I can advise on improving your workspace.

Till next time, stay safe out there.

Yours in Ergonomics

Wendy

 

References:

https://www.bizjournals.com/

https://www.ivyrehab.com

https://www.readersdigest.co.uk/

https://techcrunch.com/

Wrist Pain and Your Desk Set-Up

Wrist Pain and Your Desk Set-Up

By Wendy van Wyk, Registered Biokineticist

I have recently had several clients coming to me with complaints regarding wrist pain whilst working at their desks. If you work in an office job, repetitive hand and wrist movements involved in various tasks, such as typing, or mouse use can make you susceptible to wrist pain.

Office workers typically develop wrist pain after performing repetitive movements day after day in ergonomically incorrect environments.

While wrist pain can interfere with your ability to perform your responsibilities comfortably, it can also affect your productivity. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common source of wrist pain, and also a very common reason for lost days due to illnesses and injuries.

What is Carpal tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome, also called median nerve compression, is a condition that causes pain, numbness, or weakness in your hands. It happens because of pressure on your median nerve, which runs the length of your arm. Anything that irritates the nerves that run down into the wrist can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome.

This is particularly relevant to workstation ergonomics due to the fact that poor seated posture is a significant risk factor for increased stress to the median nerve.

Risk Factors in the office environment:

  • Having your chair too low in relation to the desk.
  • The wrists are cocked into extension because the keyboard is too high.
  • The wrists digging into the edge of the desk.

How Can Office Ergonomics Help To Prevent Wrist Pain?

Arranging your activity and workspace using ergonomic guidelines can help prevent wrist pain.

There are quite a few ergonomic solutions that can prevent/reduce wrist discomfort and pain. These include:

  • Ensuring correct work surface and chair height
  • Correct keyboard height
  • Adequate monitor placement
  • A wrist rest for a more neutral wrist angle (that does not put extra pressure on the wrist)
  • A mousepad to decrease “mouse drifting” and misalignment
  • Footrest to support feet (if required) which will, in turn reduce lower back strain and improve your posture
  • Sometimes, in severe cases bracing might be required

Our Ergonomicsdirect team can assist in doing an ergonomic assessment of your workstation, and can then advise which solutions and products will meet your specific requirements to reduce/prevent your wrist pain.

Till next time, please stay safe out there.

Yours in Ergonomics

Wendy

References

https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/carpal-tunnel-syndrome/

https://www.aans.org/en/Patients/Neurosurgical-Conditions-and-Treatments/Carpal-Tunnel-Syndrome

https://ergoweb.com

https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/carpal-tunnel-syndrome/

Decrease Fatigue And Increase Productivity With Office Ergonomics

Decrease Fatigue And Increase Productivity With Office Ergonomics - Blog Image

By Wendy van Wyk, Registered Biokineticist

Easter is here and the first quarter of the year has flown by terribly quickly. Something I hear people say every day is how exhausted and fatigued they already are in 2021.

Sitting in bad posture at a poorly designed workstation for hours-on-end could be hugely contributing to this fatigue. An ergonomically correct office space will help you reduce fatigue and discomfort – who doesn’t want that?

Office ergonomics is the study and modification of the office workplace to best fit it to the needs and requirements of the workers. The basic posture of each employee is considered in relation to his workstation, as well as other factors that increase fatigue (such as glare, noise and poor temperature control).

Workstations can be designed to maximize performance and reduce costs by considering both ergonomics and productivity together.

Ergonomics Increases Productivity

A well-designed workspace allows for good posture, fewer repetitive motions, better heights and reaches, less exertion, reduced awkward postures and high-force requirements, and more efficiency. Companies that invest in ergonomic equipment in their workspaces find that employees can work at a faster pace, make fewer errors, are more positive, and have higher energy levels.

Ergonomics Decreases Costs

Happier, safer, healthier employees save companies money. Production stays up because absenteeism is lower. If an employee experiences less or no discomfort or fatigue during the workday, it can reduce turnover and MSD costs, improve morale, and increase staff involvement.

Ergonomics Improves Quality

Happy, comfortable, healthy employees work harder. They aren’t as fatigued or frustrated, so they tend to do their best work. A job that is less physically taxing allows employees to work to the best of their ability as they were trained.  It’s important to be aware of one’s level of fatigue, and just as important to know that most workplace fatigue is avoidable.

At Ergonomicsdirect, we can assist in doing a proper workstation assessment for you, and then suggest modifications and products to make your workstation fit your needs.This enables maximum performance through reduction of wasted motion and unnecessary stresses.

Let’s create a safe, ergonomic space for you today, and improve your health, comfort and productivity!

Hope everyone had a great easter and I wish you all a happy and healthy April – stay safe out there.

Yours in Ergonomics

Wendy

References

https://www.sciencedirect.com

https://www.hse.gov.uk

Ergonomics For Kids During Virtual Learning

Ergonomics For Kids During Virtual Learning- New Blog

By Wendy Van WykBiokineticist & Ergonomic Assessor

Remote learning can be a pain for kids in more ways than one. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many students remain in a distance learning arrangement or a hybrid model with at least some schooling taking place from home. An ergonomically correct remote learning setup is important because it can help prevent long-term problems with their posture and help avoid discomfort.

To help parents ensure their children have the proper setup – and that their growing bodies don’t suffer unintended consequences of an at-home workstation, Ergonomicsdirect is offering their services to assist with workstation assessments and discounted ergonomic products.

If kids are sitting in a hunched-over posture, with their feet off the ground, staring at their screens without breaks, they can get neck strain, back strain, and eye strain. Poor attention or participation, becoming easily distracted, headaches or body aches are also potential side effects.

Here’s how you can help your child stay safe – ensure that they have a correct ergonomic workstation setup:
  • Ensure that they sit in a chair with back support at the dining table or a desk instead of on the couch, in bed, or on the floor which promotes poor posture.
  • Children and adults alike should maintain a neutral posture while sitting at a computer, with the spine not twisted or bent, the lower back supported and the neck straight.
  • Place the computer or tablet on a table in front of your child, instead of letting them hold the screen in their lap. The top of the screen should be at eye level.
  • Forearms and thighs should be roughly parallel to the floor, and feet should be flat and supported, not dangling.
  • Arms should rest comfortably at the sides, with wrists straight and relaxed. The work area should be well-lit with the monitor positioned at approximately arm’s length and the top part of the screen comfortably at eye level.

Children working on laptops need to raise it up to a comfortable level. Another option for achieving a neutral posture is to get a laptop stand, and an external keyboard and mouse so they can keep their wrists straight.

An adjustable ergonomic chair can help a child achieve proper positioning at a desk or table, or an alternative is to equip a regular chair to make it more comfortable for kids by using pillows to raise up the child or rolling up towels for lower-back support. Kids may also need to put their feet on a box or footrest.

Breaks are built into the normal school day as students do things like play at break time, switch classes and walk to lunch. But remote learning can be one long sedentary grind with eyes glued to the screen unless you actively plan to break up the day. Try to make sure that your kids stand up, and move around at least every 30 minutes.

For a home workstation assessment and advice on how to correct your ergonomic setup, please contact me at wendy@ergodirect.co.za or 066 170 0324.

Wendy’s Super 7 Healthy Workplace Habits for 2021

Wendy's Super 7 Healthy Workplace Habits for 2021

By Wendy van Wyk Registered Biokineticist

Happy new year from all of us at Ergonomicsdirect. We thought we would kick off 2021 with a blog about healthy workplace habits. Let’s set a trend for the year by trying these super 7 health tips:

1) Move more!

Sitting all day is a health risk. Prolonged sitting and sedentary behaviour can cause obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, increased cholesterol and poor circulation.

Invest in a standing desk to alternate sitting and standing while at work; if you can’t get a standing desk, make changes to your habits at work. Stand while on the phone, take regular breaks and walk around- walking meetings are great!

2) Talk more type less

Along with a host of other digital channels, email has an important role in communicating. These have fundamentally changed how we communicate. Expressing emotion through digital channels can be challenging at times, which is why face-to-face communication or verbally speaking to someone telephonically is important.

Often if you ask a colleague who is having some difficulties with another colleague if they have picked up the phone and tried to verbally address the matter, too often the response is “no.”

Next time you are preparing to dash off an email, ask yourself if this situation could be better resolved through a phone call? If yes, then pick up the phone and build a relationship.

3) Curb the caffeine

It’s very easy to drink too much coffee –this adds up to a lot of caffeine during the week, and can possibly lead to increased heart rate, headaches, and anxiety.

Consider switching to decaffeinated. If you don’t mind the taste difference then this is a good option. Another option is changing your morning coffee to green tea – it’s a healthy alternative and, once you get used to the taste, it’s a nice, refreshing drink in the morning. The best option however is to simply cut down on the number of coffees you have and try water instead.

4) Stop snack attacks

Snacking – at work, at home, and on the go – isn’t going anywhere. Substituting a better alternative is not only much, much easier, but also more likely to produce positive results and create dramatic behavioural change.

How we snack affects how we eat generally. Data from one worksite wellness study found “that the choice of snack foods affected both diet quality and BMI”. In other words, the more nutritious the snack, the better the meal choices later.

5) Invest in ergonomics

Ergonomics is important because when you’re doing your job and your body is stressed by an awkward posture, extreme temperature, or repeated movement, your efficiency is affected.

Your body may begin to have symptoms such as fatigue, discomfort, and pain, which can not only negatively impact your health but also your comfort and productivity.

6) Work smart not hard

Working too much, for long hours, has many negative effects on our health. Working long hours often results in a culmination of health risks such as high blood pressure, bad diet and stress. In a study conducted by the American Journal of Epidemiology, it was found that employees that worked overtime regularly were 40%-80% more likely to die of heart disease.

Know when to go home and monitor your hours. There are always going to be those days when you have to work late, but there will equally be days where you could just get the work done the next day.

Working from home with flexible hours can help to ease the pressure by giving you the option to work without distraction. It may also be the case that you’re more productive at certain times of the day.

7) Empower yourself


Personal empowerment means taking control of your life. True personal empowerment requires you to set meaningful goals to identify what you want from life, and then take action to achieve those goals and have more impact on the world around you.

You need to develop your self-awareness, so that you understand your strengths and weaknesses. You also need an awareness and understanding of your goals—and how these differ from your current position. Achieving your goals may require you to change your behaviours, and even your deeper values and beliefs.

Wishing all of you a healthy and prosperous 2021- please stay safe out there.

Yours in Ergonomics

Wendy

Our working from home favourites

Our working from home favourites

Since the start of national lockdown in SA, there has been an increased demand for work from home equipment due to so many people having to work remotely. Below we have listed a few of our best-selling work from home products with a summary of the benefits that they offer to you and your workspace.

 

Ergo office chair with/without headrest

On-desk sit-stand workstations

  • Ergonomic chairs are fully adjustable to align with your height and workstation, ensuring that you remain in the correct sitting posture.
  • The reclining, lockable backrest has been designed to support the natural curvature of your spine. The headrest is optional – provides support for the head and neck.
  • It has sufficient padding and depth adjustability to reduce pressure behind your knees and allow proper circulation to the legs.
  • The introduction of ergonomic chairs has reported increases in productivity and work quality
  • Desktop workstations provide an easy way to transition between sitting and standing throughout the workday.
  • These spacious desks offer a deep work surface with a tablet slot and a wide keyboard tray.
  • These quality workstations offer smooth up and down motion, twelve height adjustment settings, and ergonomic monitor mount compatibility.
  • Ideal for compact offices.

Footrests

Laptop Stands

  • Footrests decrease the chance of developing circulatory issues.
  • Footrests improve posture and reduce back pain.
  • Footrests reduce posture-related musculoskeletal disorders resulting from computer work
  • The simple addition of a footrest can reduce strain and promote better posture, all while reducing leg discomfort.
  • Laptops are not ergonomically designed for prolonged use.
  • Use a laptop stand to raise the height of your laptop monitor.
  • Reduce the strain on your neck, back and eyes from looking down too much.
  • We strongly recommend the use of an external keyboard and mouse with your laptop stand.

You can find these and other amazing ergonomic products on our online store. At Ergonomicsdirect, we can assist in the assessment of your workspace and advise you on the correct products to improve your health comfort and productivity. To view our range, click here.

Yours in ergonomics,

Registered Biokineticist, Wendy van Wyk

Benefits of Remote Working and Home Offices

The benefits of remote working and home offices - By Wendy van Wyk

Written by Wendy van Wyk – Registered Biokineticist

When COVID-19 forced companies in South Africa and all over the world to send their employees home to work virtually, remote work became the “new normal”.  A growing list of business leaders are adding their weight to working from home and more flexible working arrangements, aided by technology and video-conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

As everyone is settling into Level 3 of lockdown, it has become apparent to many office-based teams that employees could be productive and focused when not in the office and in many cases, even more so. Employers everywhere are beginning to understand that remote work really works!

Below are 6 benefits of working from home

  1. Better Work-Life Balance

Many remote jobs also come with flexible schedules, which means that workers can start and end their day as they choose, as long as their work is complete and leads to strong outcomes. This control over your work schedule can be invaluable when it comes to attending to the needs of your personal life.

  1. Less Commute Stress

Wasting time commuting is just one of the downsides to getting to and from work. More than 30 minutes of daily one-way commuting is associated with increased levels of stress and anxiety. The time savings can allow you to focus on priorities outside of work, like getting extra sleep in the morning, spending more time with family, getting in a workout, or eating a healthy breakfast.

  1. Saving Money

Petrol, car maintenance, transportation, parking fees, a work wardrobe, lunches bought out, and more can all be reduced or eliminated from your spending entirely. These savings add up and put more money back into your pocket. These savings aren’t just for employees, either. As more and more companies allow employees to continue working from home post-pandemic, they’ll also see significant long-term cost savings.

  1. Positive Environmental Impact

In the US, the 3.9 million employees who work from home at least half time reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of taking more than 600,000 cars off the road for an entire year according to the “State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce” report. By making environmentally sound choices, like using less paper and monitoring air conditioning, heating, and lighting, remote workers have the same potential impact on air quality as planting an entire forest of 91 million trees.

  1. Increased Productivity and Performance

Working from home usually leads to fewer interruptions, less office politics, a quieter noise level, and less or more efficient meetings. Add in the lack of a commute, remote workers typically have more time and fewer distractions, which leads to increased productivity – a huge benefit of working from home for both employees and employers alike.