Understanding the Cost Benefits of Ergonomics

Drafting table chairs

Obviously, you and the rest of your employees do a whole lot of sitting throughout the day, but have you ever stopped to consider just how much? On average, your office probably works eight hours per day, five days a week, for 48 weeks. If you spend five of those hours sitting, which is a fairly reasonable guesstimation, then your office is spending a whopping 1,200 hours a year sitting down, which equals out to a full 50 days and nights.

Naturally, if people spend that much time sitting in cheap office chairs, they’re going to start to feel a toll on their bodies. Many of these chairs aren’t built for long periods of sitting nor are they built with the human body in mind. As a result, these cheap office chairs force employees to hunch or slouch over, which causes more damage than you’d think. Hunching over hyperextends the back muscles and causes abdominal muscles to atrophy. Rounding the shoulders stresses the upper back, and neck. Slouching impedes the circulatory system, causing stiffness and fatigue.

The solution is to ditch those cheap office chairs and invest in more ergonomic seats. Doing so will decrease the amount of work-related injuries, like chronic back pain, the workers compensation costs that result from such injuries, and the time lost from employee absenteeism.

While some companies hem and haw over the cost of ergonomics, cheap office chairs wind up costing businesses more in the long run. According to data from OSHA, the average direct cost of one workers compensation claim for a work-related musculoskeletal disorder caused by poor ergonomics is $14,120, while the indirect costs can increase the total to over $32,000. Conversely, ergonomic expert Lucy Hart calculated that companies can recoup the cost of ergonomic chairs in as little as seven years, with the total return on investment being more than $2,500.

You don’t necessarily need to get your employees the best ergonomic office chairs for back pain, but you also shouldn’t waste your money on cheap office chairs, either. Why invest in something that will only cost your company more money in the long run when there are alternatives that can help you make your money back?

So stop forcing your employees to endure their work days in cheap office chairs. If you have any questions about the cost benefits of ergonomics, feel free to ask in the comments.

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