Employees Must Understand Furniture to Protect Themselves


Release: Immediate
Date: Jan 26, 2009
Media Contacts:  
James Landsman
Atlas Ergonomics
(616) 844-6322

Grand Haven, MIJan 26, 2009—Good ergonomic furniture and proper individual adjustments does measurably improve employee safety and comfort ­to a degree. The final, and most important step is making sure employees understand how to adjust and use their furniture, and why proper usage is vital to their health and safety. Employee understanding is also vital for companies to secure a return on their investments in ergonomic technology, as shown in "Office Ergonomics Trends Part III: Relationship between Attitudes, Knowledge and Discomfort."

The final installment in Atlas' three-part review of trends in the office environment, analyzed the results of 2441 randomly drawn employee surveys to determine how an employee's knowledge and perception of ergonomics directly affect their discomfort. The study shows that, in general, employees with the greatest discomfort often have the least knowledge on how to use the ergonomics solutions already available to them­yet have the most positive attitude towards the potential relief ergonomics solutions might provide. In other words, the employee with back pain is most likely to want an ergonomic chair, and is least likely to understand how using current furniture can significantly reduce their pain.

This research not only supports the implementation of ergonomics awareness training, but it also provides insight into how, when, and who needs it most. Business invests millions of dollars annually on ergonomic furniture and accessories, based on the features of the items and promised benefits. Results from previous papers in this series have shown the impact that ergonomic products can have. As this paper clearly indicates, potential impact can be even greater when the attitudes and knowledge of employees are appropriately addressed.

"It is clear, both through experience with performing assessments and through the results of this research, that the final and critical piece of the puzzle is the employee," says David Brodie, Atlas director of ergonomic services. "This research clearly shows that employees who need help recognize that ergonomics as a concept is of value to them, but they do not know how to take advantage of it. They have the best attitude to accept help, and training them to help themselves is the final piece of the puzzle."

Recommendations found within "Office Ergonomics Trends Part III: Relationship between Attitudes, Knowledge and Discomfort" are designed to help anyone addressing ergonomics concerns in the office environment. The results are particularly important for the development of an effective and sustainable educational process for employees.

A free copy of the white paper, and the two previous papers based on this multi-faceted research, is available upon request at http://www.atlasergo.com/about_contact.aspx.

About Atlas Ergonomics, LLC
Atlas Ergonomics, LLC is a leading ergonomic service and technology provider, helping customers reduce the spiraling costs of work related injuries within industrial, office, commercial transportation, public transit, and healthcare environments. Atlas guides clients to financially evaluate and define the appropriate strategy, and offers services that are uniquely simple, measurable, and cost effective. Atlas Ergonomics provides turnkey support through a nationwide network of providers or can assist corporate resources with the necessary training and technology. Atlas Ergonomics is located in Grand Haven, Michigan, and additional information can be found at www.atlasergo.com.