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How Ergonomics Impacts Office Furniture

How Ergonomics Impacts Office Furniture

ergonomics2It would be nice to think that our employers love us so much that they are constantly looking for ways to improve our work environment to make us happy. No such luck on that kind of altruistic approach. Let’s face it; the almighty dollar is the driving force. The impact of insurance claims and insurance costs along with learning about the impact of productivity are the driving forces causing a big shift in developing ergonomic work spaces.

The early adopters found it extremely expensive to even buy into this because the cost of “Ergonomic” office equipment was at a premium. With only a few manufacturers developing and on the front edge, there weren’t many options. With the cost of a premium ergonomic task chair exceeded $1,000 each, those that really looked at the numbers still realized even at that cost there was a return on their investment.

The chair seemed to be the primary focus for many years. Because of this, many manufactures jumped on board and the options for ergonomic chairs increased dramatically driving prices down. The chair became a commodity product where almost everyone has the same ergonomic options and many of the parts and pieces all come from the same place overseas. Therefore, price, color, style, comfort and warranty are now the more driving factors in the chair purchase due to the lack of true variance on ergonomic factors. Yes there are still those that are better than others as well as companies that claim that they are 100% US made products. But your options on ergonomic chairs are now almost endless.

Slower to be seen as an impact on ergonomics was the office space itself and the impact of sitting all day versus movement and standing. Lots of studies but the furniture manufacturers were slower to respond to this need. A good white paper on this was issued by JRB Studio. Those that did respond had the benefit of first to market and high entry level pricing with the height adjustable table options. Also known as sit to stand desks or stand up work stations. The cost competitors were the table top options like the Veridesk®. Although not cheap, they were a less expensive option. Similar models became available and although provided a standing desk option had other limitations and impacts on the work surface that questioned the real benefit to these desktop options. Recent newer developments even to the desktop version have driven these costs down as well.

Today, the ergonomic adjustable option desk, similar to the chair, has become commoditized which has driven the prices lower and lower. Ultimately this really is a benefit to the average worker as now the cost to the average employer to provide these tools are easier to accept and therefore more and more have entered the workplace. Many options from motorized to pneumatic controlled with one and two motors for heavier capacity, better touch controls and variety of leg support configurations and even wall hung options. As with the chair, color, style, stability and noise level are now the more driving factors even above price where the differences between manufacturers have become less and less noticeable.

Here at Reliant, our goal is to help you meet your needs for the most effective work spaces for your employees. From standard office space options to the best ergonomic options in both modular systems furniture as well as case goods. The solutions are available both in function and in budget. If you would like to discuss these options, feel free to call us and we will be happy to walk you through the variety of options to support your health and safety goals and budgetary goals for a safer more productive work space for your employees.


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Reliant Group, Inc