Healthy employees at healthy workplaces Ergonomics in the workplace

Promote the health of your employees
Lower costs for illness-related absences and loss of production
Increases satisfaction and performance
Key Points at a Glance
  • Physical strain at the workplace: Musculoskeletal disorders are among the most frequent complaints experienced by employees in Switzerland.
  • Health prevention: Sitting for long periods of time, one-sided strain, too little exercise – if you detect health risks at your company early on, you can prevent and reduce the number of health-related work absences in good time.
  • Ergonomic workspaces: With ergonomic workspaces and preventative measures, you help your employees promote health in their daily work.

What is ergonomics in the workplace?

Ergonomics in the workplace is about designing working conditions that are ideal for the needs of workers so that health issues that can occur through the execution of repetitive or homogeneous sequences of movement are avoided in the long term to the greatest extent possible. 

Ergonomics in the office

Sitting in front of the computer for long periods often causes employees to have muscle tension and back aches. In fact, musculoskeletal disorders are among the most frequent complaints experienced by employees in Switzerland. 

With an ergonomic workplace, including an adapted office chair and ergonomically designed mouse, keyboard, and properly set up monitor, you can prevent chronic strain and improve the wellbeing of your employees for years to come. Ergonomic office furniture is therefore an important element for preserving the health of the musculoskeletal system.

Ergonomics and physical work

Employees benefit from an ergonomic workplace even when not at a desk. Those who work long hours with slouched posture or who have to do heavy lifting should be trained on a recurring basis on techniques that are good for the body.

AXA’s offer regarding workplace ergonomics

Healthy and motivated employees form the basis of every company. That’s why we support you with a comprehensive offering in the area of corporate health management. In addition to advice on how to reintegrate employees who have had an accident or been ill (care management) and offers on the prevention of stress and burnout, ergonomics in the workplace represents an important third pillar.

Overview of benefits

As part of corporate health management (CHM), the goal of ergonomics in the workplace is to reduce illness-related absences and promote the performance of your employees. This is achieved through the optimal design of workplaces, which take account of the individual needs of the employees, in addition to subject-specific training. Traditionally, this work is completed in two steps:

1. Workplace assessment: Our occupational safety experts check out the workplaces and work sequences of your company on site. The result: Health hazards can be identified and replaced with more ergonomic alternatives. 

2. Workshops: Our workshops last from half a day to several days and will raise your employees’ awareness about the enormous long-term value of healthy motion behavior. We devise measures so that each individual can reach the specified goals; we draw up a practical implementation plan based on the measurement results, and generate motivation through additional success monitoring.

Why is ergonomics so important?

Neglecting ergonomic criteria at work translates into long-term issues, which could in some circumstances result in illness-related absences. By providing ergonomic equipment, instruments, or tools and ensuring they are correctly adjusted, you can thus make a major contribution to health in your company.

Training on ergonomic guidelines pays off

The best office furniture is of no use if it is not properly set up and the spine gets too little movement during everyday working conditions. Long-term success is only possible with the necessary fundamental knowledge of ergonomics. This includes topics such as body awareness and important alarm signals, the correct setting up of furniture, the management of breaks, and compensating movement.

Training employees on more careful work techniques and increasing awareness for beneficial physical activity are equally important for the health of your employees. 

Our ergonomics tips

Your checklist

You want to implement the common ergonomics requirements at your workplace, educate your employees, and ensure better health when working? In our free checklist, you will find a practical overview of all our tips.

Support and frequently asked questions

  • What are the benefits of an ergonomic workplace?

    Employees as well as employers benefit from improved ergonomics in the workplace. By reducing strain in day-to-day work, you can boost the overall satisfaction of your employees. What’s more, you can preserve or improve their performance and motivation. An ergonomic workplace thus contributes to preserving the health and performance of your employees and helps you as an employer to reduce costs for the loss of work hours over the long term.

  • Are companies obligated to make their workstations with computer screens ergonomic?

    Under labor law (in German) in Switzerland, workstations with computer screens must be ergonomically designed and equipped so that bodily injury and work-related illnesses (such as back pain) among employees can be avoided. Both the desk and the office chair must therefore be adjustable for height. There are no legal requirements with regard to technical equipment. Employees are not entitled to an ergonomically designed mouse or keyboard. Instead, many companies provide their employees with such ergonomic equipment on request. 

  • What’s the proper ergonomic way to sit at a workstation?

    To avoid excessive strain on your back and neck when working longer periods at the screen, it is important to ensure that the office chair and desk height are suitably adapted to the person’s height. The placement of the monitor, keyboard, and mouse also plays a decisive role in sitting in an ergonomically correct way. 

  • What’s the best way to increase movement during working hours?

    Genetically, humans were not made for sitting down for hours at a time without moving. Regular movement is important. Please therefore note the following tips:

    • The sitting position should be changed regularly, for example by sometimes sitting upright on the front edge of the chair.
    • The backrest of the chair should be adjusted in line with the user’s movements.
    • Standing up regularly – for making calls, looking at documents, etc. – is advisable whenever possible.
    • If a standing desk is available, it should be used several times a day.
    • Frequent short breaks should be incorporated into the person’s routine: That includes walking over to the printer, taking a few strides while drinking coffee, or going out for a walk at lunchtime.
    • It’s better to use the stairs rather than the elevator. Going on foot is a good alternative to taking the bus.
  • Unfortunately, a lot of people suffer from recurrent back pain while working from home. How can physical strain be reduced?

    To reduce one-sided strain when working from home, it is important to ensure that the computer workstation is as ergonomically designed as possible. We recommend working at a desk rather than escaping to the couch for the sake of convenience, since this has can negative effects on your sitting position.

    It is especially important when working from home that you always make conscious changes in movement, since typical interruptions such as walking to the next meeting in the office are often no longer part of the work day. For this reason, it is advisable to stand when talking on the phone or deliberately going to the kitchen for coffee. A height-adjustable desk can also provide more variety. Tip: If a standing desk is unavailable, an alternative one can be made out of an ironing board or chest of drawers.

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