We fit the workplace to the worker.
Good sitting posture is critical for productive and healthy work, and the key to good ergonomics is to understand how the body works best. When the body is supported to move properly, work is naturally safer and more comfortable, but it will also be more productive.
Most people do not have a problem with their job or their workstation, and we can presume their workstation fits. Many also people wear the same size shoe and pants, too, but can we presume that same size will work for everyone? Pain symptoms are typical when work place dimensions are off by more than an inch or two. The average workstation is designed for the average man, so larger or more petite people are those more prone to trouble.
How the spine moves in the chair for both work and rest is the key to seated health. Cumulative trauma occurs when the workstation does not allow the body to function well, and good sitting postures become nearly impossible to maintain. The problem is insidious, because the cause of the problem is not really clear, until the process is repeated to the point of discomfort, and then pain.
When ergonomics programs use a product-oriented solution, the product is expected to solve the problem. Often the best products are made available but do not produce any real solution.
What may be a “good ergonomic chair” may not do the job it needs to do, especially when it does not support the body to do the work. Further delays are likely when the products do not work as imagined, and then a new problem needs resolution, losing even more time and productivity.
The remarkable outcome of a well-integrated workstation is that not only does it prevent cumulative trauma problems, it can also resolve existing injuries.