Opening our mouths in a wide yawn while staring at the computer screen. Does that sound familiar to you? Don’t be ashamed, you’re in good company. This is a phenomenon almost each and everyone of us experiences. It’s a bit uncomfortable when others at work, and worse even, our boss, stares at us yawning. So, What causes yawning and how can we prevent it?
There are many theories that try to explain why do we yawn, for example:
Yawning is related to boredom, fatigue, discomfort, crowded areas, lack of fresh air etc.
Yawning is intended to increase oxygen delivery to the brain.
Yawn is designed to cool the brain and make us stay awake.
But the yawning phenomenon is actually related to a bunch of other reasons, such as: poor sleeping quality, sleep deprivation (lack of sleeping hours), nutrition, lighting, ventilation, air conditioning etc.
I would like to introduce another, mostly unknown, reason – those pertaining to ergonomics – namely, not implementing the right ergonomic rules.
As an ergonomic consultant I run into a lot of computer users, who simply cannot stop yawning. I’m certain that a study looking into the relation of yawn frequency to work productivity level will uncover some interesting findings.
One of the most important goals of an ergonomic consultant is to make employees feel more comfortable in their working station. Correct work station arrangement and spacing plus stretching exercises can certainly improve employees feeling, reducing yawns and improving productivity.
So, dear employers, if you’re looking to increase the work productivity you are getting from your employees, you should invest in ergonomic consulting, make sure you have spacious work stations, consult with your ergonomics specialist on lighting and air conditioning.
The benefit you would reap will offset immensely any cost you pay.