Did you know that simple tweaks to your workspace environment can have long term and postive effects on your mood, productivity, and health? For businesses, ensuring your employees’ work stations are ergonomic can also help reduce health care costs.
The very purpose of ergonomic furniture is to minimize fatigue, pain and injury and to improve performance by ensuring both furniture and equipment is adapted to the worker’s size and their range of motion.
To reduce the risk of pain and injury, while also improving your performance, we look at 5 essential tips for a more ergonomic workspace:
1. Look after your Eyes
A good idea is to go for a monitor arm to position your computer screen correctly. You can move- and adjust it so that it is comfortably positioned for you. To reduce eye-strain, a tip is to position the screen at least an arm’s length away from your face. The screen should be centered directly in front of you at eye height, and also slightly tilted up so as to decrease neck strain.
2. Your Office Chair
Get off your office chair and move around every hour or so. Doing this immediately enhances the heart’s ability to pump blood and it also enhances the immune system’s defensive power. In fact, every body-system is strengthened.
But what chair should you be sitting on to avoid pain and injury? There are a variety of ergonomic chairs with some worthwhile features. Seat height, seat width, arm rests and whether the chair offers lumbar support are all important factors to look out for.
Ergonomic office chair designs have adjustable seat heights-, seat pan- and back-rest. The backrest tilts back easily, they come with padded lumbar support, padded, adjustable armrests, full back support up to shoulders, smooth-rolling casters and the ability to make all adjustments as needed while still being seated.
The quality of your lighting affects well-being and mood. Dim, yellow, unnatural lighting causes stress and eye-strain. Try and introduce some natural lighting into your work space and feel the difference! Your mood improves, things are brighter, you can see better and you feel energized. If you don’t have a say with lighting at your workplace, introduce a quality task lamp at your desk.
Your legs need to fit comfortably under your desk when sitting. Also, make sure that everything you work with is within comfortable reach of both hands to ensure no unnatural lunging, twisting and turning of the body.
5. Take Regular Breaks
Making ergonomic adjustments isn’t enough. You need to learn how to sit properly and take regular breaks. Turn your coffee break into a walk break and get up out of your chair every hour or so. When you’re sitting for hours on end, the muscles supporting the back such as the abdominals and buttocks become weak. Inactive people have little endurance too and this puts them at risk of back injury. Once better posture and more activity becomes part of your life, you’ll experience awesome dividends – you’ll feel revived and have a better attitude and less irritability.
Everything about your office set-up should be designed based on your body type and size as well as the tasks you perform. With just a few changes and adjustments, you can improve your work space and bring healing energy to your body, mind and soul.
- Loh, K. & Redd, S. NCBI. Understanding and Preventing Computer Vision Syndrome. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4170366/
- Muller, J. Ergonomic Trends. The Best Ergonomic Office Chairs for 2017- Reviews and Buyer’s Guide. Available at http://ergonomictrends.com/best-ergonomic-office-chairs-2017-reviews-buyers-guide/
- Edwards, L. & Torcellinia, P. Technical Report. A Literature Review of the Effects of Natural Light on Building Occupants. Available at https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy02osti/30769.pdf