Office ergonomics - Creating a productive and comfortable workstation
A well designed and ergonomic workstation can significantly impact your productivity, comfort, and overall wellbeing. There are many different ways you can improve your workstation so here is a short guide to help you in setting up the best ergonomic work environment that works for you.
What is ergonomics?
Ergonomics focuses on optimising the design of workplaces to maximize efficiency, comfort, and safety. A well structured workstation can prevent discomfort, strain, and injuries.
Choose a chair with proper lumbar (lower back) support to help support the natural curve of your spine. Adjust the chair height so your feet are flat on the floor and knees are at a 90-degree angle.
Ensure your desk is at a comfortable height. Your elbows should rest at a 90 degree angle while typing. Use a keyboard tray or pull out draw if needed to achieve the proper height.
Position your monitor at eye level, about an arm's length away. Adjust the screen tilt to reduce glare and minimize neck strain.
4. Keyboard and mouse
Keep your keyboard and mouse close to avoid overreaching. Your wrists should be straight while typing; consider using a wrist rest for support.
Choose indirect and adjustable lighting to reduce glare on screens. Avoid placing your monitor directly in front of or behind a window.
6. Monitor placement
The top of the monitor screen should be at or slightly below eye level. Adjust the screen's distance to avoid leaning forward or squinting.
Use a footrest if your feet can't comfortably rest flat on the floor. It helps improve leg circulation and reduces pressure on your lower back.
Sit back in your chair with your back against the lumbar support. Keep your shoulders relaxed, and avoid slouching or leaning forward.
9. Breaks and movement
Take short breaks every hour to stand up, stretch, and walk around. Perform simple stretches to release tension in your neck, shoulders, and wrists.
10. Equipment and accessories
Consider using ergonomic accessories like an adjustable monitor stand, a document holder, or a standing desk.
11. Phone and accessories
Use a headset or speakerphone to avoid cradling the phone between your head and shoulder. Keep frequently used items within easy reach to minimize strain.
12. Personalisation is key
It is important to customise your workstation to your body's needs and preferences. Experiment with different adjustments until you find the most comfortable setup for you personally.
Creating an ergonomic workstation is crucial for maintaining your health, comfort, and productivity during long office hours. Implementing these tips can help prevent discomfort, strain, and injuries, allowing you to focus on your tasks and enjoy a better overall work experience. Regularly reassess and make adjustments as needed to ensure your workstation remains optimised for your needs. Workplaces should conduct regular ergonomic assessments to ensure staff working conditions are optimal, allowing for changes to be made where necessary.