Is Your Office Ergonomically Correct?

Is Your Office Ergonomically Correct Main Article Image

When was the last time you did an ergonomics check in your workplace? And how do you determine if your office is ergonomically correct? We take a closer look.

Constant neck ache. Back pain. Regular lapses in concentration when using a screen. If these sound like things you have experienced in the workplace, it could mean that it’s not ergonomically correct.

Whilst poor ergonomics is a leading cause for most musculoskeletal injuries and health issues, research from the NCBI suggests that altering the workplace into an ergonomically correct environment can further prevent and at times, reverse any damage already caused.

Here are a few key ways on how you can make sure that your office or workplace is ergonomically correct.

Invest in Ergonomically Correct Office Furniture

It may seem obvious at first, but the furniture you use whilst in the workplace has a direct effect on your productivity. To be at your best, look at investing into ergonomic furniture such as Posture And 24 Hour Chairs.

If you’ve recently invested in new office chairs or don’t wish to replace your current ones, you can improve their overall ergonomic standing by using Back Supports and Lumbar Supports.

These, with the addition of a Footrest or a Chairmat, will help to alleviate the tension that can be experienced on muscles when sat down for extended periods of the work day.

Consider Using a Sit Stand Workstation

Whilst studies are currently unsure of how much a combination of sitting and standing throughout the day improves health and wellbeing over standard desks, you could consider using a Sit Stand Workstation in order to make your workplace more ergonomically correct.

The benefit of using one is simple – you gain the advantage of being able to change positions regularly throughout the day, something which is advised by doctors and medical specialists.

Of course, the effectiveness of this type of work desk does depend entirely on how comfortable you feel with using one. If it causes you more discomfort than expected, then it may not perhaps be the best solution for you.

If however, you find little physical stress switching from standing to sitting throughout the day, then it could be worth adapting to using one in the office.

Correctly Position Yourself at Your Workdesk

As we’ve covered previously, keeping your desk clean from junk and limiting the amount of things you keep on your desk is important.

Even more important in helping to stay ergonomically correct however, is to have anything required for your work (such as your desk phone, keyboard, mouse etc.) positioned correctly.

Understandably, it may come down to preference and practicality in terms of space in how items on your desk are positioned.

However, as Alan Hedge, director of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Research Group at Cornell University explains, there are a few key things you can keep in mind when it comes to how you are positioned at your desk.

“When you tilt your head down, you increase the effective weight of your head six times, from about 10 pounds to about 60 pounds.

If you have armrests on your chair, prop your elbows on them and hold your phone up near eye level.

If you do not have armrests, proper your elbow against your stomach whilst holding the phone.”

Take Regular Breaks

Combined with the three previous points we’ve discussed in regard to becoming ergonomically correct at work, one of the most important which many will overlook is the importance of breaks.

Using sit stand desks and having the right ergonomical furniture can unfortunately only do so much. Therefore, ensuring you take regular breaks from your screen and desk will do a whole world of good to your posture and wellbeing.

It’s easy to think of reasons why you don’t need to take a break away from your ongoing work, but it’s even more difficult to think of reasons not to.

Whether it’s catching up for a few minutes with a colleague seated on the other side of the room or getting up to refill your coffee mug, short walks throughout the work day can make all the difference.

Michelle Robertson, a lecturer at Northeastern University and director of the Office Ergonomics Research Committee adds:

“We say, ‘Your next position is your best position’.

Sitting for a long time in the same position restricts blood flow and is not good for your muscles. You also need to focus your eyes on new objects and distances every 20 minutes or so to prevent eyestrain”.

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Sam Rose

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