Looking for office ergonomics information?
Workstation Ergonomics is the science of designing the workstation to fit the worker.
Why is office workplace ergonomics important?
As we spend increasing amounts of time at our workstation, we need to be aware of Workstation Ergonomics. We have to ensure that the workstation fit our bodies and our natural way of moving. This can impact our health, productivity and even mood!
Not only we'll prevent computer injuries such as, musculoskeletal disorders and discomfort, we'll reduce fatigue and get our work done in a more efficient manner.
Do You Notice Your Strain?
The problem with the lack of knowledge of workstation ergonomics is that people do not realize their strain.
A strain does not mean that it has to hurt. It might be tensed, or slightly achey.What is the most unfortunate thing of all that people simply "accept" that back pains come with getting older. They try to rid their pain by seeing massage therapists.
They also do not know that their workstation is harming them. What may be strain will lead to pain and it may lead to huge medical bills in the future. I get slightly upset when I see office workers working away at their laptops on a flat table.A greater knowledge of office computer ergonomics can make a world of difference.
Learning about workstation Ergonomics can save time and money. We can reduce occupational health payments in the form of medical expenditures, insurance premiums and disability expenses by
pushing higher ergonomic standards in the office.
Implementing Ergonomics in the Office
Is Your Workstation Ergonomic?
Have you done any ergonomic risk assessments to your work place?
Mentally check off this ergonomic checklist:
The work area should not be too small but large enough for you to feel comfortable and 'perform' your physical motions when working, such as
reaching for the mouse, resting your feet on the floor or a foot stool and sufficient elbow room. If you have a printer and phone, there should be enough
room for them too. It should be easy for you to access these equipment.
Characteristics of An Ergonomic Workstation
Desks usually come at a standard height. We all have different heights and length of torsos and legs. So in an ideal ergonomic world, we'll be able to adjust the height of our ergonomic desks to suit us.
A taller person may need to have his/her work surface raised and a shorter person, lowered. Of course, ergonomic chairs with adjustable heights are more readily available.
Read more about Chair ergonomics to help you select the perfect chair for your body type. A shorter person may use additional help of a footrest too.
Click to read Ergonomic Chair Adjustment - How to Adjust Your Chair For Ergonomic Benefit.
An ergonomic workstation is best when it's tailored to you, however this poses a problem it is shared.
Hopefully, you'll have your own workstation, if not, chair!
Sitting for long periods of time is strenuous for the back. The human body is not designed to sit for long periods of time. Apart from getting an ergonomic chair, ensure you get off your chair and take breaks. Walk around the office. Get a cup of coffee, go to the washroom.
Computer Ergonomics - monitor, mouse, keyboard
And so you'll have your computer monitor, make sure it is centered and your torso is not twisted. There are some ergonomic theories that says the monitor should be at eye level and some say it should be slightly lower. We all agree that the laptop montor is definitely too low for you, and it should be raised by one of those laptop elevating accessories or docking stations. This prevents eye strain, neck and shoulder fatigue. It helps develop a bad habit or jutting your head too forward.
Your computer ergonomic keyboard and mouse.
Most computer injuries occur in the shoulder, elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand. And many of these occur because of the keyboard! You might want to consider getting used to an ergonomic keyboard if you do lots of typing.
Ensure the mouse fits your hand. Your hand should 'wrap' over the mouse like a fitted blanket. Not too big or too small.
Your mouse should not be placed too far away. It should be natural for your body to access the mouse without twisting or 'reaching' too much, otherwise you'll cause strain to your body.
Don't forget about 'lighting'.
Though ergonomic lighting is not a common topic of workstations ergonomics, it affects your eyes and causes strain if it is not right.
Ensure that the monitors are not too bright, you can get one of those monitor filters that reduces the glare. For reading, supplemental desk lighting is better than overhead light.
Ergonomic Office Equipment
Here is a list of other ergonomic office equipment to consider. These ergonomics equipment helps in the practical applications of ergonomics.
- Laptop docking stations
- Mouse or other pointing devices
- Foot rests or Foot stools
- Ergonomic Keyboard Arms or Monitor Arms
- Ergonomic Keyboard trays
- Document Holders
- Chair lumbar support
Other Qualitative Examples of Ergonomics
Examples of ergonomics would to learn keyboard shortcuts, instead of reaching for your mouse all the time. To look away from your screen every fifteen minutes and focus on something far away to prevent eye strain.