Smart Ergonomic Design - How to Enhance Your Office Space with this Simple, Affordable Office Ergono
We’ve all heard the term “ergonomics,” but what exactly does that mean? Well, according to Merriam-Webster, ergonomics can be defined as “an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely.” To put it simply, ergonomics is the design or arrangement of an item that supports safe and efficient usage. When it comes to the office, having an ergonomic setup is of extreme importance. After all, your work space is the main area of your life where safety and efficiency should be optimum. Therefore, incorporating an ergonomic design in various areas of your office is not only ideal, but also necessary.
Those of us who work in an office setting are no stranger to the health issues that can ensue from poor posture, whether we were made aware by the countless seminars stressing the importance of good posture or from personal experience. Back aches and pains, pain in the neck and shoulders, inflamed joints and muscles, excess pressure on the body, pain in the arms, accelerated disc degeneration, carpal tunnel syndrome, herniated discs, and arthritis are just some of the ailments that can be caused by maintaining poor posture while sitting at your desk for long periods of time. However, erasing bad posture habits that you have been harboring for years isn’t likely to happen overnight, but you can start correcting such habits by equipping your office with ergonomically designed office furniture and supplies, which will take the guesswork out of achieving a safe, health promoting, and efficient work space.
But how can you achieve such ergonomic dreams, you ask? Well, by following this handy, dandy office ergonomics checklist, of course!
Office Ergonomics Checklist
If you are looking to improve your work environment by filling it with ergonomic office furniture and office supplies that will promote good health and boost your efficiency while hammering away at your desk then you will want to consider adding the following items to your work space.
Ergonomic Chair Back Support
Slouching down in your chair, slumping over your desk, and hunching over your keyboard are prime examples of some of the common bad posture habits we tend to develop over time that can cause some of the aforementioned health declines. So how do we remedy our bad posture habits? By achieving proper ergonomic posture. Ergonomic office chairs are designed to promote good posture and hinder the ability to slouch and hunch over your desk while seated. But perhaps you have an office chair you love already and aren’t interested in getting one with an ergonomic design, eh? No worries! Ergonomic backrests, back supports, and lumbar supports are also great tools for promoting proper ergonomic posture and many styles can be attached or placed in an ordinary chair, so you won’t have to get rid of your favorite one!
A surplus of people who work in an office environment are diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome each year, which can lead to pain and weakness in the hands, fingers, wrists, and forearms, as well as cause coordination issues between your fingers and thumb. To alleviate or prevent the symptoms of this unpleasant ailment, get an ergonomic mouse pad for your desk. Ergonomic mouse pads are equipped with built in wrist support, which improves circulation, increasing blood flow throughout your forearm, wrist, and fingers. These efficiently designed mouse pads can reduce the amount of stress and strain we put on our arms and wrists, as well. Whether or not you have carpal tunnel syndrome, ergonomic mouse pads not only provide health benefits, but they are also simply more comfortable to use than a standard mouse pad.
We just talked about ergonomic mouse pads, but have you ever considered getting an ergonomic mouse, as well? An ergonomic mouse has an improved design that allows your hand to rest more naturally, which reduces how much strain you put on your hands, wrist, and arm when operating the mouse. Not only can using an ergonomic mouse relieve stress and prevent stress related injuries in these limbs, but its special design promotes a more comfortable experience all around for your hands, wrist, and arm.
Proper Monitor Height
Every person is not of the same height, nor is every computer monitor (and they shouldn’t be). Luckily, you can adjust your computer monitor to a proper height that will line up with your individual height. First and foremost, you want to ensure that your monitor is positioned on your desk at least twenty inches (or about an arm’s length) away from where your eyes will be when sitting at your desk, as viewing the screen too closely on a regular basis can cause damage to your eyesight. Once you have the proper amount of distance in place, sit in your chair at your desk and view the monitor to determine where the screen will fall at or slightly below your eye level. Once you have detected this location, elevate or decline your monitor’s height accordingly. When your monitor is at a proper height, your eyes should be peering downward just a bit while you are looking at the center of your screen.
The usage of a footrest at your desk is something that doesn’t always occur to most people, but once you have tried it you will wonder how you ever worked without using a footrest before! Adding an ergonomic footrest beneath your desk to rest your feet on during those long, grueling hours at work can immensely increase your comfort level, making those rough days in the office a little more bearable. Not only do footrests make you feel more comfortable, but using a footrest also has a myriad of health benefits. Using a footrest will improve circulation in your lower limbs (including your feet, ankles, and calves), can alleviate and deter symptoms of restless leg syndrome, will relieve stress and weight on your body, and can prevent cramping in your feet and calves (such as Charlie horses or spasm cramps). With all of this in mind, you really can’t afford not to have a footrest at your desk! Footrests are an affordable tool that can improve your quality of life at the office in every aspect. Your boss may frown upon you kicking your feet up on your desk for a break, but you will be in the clear to rest your feet all day with a footrest under your desk!
Proper Office Chair Height
As previously mentioned, an ergonomic office chair or ergonomic back support will enable you to achieve proper ergonomic posture. However, just like the height of your computer monitor, the height of your office chair is also of great importance. Continued usage of an office chair that is elevated too high or declined too low can cause your posture to take a nosedive, thus, potentially leading to all of those unfortunate health ailments we discussed earlier that can be caused by falling into bad posture habits. Luckily, there is an easy fix for this poor posture inducing height conundrum. All you have to do is adjust your chair to the right height for your body!
But wait, how do you find out what the “right height for your body” is? Chances are that the proper height of your co-worker’s chair isn’t going to line up perfectly with yours because everyone’s height varies from person to person. Adjusting your office chair to the proper height for your body can be done by elevating or declining the seat so that it falls right below your knees when you are standing straight in front of it. A chair at this height enables your feet to lie flat on the ground with your knees resting at a right angle.
Chances are that your place of business probably isn’t your favorite place to be in the whole wide world, but the environment you work in shouldn’t be a place you loathe, either. Instead of dreading each work day, head into it with a positive attitude by making yourself comfortable in the office and making your work space a place you want to be. Implementing ergonomically enhanced furniture and supplies into your work space can help you achieve this and has benefits you will reap on and off the clock.
Our offices are places most of us spend forty or more hours at each week, so it is of grave importance that our work environments promote healthy, efficient, successful lifestyles. Utilizing the aforementioned ergonomic office items can allow you to achieve such an environment. Even if you aren’t privy to all of the ergonomic ideas suggested in this article, as not everyone has the same needs or concerns, at least consider adding one, two, or a few of these ergonomically enhanced products to your office. You, and your body, will be thanking you for it later!