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Read These 13 Tips to Take Advantage of Ergonomics

20 December 2023

Ergonomics is the art and science of designing furniture that improves a person's body posture and reduces fatigue. Office ergonomics aims to create a workstation that suits your needs and provides a pleasant setting for optimal productivity and efficiency.

Who wouldn't want to minimize weariness and discomfort with a well designed office workstation? With these simple tips, you can easily take advantage of ergonomics in your workplace and at home, whether you're an office worker or a professional gamer. Leading businesses have incorporated ergonomics into every aspect of their operations. And it makes sense when you consider the advantages of a successful ergonomic culture.

However, no matter how effectively a company designs a workspace, each individual is still responsible for making sure their own workstation is ergonomically sound. The most expensive desks, chairs, and equipment in the world won't help a worker who slumps or slouches uncomfortably at their workstation. Here are a few tips you can use to take advantage of ergonomics at your workplace:

13 Tips to Take Advantage of Ergonomics

1. Prioritize Leg Room

Pick a work surface that has sufficient room for your feet, thighs, and knees. Avoid sitting in front of cabinets or drawers immediately. They may prevent you from sitting properly close to your computer. Use solid boards, bricks, or blocks to support the legs of your desk or table if you require a higher surface.

2. Support Your Back

An office chair with lumbar (low back) support, such as the Drafting Chair EOC 1702 by FlexiSpot, is ideal for maintaining good posture. If you sit in a hard-backed chair, pick one that allows your knees to remain at hip level. Place a seat cushion on it to cushion it, and place a towel rolled up behind your lower back. A multi-purpose mesh chair comes with many features that allow you to adjust the height and angle of the chair according to your comfort. It will also ensure that your shoulders remain relaxed, thanks to its adjustable armrests.

3. Take Time to Refresh

Sometimes performing monotonous tasks or working constantly without breaks can lead to strains and aches. This is why it is a good idea to switch your tasks or take regular breaks. If it's not possible for you to take frequent breaks, try to invest in a sit-stand desk that allows you to sit and even stand while working (not at the same time of course). To prevent tense or strained muscles and tendons, stretch during breaks or perform easy workouts at your desk.

4. Maintain Proper Posture

Finding a comfortable workspace position or doing what "feels correct" are the bare minimum elements that make up a good posture, especially when you take into account that, despite being comfortable for the worker, some positions could not be ergonomically sound. Further complicating matters, some shifts in position during the course of the day may even be beneficial for some workers, even if they have a disability. This is why it is crucial to invest in high-quality ergonomic furniture that allows free movement and plenty of support.

5. Kneel When Lifting

If your profession requires lifting, you must have had proper training or at least have a manual for lifting heavy objects the right way. Never lift using your back muscles. Use your knees to lift. Make sure you bend your knees while lifting; it will take some stress away from your back.

6. Use Your Computer Wisely

Your keyboard and mouse should be at eye level, and the chair's armrests should support the weight of your arms. Additionally, the keyboard and mouse should be placed such that your wrists stay straight. Make sure you have a document holder if you need to glance at documents while typing.

Other necessary items like staplers, pens or pencils, and your phone should all be accessible. If you use your phone regularly, avoid holding it between your ear and shoulder and try using headphones instead.

7. Maintain Eye Level

Workers who spend a large portion of their workday staring at computer monitors frequently experience eye strain, both with and without disabilities. When you are sitting straight in your chair, adjust your monitor so that it is at eye level. Make sure you are looking at it straight on and that it is not slanted. To lessen glare, position the monitor at a right angle to any windows you may have. It is advisable to upgrade or replace monitors that flicker or have low resolution. If you can, position your screen at eye level and an arm's length away from the surface.

8. Don't Stress

Employees who work in a stressful atmosphere may tighten their muscles and hold it for long periods of time. When under time constraints, employees may skip breaks or exert excessive physical effort, which prevents them from employing effective ergonomic material handling techniques. Make sure that employees are not putting themselves under excessive stress. Reducing the stress that leads to ergonomic injuries can be accomplished in large part by training, knowledge, and control over the ergonomic setup of a person's workspace.

9. Hold Your Feet

You may improve your posture by keeping your feet flat on the ground. Use a footrest if the chair you're sitting in prevents you from doing it. Alternatively, you may put a small stack of heavy books under your feet.

10. Use Two Screens to Find the Right Angle

When using two computer screens, take extra precautions to avoid aches and pains. Place one on the desk in front of you that you use the most, and place the other out to the side. Place the screens side by side so that their edges meet if you use them both at the same time.

11. Buy a Quality Chair

If you spend most of your day at a desk, you need an ergonomic chair with adjustable settings for different positions. The best chairs offer seat pan depth adjustments, adjustable armrests, lumbar support, and height adjustments. Use a foot rest along with the chair if your feet don't reach the floor. But remember, none of it will matter if you don't sit properly in the chair. Make sure to provide the necessary modifications for workers who need them because even the best seats may not be suitable for some individuals with specific disabilities.

12. Watch Out for Lighting

You'll be able to see your work better in natural light. If at all possible, try to position your workstation towards the window to allow natural light to come through. If that's not possible, use ergonomic lighting to avoid eye strain and headaches. On sunny days, adjust your blinds or lower your shades to adjust screen brightness.

13. Take Regular Breaks

It is unhealthy to spend all day sitting in front of the screen and not getting up even for a short break. Your muscles may become sore and worn out from supporting you when you sit, which could eventually cause other issues. Try to take a 2 minute break after every half hour or so. If that's inconvenient for you, try to take a 5 minute break after every hour. This will help improve blood flow and move your muscles. You can also stretch lightly while standing.

Additional Tips

1. To prevent weariness, follow these 10 office ergonomics tips:

2. Ensure that your arms are always supported in their weight. By the end of the day, your neck and shoulder muscles will be sore from not having your arms supported.

3. Keep an eye on how you're holding your head, and attempt to keep the weight of it squarely over the base of support. Keep your neck and head from "craning" forward.

4. Don't be a couch potato! The discs and vertebrae on your back are subjected to increased pressure when you slouch. Use your chair's lumbar support and refrain from sitting such that your weight is distributed unevenly over your thighs.

5. To reduce bending and reaching, position your chair as close to your desk as you can. Every time you sit down, be careful to "scoot" your chair in.

6. Position the monitor so that the top is at or just over eye level, squarely in front of you. To avoid having to often turn your head and neck, the keyboard should be placed immediately in front of the monitor.

7. It's not a good idea to talk on the phone while the receiver is wedged in between the neck and the ear. Stop doing that and use earphones instead.

8. The keyboard and mouse should be close enough to each other to avoid reaching too far, which puts pressure on the arms and shoulders.

9. To prevent eye strain, make sure that your monitor is at least an arm's length away from you.

10. Take measures to reduce screen glare, and watch out for bright backgrounds or windows while positioning the monitor.

11. You can periodically give your eyes a break by gazing at objects in the distance for a few seconds.

12. When seated, the feet shouldn't be hanging loose. Use a footrest or adjust the keyboard and chair so that your feet can rest on the floor without discomfort or feeling pressure on the back of your legs.

Final Thoughts

Employers all around the world now realize how important it is to adopt measures to reduce the hazards of prolonged sitting and sedentary lifestyles. Therefore, they have started using excellent ergonomics. A well-designed workspace with proper ergonomics also helps employees perform and be more productive while reducing weariness.

A safe and healthy working environment also promotes productivity. Creating an ergonomically sound workspace for all employees should be a goal for all businesses, regardless of their size or type of industry. Inadequate ergonomic procedures can result in decreased productivity and, in severe situations, physical harm, both of which are obviously bad for business.

Sitting for extended periods of time strains the body and can lead to musculoskeletal ailments and other issues. These issues may also result in reduced output, more absenteeism, higher health care expenses, etc.