5 Simple Tips for Better Office Ergonomics

Improving ergonomics in the workplace is essential for employees to stay healthy and productive at work. Ergonomics is the process of designing or modifying the work to fit the worker, with the goal being to eliminate discomfort and risk of injury.

A comfortable workspace helps workers feel their best and it can be achieved with a few simple steps. Ergonomics apply to every type of workplace, however, we’ll focus on office ergonomics and the ways to correctly set up a desk for perfect posture. 

Ready to transform your desk? Let’s get started. 

CHOOSE THE RIGHT CHAIR

When you work in an office environment, you will likely spend a great deal of time sitting down. Find a chair that supports your spinal curves and has adjustable height. Set the height so that your feet rest flat on the floor or on a footrest and your thighs are parallel to the floor. Adjust your armrests to a position that allows your arms to rest gently with shoulders relaxed. Avoid slouching as this puts pressure on your discs and vertebrae.

POSITION KEY OBJECTS WITHIN CLOSE REACH

The common tools in a desk workers arsenal are a mouse, keyboard, phone, glass, stapler or printed materials. Try to position them so that your arms don’t need to stretch or lean far to reach them. When using your mouse and keyboard, keep your wrists straight, upper arms close to your body and hands at the level or slightly below the level of your elbows. Take advantage of keyboard shortcuts and increase the sensitivity of your mouse so a light touch and small movements are enough to operate it.  

FIND YOUR IDEAL DESK HEIGHT

This is the base of your work station. Start by ensuring you have enough clearance for your knees, thighs and feet. If it’s too low and not adjustable, you can place books underneath to lift it to the desired height or lift your chair if it’s too high. Place your feet on a footrest if needed. You can pad the edge of the desk if it’s hard and avoid storing items underneath which restrict legroom. 

SET UP YOUR MONITOR CORRECTLY

Another way to promote ergonomics in the workplace is to set up your monitor directly in front of you, with the top no higher than eye level. Avoid unnecessary neck turns and strain by setting up your mouse and keyboard in front as well. Also, ensure the distance is arm’s length as this will help reduce eye strain. 

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TAKE MINI-BREAKS THROUGHOUT THE DAY 

Sitting down can become unhealthy if you fail to move and stretch your body regularly. Combat stiffness and give joints a break by taking mini-breaks throughout the day. You can also give your eyes a rest by closing them momentarily, gazing at a distant object and blinking frequently. Try reading a book or magazine instead of a phone to have a break from looking at screens. You can take this a step further by incorporating light exercises such as walking or yoga.

PROMOTE ERGONOMICS IN THE WORKPLACE TO IMPROVE HEALTH AND PRODUCTIVITY

Taking care of your employees will pay dividends in the long run. By ensuring you have an ergonomic workplace, you’ll improve wellbeing and happiness, which will result in better quality work. If you want to learn more tips on workplace culture, read our other blogs Remote Recognition: How To Celebrate Employees From A Distance and The Challenges Of Managing Employees Remotely

If you are in need of injury management, Gallagher Basset can help you get the best possible commercial and human outcomes. Find out more today!

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This publication is not intended to offer legal advice or client-specific risk management advice. General descriptions contained herein do not include complete definitions, terms, and/or conditions, and should not be relied on for claims management interpretation. Actual claims and risk management policies must always be consulted for full coverage details and analysis.

 

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