Almost any business can benefit from paying attention to ergonomics when designing a workspace for employees. Ergonomics is a scientific process that takes into account employees’ needs when organizing an office or other type of work environment. One way to consider ergonomics in a workplace is to use workstation ergonomics to organize your individual work area, which might include your desk, chair and technology.
In this article, we define workstation ergonomics and explore seven tips to help you improve yours.
What are workstation ergonomics?
Workstation ergonomics refers to taking specific actions to set up a workspace according to an employee’s personal needs. This can involve paying attention to small details when setting up a workspace, such as where a desk is positioned, what type of chair you might use and what job duties you typically have. As technology progresses, there are also workstation ergonomics that consider how much time an employee spends looking at a screen or typing on a keyboard.
You can improve your own workstation ergonomics by considering how each of these elements might impact your productivity and adjusting your surroundings to make them more comfortable. Companies can also design their workplaces with these details in mind to help ensure each employee in an office is comfortable and can work efficiently.
Benefits of improving workstation ergonomics
Taking time to improve workstation ergonomics in an office can benefit you as well as your coworkers. This is because considering workstation ergonomics allows each of you to take your individual needs into account and respond to them.
Another benefit of improving workstation ergonomics is that it can correct your posture, especially if you adjust your chair or how you sit. This can increase comfort and reduce the risk of conditions like carpal tunnel and cramps.
Improving workstation ergonomics can also benefit a company’s productivity as a whole because it enhances a workplace in ways that help employees complete their work duties more efficiently, such as offering the chance for more breaks from the computer or providing more comfortable chairs.7 tips for improving workstation ergonomics
Here are seven tips you can use to improve your workstation ergonomics:
1. Move your keyboard and mouse closer to you
One of the most common challenges that workstation ergonomics can help mitigate is the habit many employees have of leaning forward over their desks as they work. This type of posture has the potential to result in back or neck injuries over time, so learning how to sit with more support can reduce risk and make working at a computer more comfortable.
An effective way to achieve better posture through workstation ergonomics is to move your keyboard and mouse closer to you on your desk, as this can reduce how far you need to reach in order to use your computer and allow you to sit back in your chair while you work.
2. Adjust your chair
Most employees who work in an office setting spend many hours each day sitting in their desk chairs. This can pose a potential risk to individuals who sit with incorrect posture or do not take sufficient breaks, as they might experience fatigue or injuries in their neck or back.
A great way to respond to these challenges is to adjust your office chair to ensure you’re using it in the most effective way possible and remaining comfortable throughout the workday. For example, if you notice that you often sit at the edge of your set and lean forward over your desk, you might adjust the backrest of your chair so that you can lean back and receive back support as you work.
3. Review the height of your computer monitor
Employees who use a computer for work often spend many hours each day looking at a computer screen. When a computer monitor is too high or too low and employees have to string to get a clear view, there can be a potential risk for neck injuries. One way to respond to this challenge with workstation ergonomics is to assess the height of your computer monitor and adjust it if it seems too high or too low.
Employees who use laptops can also benefit from this adjustment, as many laptops sit low on a desk. These employees can adjust the height of their monitors by using a laptop stand that raises their computers to an ideal height.
4. Consider the space under your desk
It’s very common for employees to spend hours each day sitting at a desk, and the space under a desk can affect how comfortably a person sits at it. For example, if a desk is situated very low to the ground, a tall employee might not be able to completely fit their legs under the desk, which might impact the way they sit.
To use workstation ergonomics to organize the space under your desk, consider details like how much room you have under the desk to stretch and move or whether your feet can reach the floor. Then, adjust your workstation so that it meets your needs, such as adding a footrest to support your feet or clearing out items stored under your desk to create more space.
5. Use a headset or speaker for calls
Many jobs that take place in an office involve talking on the phone to coworkers, clients and other business connections. When an employee uses the phone often, there might be the potential for strain on their hand, wrist or neck from holding the phone to their ear for extended periods of time. Workstation ergonomics can help in this case by considering other ways to conduct phone calls that allow employees to rest their hands and refrain from straining their necks.
One solution might be to use a hands-free headset that allows you to communicate through a microphone and earpiece without having to constantly hold a phone. This can maintain the privacy of a phone call and facilitate conversation. If you have your own office or have a quiet place to go during the workday, you can also hold your calls on speakerphone, which gives the same benefits as using a hands-free headset.
6. Protect your eyes
Most industries use computers at work in some capacity, and employees often sit at a computer for several hours each day. When a job involves looking at a computer for long periods of time, the blue light from the screen can potentially cause strain on your eyes or fatigue.
In this case, a great way to employ workstation ergonomics is to use protective measures to stay energized and ensure your eyes get a break. To do this, you can use a pair of glasses that filter out blue light, or you could arrange your schedule to reduce the length of time you sit at a computer.
7. Change your daily schedule
Many jobs require employees to complete similar tasks every day. However, doing the same routine each day for a long time can result in potential strain or fatigue. While you might have to continue doing the same job duties, you can add variance to your schedule by changing the order in which you complete your tasks or working in a different space for certain parts of the day. This can help to reduce your chances of becoming fatigued by keeping each day interesting and allowing you to organize your own schedule.
I hope you find this article helpful.