Ergonomic Design at Home and in the Office

WHAT IS ERGONOMIC DESIGN?

Ergonomics is the design of the workplace for optimal human efficiency and health.

It is the process of designing or arranging environments, products and systems so that they best fit the people who use them to minimise the risk of harm or injury. It is crucial for long term health, productivity, and workplace wellness.

Why is workplace ergonomics important?

Ergonomics helps prevent workplace aches and pains, many of which are musculoskeletal issues with the most common being neck, lower back and hip pain. As well as the need for movement throughout the day, when creating a space to work, desks, chairs, monitors, keyboards and even lighting have to be taken into consideration.

Ergonomics within our daily lives whether that be working in an office environment, home or even a coffee shop, aims to create safe, comfortable, productive and lasting habits.

Ergonomic Design

This photograph illustrates the dangers of poor posture, as the people shown are all looking down at their screens. The head is over-extended and not in alignment with the spine, resulting in extra weight and strain on both neck and shoulders.

Home office ergonomics

The human body simply wasn’t designed to sit for prolonged periods of time.

Good neutral posture

It is a relaxed posture, and there should be no tension or tightness in the body. Working with the body in a neutral position reduces stress and strain on the muscles, tendons, and skeletal system and reduces your risk of developing a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD). The optimal sitting position is achieved by keeping your spine in a ‘neutral’ position, in line with the head. Your legs are positioned with both feet flat on the floor and your knees and feet hip width apart. This is a comfortable working posture in which your joints are naturally aligned.

Sit-stand height adjustable desk

A desk is one of the most important elements of a productive office. Your desk’s height and depth need to fit your height and individual needs. Movement is also key, and this is where a ‘sit-stand’ desk comes into its own, making it easy to alternate between sitting and standing. Getting the ergonomics right is simple whether you’re sitting or standing because everything is adjustable, right down to details like elbow-height range, desk depth (eye to screen distance) and correct monitor height, in line with your eyes. Remember – the best position is always your next one!

Your chair

The chair you use for work every day is a vital part of an ergonomic office. A good-quality chair supports your lower back (lumbar region) and spinal curves and encourages good posture, avoiding stress on the back and neck. There are seven basic criteria for a chair: seat height, seat depth, seat pan angle, lumbar support, backrest height, backrest angle, and armrests. It must also be comfortable to sit on, so it’s a good idea to try before you buy. It’s also important to seek help from an expert. The HSE 1992 Act requires WSA’s (workstation assessments) for remote workers.

Other important considerations

Natural light, good air quality, a suitable room temperature and the ability to control noise levels so that you can avoid background distractions are also important features of good workplace ergonomics. Taking regular movement breaks can make all the difference. It’s an opportunity to stretch, exercise, get some fresh air, rehydrate, rest your eyes and refocus. Also consider a range of accessories, which can include an ergonomic mouse, footrest, extra lumbar cushion, wrist rests, headset and even an air purifier. And of course plants!

Ergonomics in the workplace is critical because of the cumulative effects of sitting and repetitive motions.

Ergonomic Design

Ever-changing Technologies

The ever-changing technologies in today’s offices have magnified the need for ergonomics. Our products offer intuitive design and effortless adjustment. Supporting posture both sitting and standing and most importantly promote and positively encourage more movement. Now and for the foreseeable future offices are having to navigate a new way of working. We’re here to help you every step or the way, whether it’s adapting your existing space or providing tools for team members who are working remotely. Supporting you with flexible, agile furniture that provides comfortable, safe and productive workplaces.

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