A comfortable employee is a productive employee. Placing an increased emphasis on ergonomics in the work place allows employers to ensure their staff remain safe, work comfortably, and avoid costs and productivity issues related to time away due to work injuries.
According to a report released in 2013 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace injuries accounted for 380,600 days away from work – that’s 1/3 of all recorded days – all caused by musculoskeletal disorders which are easily avoidable.
Understanding a better way of dealing with the health risks that come from office work on a day to day basis can lead to increased employee health, satisfaction, and productivity. With that in mind, here are some great office ergonomics tips that will help take office efficiency to the next level!
Correct Monitor Position
First, make sure that your monitor is placed directly in front of you. Your keyboard and mouse should be positioned similarly. Placing your keyboard and mouse in an alternate location can lead to excessive movement of your head and neck as you work, creating unnecessary strain as you work.
Next, place your monitor at least an arm’s length away from you. The distance from the screen will help prevent eye strain and make it easier to work for long periods of time with less fatigue.
Properly adjusting a monitor can be tough, and that’s why we love Ergotron’s desk mounts. Not only do they make positioning your monitor simple, they also free up extra space on your desk!
At under $150, adding a quality monitor arm to a workspace is an easy way to avoid strain and the associated costs of employee downtime:
The positioning of your head as you work is equally as important, and a properly positioned monitor will help you maintain good posture – something your shoulders and back will thank you for.
Chair Selection & Setup
Ever notice all of the knobs, handles, and other gadgets that are attached to the underside of your desk chair? Use them! Adjust the height, arm rests, back support, and other features of your desk chair so that you are comfortable while working. Those adjustments are made available for your comfort, so take advantage of them.
If your feet dangle while you are seated, lower your chair or use a footrest for additional support. Aside from often being uncomfortable, it can lead to bad circulation in your legs. Have you ever had to shake off a case of pins and needles at work? It isn’t fun – and can lead to coworkers snapping some funny photos to share on social media.
Keep your chair as close as possible to your desk to help avoid slouching and putting excess pressure on your lower back. If your chair offers lumbar support, use it! Adjust your chair so the back is flush against your lower back. Doing so has multiple benefits; your ears, shoulders, and pelvis will be kept in alignment, and the natural curvature of your spine will be maintained.
Supporting the weight of your arms is important too; if your desk chair does not have arms, unnecessary shoulder and neck strain are possible.
Hold the Phone
Avoid placing your phone at the base of your neck during a call. It may seem convenient at the time, but will lead to shoulder and neck strain. If you’re on the phone – simply hold the handset, use a speaker phone, or a headset.
Take a Break
Work is important, but not as important as your health. Take breaks whenever possible. If you are unable to step away from your desk for a few moments, at least give your eyes a rest on a regular basis. One of the easiest ways to do is to simply look at objects in the distance. This helps re-adjust your vision, and give you mind a rest for a few minutes – before you dive back in to your to-do list.
As you can see, there are lots of office ergonomics improvements that can be made, easily, to improve health and productivity – whether you are a business owner or an employee.
Are you looking to improve the workspaces in your office but don’t know where to get started? Let us know, we can help.