After deciding layout and design, the last part of creating an ideal workspace (and often the part people most look forward to) is furnishing. While at work, you’ll be spending the majority of your time in some kind of seat, most likely looking at a screen (or two). By keeping ergonomics in mind while setting up your office, you’ll reduce fatigue and discomfort while improving the overall mood and productivity of your office.
Give yourself and employees a healthier workspace by checking off some of these ergonomic tips:
Is the top of your computer monitor’s screen at eye level?
Be aware of how your neck is angled when viewing your computer screen – is it comfortably upright, or tilted? Having to look down or up over time will strain the neck, and having it at eye-level will also encourage good posture. For the most comfortable position for your eyes, your gaze should be slightly lowered, where your eyes naturally rest, so take that into consideration when adjusting your monitor.
For receptionists, or anyone positioned to greet customers or clients as they walk in should make sure their computer screen isn’t blocking their view. It looks very unwelcoming for customers walking in to see someone’s head completely obstructed by a monitor.
Check the distance between your computer screen and your eyes
Aside from where your monitor is in relation to neck position, you’ll want to pay attention to how far it is from your eyes. Keeping your monitor at the right distance will prevent eye strain. Depending on the size of your monitor and your personal preference, it should be between 20 and 30 inches.
Are your wrists flat when typing?
If you haven’t tried a keyboard or mouse wrist support pad – try one! They might look unnecessary, but once you feel the difference between typing with concave or convex bend, and a straight angle, you’ll never want to go back. Having a wrist support will extend the amount of time it takes for your wrists and hands to get sore – much needed for jobs like data entry, programming, writing, etc.
Are your arms approximately parallel to your torso?
You shouldn’t have to raise your arms or reach forward in order to type on your keyboard. Also, your shoulders should not relaxed, not hunched or “raised” in order to use your desk. If you find that you’re having these issues, than your desk is too high and should be adjusted.
How are you answering the phone?
Rarely now do work phone calls not require us to be looking up information on a computer or some other kind of multi-tasking. If you’re still cradling the phone between your neck and shoulder, you really ought to get a headset instead. A headset is much more comfortable, and it frees up both your hands without having to make an awkward and uncomfortable body manuevers to keep your phone in place.
When seated, are your feet firmly on the floor, your knees at a 90-degree angle, and your hips able to shift between a 90 and 120-degree angle?
When your chair is at the right height, your body will naturally fall in the position described above. An ergonomic chair will help you naturally hold this position without straining. When adjusting or choose a chair, make sure your feet can rest comfortably on the floor, with knees out about an inch from the chair ( you don’t want the end of the seat hitting inside your knees).
Is your chair, keyboard, and monitor adjustable?
Unless you plan on holding your body in one position the entire day, it’s important to have adjustable workstation furniture. As you change positions, you’ll want your desk or chair to be able to accommodate these small adjustments.
Another advantage of having flexible workstations is that they can easily be adjusted for different team members, either when making a new hire or just rotating where your employees work.
Helping you select the right furnishing for your workspace is the last stage in creating an ideal work environment. At Streamline, we can source ergonomic office chairs, desks, or monitor stands that reduce body stress and strain associated with sitting for long periods. For more information on office ergnomics, you can visit ergonomics-info.com