Wednesday, 22 February 2023 20:09

Ergonomics at the workplace: what to look out for

standing desk standing desk pxiabay

Ergonomics at the workplace is taking on an ever-increasing role in everyday office life. The equipment and quality of space must be adapted to the needs and general requirements. Purely anatomically, humans are not designed to sit all day. However, this can be counteracted with appropriate ergonomics and quality of office equipment.

Office work as a health burden

One should imagine that with 40 hours per week, one spends up to 2,000 working hours per year at one's workplace. Even office work is therefore one of the main indicators of complaints nowadays. Back pain is often the result of a non-ergonomic office chair, eye problems the result of poor lighting, and even hearing can be damaged by various factors. So how can you counteract this?

Ergonomic office chair

A lot of ergonomics can already be achieved with the right office chair. The important thing here is the setting. The height of the chair should be slightly more than 90 degrees, and there should be a width of 4 fingers between the seat and the back of the knee. The counterpressure of the backrest should make it easy to get backwards, but be a support when coming forward. At best with lumbar support to support the sensitive area of the back, which is responsible for many back complaints.

Work table

The work table also plays an essential role. Nowadays, it's trendy to use a standing desk in order to be able to choose independently whether you want to stand up straight or sit down. A healthy workday requires movement. With a standing desk you have the possibility to stand up and thus also to maintain the energy curve. Especially after lunchtime, the performance curve often drops drastically, which can be cushioned by working standing up in the meantime. Basically, you should remember that the best sitting position is the next one and you should change your working position several times a day.

Table and office chair settings

However, to combine the different working positions with a standing desk, you should also adjust the settings of the office equipment accordingly for the optimal working conditions. When sitting, the armrests of the office chair should be an equal-height extension of the tabletop. The arms should rest loosely on the tabletop at a 90-degree angle. With a standing desk, the desk height should also be adjusted so that the arms rest loosely. This ensures good blood circulation to the arms and prevents, for example, the fingertips from getting cold or concentration from diminishing due to impaired blood circulation. This also includes placing the mouse and keyboard at a comfortable distance of about 10 to 15 cm from the edge of the tabletop.

Screen work

Screen work is also bound to some optimal factors. For example, the screen should be at least an arm's length away from the face to avoid damaging the eyes. The screen height should be adjusted accordingly. The edge of the screen at the top, for example, a width of the hand below the own eye level. A monitor arm that can be moved to adapt to different work situations is therefore a good idea here. If the font is supposedly small, you should not move closer to the screen, but adjust the font sizes.

As you can see, there are numerous factors to consider. In addition to the standard modules such as table, chair and screen, light also plays a major role. One should ensure that the workplace is sufficiently illuminated. A pleasant acoustic climate is also necessary, such as low reverberation times. This provides a good basis for good concentration.

Ergonomics at the workplace has many facets. It is important that people feel comfortable and can work without restrictions. It is equally important that there are no health restrictions as time goes on. However, if one observes the listed requirements, one is initially well advised.