October is a great time to think about office ergonomics and ways to improve your comfort and productivity, whether you work in a traditional office setting, in shared office space, or remotely from home.
What Is Office Ergonomics?
The term “ergonomics” applies to the science or process of improving human performance and efficiency in the workplace by changing design, posture, and habits to remove risk factors that lead to musculoskeletal injuries.
Five Ways to Improve Office Ergonomics
While you might think that major changes would be necessary to make a difference, that’s not the case with office ergonomics. Sometimes very small changes can actually make a huge difference. Here are five practical and easy ways to improve your office ergonomics:
1) Choose the Right Chair
Choose a chair where both the overall height and the tilt of the seat can easily be adjusted. While most seats are a standard width, pay close attention to the seat depth. The seat should be deep enough so that you can comfortably rest your back on the backrest while still having 2-4 inches between the back of the knees and the seat of the chair. It’s also important to look for a chair with an adjustable lumbar. This assists the body in holding the natural inward curve located in the lower part of the spine. Also look for a seat that’s cushy enough to be comfortable when sitting for long periods.
2) Adjust Your Desk if Needed
Ensure that the height of your desk allows plenty of room for your knees, thighs, and feet. If the desk is too low and isn’t adjustable, try putting some sturdy boards or blocks under the legs to raise it higher. Likewise, if the desk is too high, adjust your chair. If your desk has a hard edge, you can use a pad to make it more comfortable for resting your elbows or wrists.
3) Place Your Computer Monitor & Accessories in the Right Places
According to the Mayo Clinic, your monitor should be placed behind your keyboard about an arm’s length away from your face and elevated so that the top of the screen is at or just below eye level. If you wear bifocals, the top of the screen should be an inch or so lower. The key is that you should be able to view your computer screen or monitor easily without having to turn your head to the side or hold your head down. If you use a mouse, it should be within comfortable reach and on a level surface with the keyboard. Similarly, if you use your telephone a lot, use a headset and avoid cradling it between your neck and shoulders.
4) Position Your Body Properly When Using a Computer
When typing on your computer or using your mouse, it’s best to keep your feet firmly on the floor and your knees level with your hips. If you’re too short to do this after adjusting your chair to its lowest position, you should invest in a foot rest. Keep your upper arms close to your body and your wrists straight with your hands at or just below your elbows. And if you are able to use both hands, it’s recommended that you switch the hand that you use to operate the mouse to alternating sides of the keyboard.
5) Adjust Your Computer Settings and Lighting to Avoid Eye Strain
Adjust the lighting on your computer so that it’s not too bright or too dim to avoid eye strain, blurred vision, and potentially even headaches. Also choose a simple color scheme that’s not too busy or hard on the eyes, and adjust the contrast if needed to make viewing items on your screen easier.
When lighting your workspace, consider lighting or lamps that take incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs, halogen bulbs, or warm white fluorescent bulbs, which have been shown to be easier on the eyes than traditional cool or bright white fluorescent bulbs.
Did You Find Our Office Ergonomics Tips Helpful?
We hope our office ergonomics tips help you to create a pleasant and comfortable workspace. At Centre Pointe, we love providing our residents with helpful information to help them manage their busy lives. Our residents have easy access to shopping, entertainment, and great schools. Reach out to us today to schedule a tour and see why we are a Top Rated apartment community on ApartmentRatings!