Ergonomics is the study of the way people use their bodies at work, the environment they work in and tools they use to do their jobs. Poor posture and poorly designed workspaces are major causes of neck and back pain, which can be the main reasons for absenteeism. Correct chair height, sufficient space, adequate equipment and good posture can help you stay comfortable and injury free.
Follow our helpful ergonomic tips for a more comfortable, injury free workspace:
- Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet are comfortably flat on the floor while sitting. Once adjusted if you find that your chair is too low in relation to your workstation, use a footrest to provide support for your feet and raise the chair to the desired height. When seated proper positioning is usually with your knees and elbows at 90 degree angles, and the seat of your chair should not press into the back of your knees. If your chair can’t be adjusted so that your back is straight, try using a wedged shaped cushion, positioning it between the curve of your lower back and the back of your chair.
- The monitor should be positioned so that the user can easily see the entire screen without having to tilt their head in any direction. It should be approximately arms length away with the top of the screen at eye level or just below, so that you look down at a slight angle to your work. A screen that is too high or too low causes the user to bend their neck. If this continues for a prolonged period of time, then tension and pain can occur in the neck and shoulders. To avoid glare and reflections, use screen protectors or alternatively move or adjust your screen so that it is not directly facing a window.
- Poor lighting can cause you to strain you eyes, ensure overhead lighting and task lighting is sufficient and fit for purpose.
- Change your posture frequently throughout the day to minimise fatigue. Take short breaks away from your workstation, move around, stand, perform simple stretching exercises or go for a walk. Stretching your neck, shoulders and back during the day, are all said to help you stay comfortable.
When your workspace is set up to suit you and the job you are doing, you will:
- Be less likely to have problems such as headaches or eyestrain.
- Reduce neck and back pain.
- Prevent repetitive strain injury.
More and more businesses are starting to realise the benefits of providing their employees with an ergonomic working environment and if it results in less absenteeism and happy employees, what are you waiting for?