10 Ergonomic Office Do’s & Don'ts Tips for a Healthy Workspace
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Whether you’re working from home or your office, it’s important to optimize everything so that you have a much better working experience. One of the best ways to improve your working space is through ergonomic equipment.
Ergonomics have been proven to make our bodies feel better, our minds sharper, and our productivity higher. However, it’s not enough to just buy a lot of ergonomic equipment and place it randomly in your office. If you truly want your office to be better, you must organize it accordingly.
Paying attention to what you need is key to achieving a healthy workspace for you and everyone around. If you don’t know where to begin, this article is going to provide you with ergonomic office tips that may help you achieve the perfect office for you.
What Is Ergonomics?
In essence, ergonomics is a scientific discipline whose purpose is understanding how the human body interacts with other elements of a system. Overall, the point of ergonomics is to optimize your body and mind’s performance through better system performance.
If we translate this to an office workspace, the purpose of ergonomics is to achieve better productivity and job performance through the usage of ergonomic office equipment. Following office ergonomics guidelines ensures the person is always comfortable while working, which translates to better results at the end of the day.
An ergonomic workspace may vary slightly depending on the person. However, the following items must always be in an ergonomic workspace if you want it to work correctly:
- Ergonomic chair
- Ergonomic standing desk
- Properly placed monitor
- Properly placed keyboard and mouse
You may be wondering what ergonomics can offer you. The good news is that there are several benefits for every worker who uses ergonomic equipment in their office. First, ergonomic equipment prevents physical disorders and promotes your well-being.
Additionally, keep in mind that if you can do your job correctly and without any distractions, you’re more likely to deliver better quality work in general. Working with mental or physical impairments can often make you decrease your overall work performance.
In conclusion, ergonomics at work is one of the best options you can take regarding improving your working experience. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you must go rushing into a store and buy a lot of new office equipment. As long as you follow the workplace ergonomic tips we’re going to show on this page, you’re good to go.
Why Do You Need a Healthy Workspace?
As mentioned before, a healthier workplace environment translates to better productivity among employees. Additionally, the improved productivity and mood among the employees may also translate to reduced costs related to workers’ compensation claims, medical claims, absenteeism, and others.
It’s important to note that as adults, we spend approximately one-third of our lives at work. In cases of office work, some people spend almost the entire day sitting on their computer, which can be hazardous to their physical and mental health.
Ergonomics isn’t supposed to get rid of all the problems that come from working for prolonged hours. Still, it’s an excellent alternative to make your body and mind feel better for most of the day.
Achieving a much healthier workspace also increases employee retention since most employees quit their job because they don’t feel comfortable with their current work environment. However, if you optimize the work environment to something that benefits everyone, they’re more likely to stay.
As you can see, having a healthy workspace goes beyond physical comfort. If you optimize everything correctly, you’re likely to make your business more likable by everyone involved with it.
Why Is Ergonomics Important for a Healthy Workspace?
While having a healthy workspace isn’t directly tied to ergonomics, it plays a significant role in it. Achieving a healthier workspace also involves working with reasonable expectations, schedules, and more.
If you’re able to keep a reasonable working schedule and use ergonomic equipment on top of that, you’re more likely to be happy with your current job.
Pros and Cons of Ergonomics
- It promotes physical and mental well-being.
- There are many ways to optimize your office with it.
- You can be creative with your office.
- Some ergonomic equipment may be too expensive.
Ergonomic Office Tips: Do’s and Don’ts for a Healthier Workspace
Now that you know how ergonomics can affect your current work environment, it’s time for us to show you the proper ergonomic office tips so that you can achieve your dream office and work as comfortably as possible.
Keep in mind that you may work with these office ergonomics guidelines in any way you consider appropriate.
1. Improve Your Sitting Posture
One of the primary aspects of ergonomics is having a better seating posture. Workers who sit on their office chairs for several hours tend to hunch their back to adapt their bodies. However, hunching can lead to serious health issues, such as back, shoulder, or neck straining.
Hunching is more common with people who use laptops since the screen tends to be smaller. As a rule of thumb, keep in mind that your eye line must be at the same place as your web browser’s address bar.
In essence, the best way to ensure proper posture while sitting is through an ergonomic chair since it promotes an ergonomic sitting position. These chairs come with several features that help with lumbar support, head support, arm support, and much more. On the contrary, traditional chairs often come with fixed parts which may feel uncomfortable for some users.
If you’re looking to purchase an ergonomic chair, consider going for Autonomous’s ErgoChair Pro since it’s one of the most complete products on the market today. However, if you feel the ErgoChair model is a bit too much for you, you may also go for a budget ergonomic chair. These may not have as many features as other models, but they do the job.
2. Position Your Monitor and Keyboard/Mouse Correctly
Monitor placement is vital if you want to prevent hunching, eye-straining, or other issues in the future. First, you must adjust your monitor so that it’s placed at eye level. Additionally, make sure you take a few breaks during the day to avoid eye-straining.
Generally speaking, you may take a short break every hour to prevent yourself from feeling dizzy or having headaches. Finally, you may try neck stretches from time to time so that it doesn’t get too stiff at the end of your working day.
On the other hand, your keyboard and mouse should be placed as close together as possible. Additionally, they may be just at your arm’s reach to avoid having to reach out for these items. In essence, you must ensure your wrists are straight when you’re working. Note this ergonomic office tip in your note now!
3. Consider a Standing Desk
Humans are not naturally designed to be in a sedentary position all the time, meaning that sitting all day long can be fatal for your health. Considering office jobs often require you to work for several hours a day, you may try working while standing up to reduce some of the negative effects of sitting for too long.
The best way to achieve these results is through a standing desk. These desks can easily change positions so that you can either sit or stand while working, making them highly convenient and boosting ergonomics at work.
In this case, Autonomous’s SmartDesk is the right choice for any worker who is looking to improve their working experience. This product features a stylish design and a lot of power on the motor to ensure you get a much safer and reliable experience.
4. Place Other Accessories Wisely
Thankfully, there are some ergonomic safety tips you may follow to place your accessories accordingly. In essence, do your best to only keep what’s necessary on your desk and place the rest in a drawer or cabinet.
Additionally, make sure the extra items you place on your desk are reachable to your body. Otherwise, you’re going to find yourself changing working positions to reach some items, which may jeopardize your healthy posture.
5. Take Regular Breaks
This is an important ergonomic office tip to keep you always focused and get best performance. Remember our bodies are designed to be in constant movement. Staying in the same position for too long can cause a wide range of health risks. It’s vital for you to keep some frequent breaks away from your computer screen.
The duration of the break depends on you, but make sure you truly take a break from work instead of changing from one device to another. We suggest you do some stretches, go out for a short walk, or take a coffee.
If you continually forget to take breaks, an extremely important workplace ergonomic tip, you may set a timer on your phone to remind yourself.
6. Don’t Work from Your Couch or Bed
If you’re working from home, one of the worst mistakes you can make is working from your couch or bed. While it may feel comfortable at first, you could cause serious injuries to your body in the long run.
Working from the couch doesn’t provide enough body support, and it forces your head to go down so that you can look at your laptop screen. If you’re planning on working for prolonged hours, find a proper chair and desk to work with.
7. Don’t Forget About Hydration and Food
This is one of the important ergonomic safety tips. It’s easy to forget about meals and hydration if you’re too concentrated on your work. However, ignoring these vital factors can also cause you to perform badly on your job. If you tend to forget about meals and water, you may set a reminder every once in a while so that you keep your body in optimal condition.
Additionally, make sure you’re following a healthy diet to prevent any problems in the long run.
8. Don’t Let Your Feet Dangle
Here is another ergonomic office tip. Short people often leave their feet dangling on the floor since they can’t reach it. While it may seem like a minimal issue, it’s not a healthy position for your body. Typically, you can solve the issue with an ergonomic chair, but if you don’t have access to one, consider getting a box to place your feet on.
Proper foot placement reduces stress on your lumbar spine, so keep that in mind.
9. Don’t Work All Day Long
Your entire life mustn’t revolve around work. Focusing your entire day on working can lead you to neglect other areas of your life, such as hobbies, friendships, family, and more. In essence, working too much can cause a wide range of mental issues in the long run.
Remember to take frequent breaks and not take more work than you’re physically and mentally capable to do.
10. Don’t Ignore Pain
Even if you have the right office equipment and follow ergonomic office tips, you may feel some pain or discomfort in areas of your body from time to time. While you’re likely to ignore these issues if they’re just mild discomfort, we suggest you don’t.
In many cases, these small issues can turn into bigger ones if you don’t address them correctly. Remember that physical discomfort happens due to unnatural positioning of your body, so make sure to address your current seating or standing habits to see if there’s anything you’re not doing correctly.
You can achieve a much better and healthier workspace if you follow these ergonomic office tips. Remember you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on an entirely new setup. As long as you place everything accordingly, you’re likely to have a better working experience.
However, if you’re planning on making a complete transformation for your office, you can consider buying bulk office furniture through Autonomous’s employee purchase program. There, you can enjoy special pricing on your new ergonomic chair and standing desk and start working in the best way possible.
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