Setting up your office space is a fun task. You get to choose new furniture and accessories, and maybe even new tech gadgets. However, there is a lot to consider when setting up an office space.
Since most workers spend a great deal of time in their office space, ergonomic design becomes an integral part of the productive office setup.
Setting up your workstation in a way that is good for your body is vital. However, with the word "ergonomic" being thrown around loosely, it can be difficult to tell exactly what an ergonomic desk setup involves.
If you need help with your ergonomic office set up in your home or place of work, follow these ergonomic office guidelines to get you started.
7 Steps to Have a Proper Ergonomic Office Setup
1. Choose an Area to Setup Your Office
The pandemic has forced millions of people to work from home. If you are one of these people, you may need to set up an office in your home. If you haven't already, decide on a location to set up your ergonomic home office.
This could be an empty space or a spare bedroom that can be converted into an office area. It is essential that the ergonomic office setup you choose is free of clutter and noise to allow you to work efficiently and productively.
2. What Equipment Do You Need?
Before setting up your ergonomic workstation, you must first analyze your equipment needs. Begin by considering your occupation. If you are a programmer, you may need a 3-monitor desk setup or additional tech gadgets, but a laptop or single monitor may be sufficient if you are a bookkeeper.
Additionally, your posture is primarily determined by what you are doing with your hands. Therefore, before making any changes, think about how you spend much of your workday. Do you type for long periods? Are you a visual artist who works primarily with a stylus?
If you do a task for an extended period, personalize your setup to be comfortable and safe for you. Should you spend a lot of time reading hardcopy, for example, you may need to include a lamp on your work desk.
Once you have an idea of what equipment your ergonomic office setup requires, you can begin choosing ergonomic furniture.
3. Pick a Work Desk
Now that you know what office equipment you need, you can select a desk. The best choice of an ergonomic desk is a standing desk because it can help you alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day.
Your choice of desk should be large enough to accommodate all your office supplies and equipment. It should also be practical enough to fit into the space without being in the way.
You can opt for an L-shaped standing desk if you need more desk space to ergonomic office setup multiple monitors and equipment.
The Benefits of a Standing Desk
If you have never heard of a standing desk before, it is simply a desk that can be moved up and down to allow you to keep your arms at right angles while working. It also helps to keep your monitor at eye level, preventing strain to the eyes and muscles of the neck.
However, did you know that standing desks have many health benefits? Here are some of the benefits you can expect when adopting a sit-stand method with a standing desk in your ergonomic office setup.
- Weight loss. Sitting for lengthy periods can result in more calories being taken in than are burned. This is what leads to weight gain. Alternating between sitting and standing can keep you active, engaging core muscles, and helping you burn calories while you work.
- Reduced blood sugar levels. Remaining sedentary, particularly after a meal, can cause blood sugar levels to rise. However, when you alternate between sitting and standing, your blood sugar levels are regulated.
- Improved productivity. Standing improves blood flow throughout your body, and more blood flow to the brain means a remarkable ability to focus on the task at hand.
- Lower risk of heart disease. Remaining seated all day requires little energy, so instead of burning energy, your body may resort to storing it instead in the form of fat. Increased fat storage puts you at risk of heart disease.
- Boost your overall mood. Sitting for extended periods has been linked to increased levels of anxiety and depression. However, when you spend more time standing, it can boost your overall mood.
Autonomous Standing Desks
Autonomous has an impressive range of standing desks with dual or triple motors to help raise the desktop silently and efficiently. You can choose between the SmartDesk Core or Core Duo, SmartDesk Pro, SmartDesk Hybrid, or the SmartDesk Corner.
These desks have been designed to move quickly, and emit almost no sound, so you are never disturbed while working. They were made to suit a range of professional individuals, so all Autonomous SmartDesks have a high load capacity and a BIFMA-approved height adjustability range.
4. Select an Ergonomic Chair
Just as you would adjust your car seat to accommodate your body, it is essential to adapt your ergonomic office setup to a similar extent. The truth is that good ergonomic office posture is like sitting in a car. Your feet are flat on the ground, but your legs are extended, and your body is tilted slightly backward.
While great care is taken when adjusting the elements of your car to allow for maximum support and comfort, even more care should be taken when picking out your office furniture. This is because, for most people, more time is spent sitting in their office than in a car.
What to Look for in an Office Chair
If you sit in a chair that is uncomfortable for extended periods, you could end up with an injury to your lower back, shoulders, neck, and arms. When selecting an ergonomic chair for your ergonomic desk setup, here are a few things to consider.
- Height range. An ideal office chair is height adjustable, so that you can move it up and down to suit your height. The right way to sit to prevent injury is with your arms at right angles to the desk, so be sure to choose a chair that allows you to achieve this posture.
- Adjustable armrests. Muscles of the arm, shoulder, neck, and back are constantly engaged while working on your keyboard. Therefore, the prolonged strain on these muscles can cause injury and pain. Adjustable armrests can help relieve pressure by supporting your arms.
- Lumbar support. This feature is quickly becoming a standard feature in office chairs, and for a good reason. The spine has an S shape, and so inadequate support of this curvature means that the back muscles are engaged constantly while you sit. Long-term strain to these muscles could lead to injury, so lumbar support is an absolute must.
- Durability. Office chairs can be costly, so purchasing a good quality chair that lasts long is the key to long-term support that doesn't hurt your pocket.
- Good upholstery. You may not know it, but the material your chair's seating and backrest are made from are very important. Long hours spent seated on a chair could lead to a build-up of sweat and odor in the chair's fabric. Therefore, it is essential to opt for a chair made from breathable material.
- Load capacity. If you are more prominent in stature, you must consider the load capacity of an office chair. A chair with a load capacity lower than your weight could cause it to break quickly, which no one wants, especially after investing in an expensive chair.
Autonomous Office Chairs
Autonomous is an office furniture specialist who designs ergonomic chairs that are just as visually appealing as supportive and functional. The two most popular chairs are the ErgoChair Pro and the ErgoChair Pro+.
They provide all the ergonomic support you could need, and come in an array of colors, so you can pick out a color that matches your office décor. If you prefer a white ergonomic office chair, you may love the ErgoChair Pro or ErgoChair Pro+, as both these chairs are available in white.
5. Consider Office Lighting
Proper lighting in an ergonomic office setup makes working easier. Approximately 85 percent of data received by the brain comes from their visual perception. Good lighting that is free of glare and shadows, which can decrease headaches and visual fatigue.
It may also help to prevent accidents in the office by improving the visibility of objects and other safety hazards. Proper lighting also decreases the likelihood of injuries and incidents caused by momentary blindness, which occurs due to the eyes adjusting from brighter to darker, or vice-versa.
6. Add Accessories
An ergonomic desk setup should include desk accessories that help keep your workspace clear of clutter, help you work more efficiently, and maintain an active lifestyle. Here is a list of accessories that can help you make your ergonomic home office more efficient.
- LED desk lamp to include some of the benefits that you would get from natural light
- Cable tray for keeping your space free of cables
- A power dock to keep your computer tech plugged in
- Privacy panels if sharing a workspace
- Monitor arms to keep the monitor at eye level
- Filing cabinet to keep documents out the way
- Anti-fatigue mat to prevent pain and fatigue when standing
- Desk organizer to keep everything within arm’s reach
7. Position Your Monitor, Keyboard, and Mouse Well
Having an ergonomic desk and office chair is not enough to keep your body from being injured. You should also position the parts of your computer correctly, so that your muscles and joints are not strained.
The computer monitor should ideally be directly in front of you. Your display's center must be aligned with your line of sight or eye level.
You may have to tilt your head down if the screen is positioned too low. If the screen is set too high, you must tilt your head upward.
Should the screen be positioned to one side, you may strain your neck muscles while turning to one side. All these awkward positions put a strain on your muscles, and the result is pain and injury.
If you find it challenging to position your monitor at eye level, you may need to purchase a monitor arm or a monitor for your ergonomic home office that lets you tilt the screen back and forth.
Keyboard and Mouse
Position your mouse on the same surface as your keyboard, so that it is easy to reach. When working with the keyboard or mouse, keep your wrists straight, your upper arms near your body, and your hands at elbow level.
Reduce the amount of time you spend using the mouse by using keyboard shortcuts. Adjust the mouse's responsiveness if possible, so that you can operate it with softer pressure. By moving the mouse to the opposite side of your keyboard, you can switch up which hand you use to operate it in your ergonomic workstation.
Autonomous Employer/Employee Purchase Program
Suppose you are picking out wholesale office furniture for your employees. In that case, you can take advantage of Autonomous' new employer purchase program that lets your employees pick out their office furniture remotely via an online platform.
Should you be an employee, you can pick out your furniture for your home office from wherever you are, and Autonomous sends your choices to your employer when you use its employee purchase program.
This innovative program was designed to help businesses limit their human contact during the pandemic and streamline and optimize selecting furniture for large organizations.
Setting up an ergonomic office space may seem like a daunting task. However, if you follow these simple steps and desk setup ideas, you can have your office space set up and working for your good, or the good of your employees, in no time.
Autonomous has a wide range of products that focus on keeping professionals healthy, happy, productive, and focused. Shop a wide range of products from the Autonomous online store to make your ergonomic office setup an easy, stress-free process.
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