Seattle, WA: 206-521-5676 Olympia, WA: 360-236-8748 Portland/Salem, OR: 503-768-9742 Info@SolutionsNW.com
Office Design – Setting up an Ergonomic Standing Desk

Office Design – Setting up an Ergonomic Standing Desk

Office Design – Setting up an Ergonomic Standing Desk

Did you know that American workers spend five hours working at a desk on average? In fact, many desk workers may spend their entire workday at a desk.

The way your employees spend their time at work can take a toll on their bodies, especially repetitive desk work. Investing in ergonomic office equipment like ergonomic standing desks will make an employee’s time at their desk more enjoyable – whether they are working in the office or doing remote work at home.

How do ergonomic desks work, though? Can you just set it up and leave it at that?  While investing in a professional ergonomics assessment will yield the best results, below are some best practice tips for ergonomic standing desks from the ergonomics experts at Solutions Northwest Inc..

How to Set Up Your Ergonomic Standing Desk

Whether you are looking for ergonomic solutions for the office or home office, there are a few things your employees should keep in mind when they are first doing their ergonomic desk setup. For example, ergonomic desks need to have different settings for standing and sitting.

Standing While Working

If your employee is standing, their ergonomic standing desks should be set up, so their elbows are close to their body, their wrists should be at 180 degrees to the forearm, and they should be able to look straight ahead at their computer monitor. Ergonomics experts recommend that if they have the option, they should also have a standing desk mat and something they can rest their feet on, alternating between which foot is up at any given time.

Sitting While Working

According to ergonomics experts, when employees are sitting at an ergonomic computer desk, they should have their monitor at eye level. This prevents them from craning their neck to look up or down. Both feet should be on the floor or a mat, and their elbows and knees should be at 90 degrees. Further equipment is likely needed, such as an ergonomic chair, which would help with any backaches or injuries workers might develop as well.

Related article: “The Ergonomic Way to Sit at Your Desk and View Your Monitor

Common Ergonomic Standing Desk MistakesErgonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.

Standing desk ergonomics can help employees feel better and ease employee’s aches and pains that can develop over years of repetitive work.

There are a few things office desk workers should keep in mind when using ergonomic tools like a standing desk:

  1. Using standing desks doesn’t mean workers only stand while working. Employees should be alternating between standing and sitting because staying in either position too long can lead to injury and pain for workers.The benefit of an ergonomic standing desk is that it will make it easier to alternate between sitting and standing. In fact, some ergonomic standing desks come with a timer to let you know when it is time to alternate – if not, consider using your phone to set a timer to remind yourself to alternate from sitting to standing.

  2. We also spoke about setting an employee’s ergonomic desk properly above. Consult the manual or get some expert advice from an ergonomics consultant on how to set up the desk. Having an ergonomic desk but not optimizing it can be a huge mistake.
  3. Employees should also make sure they are attempting to stand or sit with good posture. They should stand or sit with their shoulders back and head up, looking directly at their computer monitors. Hunching and slouching can lead to some uncomfortable issues down the line.

Related article: “The Truth About Working Sitting Down vs. Standing Up

Invest in Ergonomics for Happier, Safer, and more Productive Employees.

Ergonomic standing desks can give your employees the option to stretch their legs and avoid workplace injury. If your workers see you are taking an active interest in their well-being, it will also lead to happier workers. Happier workers are more productive workers.

Investing in workplace ergonomics will pay off in the long run, which is why it is important to remain proactive even if your workers are working remotely. Contact the ergonomics experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. to find out how you can have a professional ergonomics assessment performed. And be sure to check out our new virtual ergonomics assessment, designed for remote workers (all they need is access to e-mail or a smart phone).

Have questions? Contact us at SolutionsNW.com, we will be happy to help you!

At SolutionsNW.com we value the importance of a positive workplace culture. Part of a positive workplace is a safe workplace, Contact Us to schedule an ergonomics consultation or ergonomics assessment for your office today.

Subscribe to our ergonomics blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics evaluations available in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, OR, Portland, OR, Salem, OR.

Virtual Ergonomics Assessment available nationwide!

Contact the Ergonomics Experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. Below:

Multiple Locations

Corporate Office: 120 State Ave. NE #397
Olympia, WA 98501
Business Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Corporate FAX: 360-866-4773
Email: Info@solutionsnw.com

San Diego, CA

877-976-9462

Olympia, WA

360-236-8748

Portland/Salem, OR

503-768-9742

Seattle, WA

206-521-5676

Contact our Ergonomics Experts

5 Factors to Consider When Hiring Remote Workers

5 Factors to Consider When Hiring Remote Workers

5 Factors to Consider When Hiring Remote Workers

Are you moving your business to a remote-only lifestyle? You’re not alone.

More business owners are choosing to have their employees work from home (or wherever else they can drag their computers). It’s lowered costs and made for happier employees. 

There are benefits to hiring remote workers. Yet, how do you know when you’re ready to make the change? What do you need to keep in mind when your employees are working from home?

Keep reading for four factors to keep in mind when hiring remote workers.

1. CompensationRemote Worker Ergonomics Assessment

Not all businesses are going to have to worry about this, but anyone who hires outside of their local area needs to keep compensation in mind.

Paying remote workers who live around the world isn’t the same as paying ones who live in your city. 

You’re going to have to take into consideration the minimum wage of the areas where your employees work as well as the cost of living.

Employees who work full-time should be able to survive on your wages, but an employee in Kansas will have a very different experience from an employee in Seattle. Adjust accordingly. 

2. Communication

How are you going to communicate with your employees? How are they going to communicate with each other?

Some employers choose to hold mandatory meetings over video chat. Not all employees are happy with this. However, if they’re brief and laser-focused, they can foster great communication. 

Employees with unreliable video equipment, who live with children coming in and out of their home office spaces, may be better off with phone meetings or a text-based chat platform.

You’ll want your employees to be able to talk to each other as if they were in the office. 

3. State Laws

With the variety of locations that your employees can work from, you’ll have to consider various laws and regulations that relate to your industry.

For example, in California, your employees need to be classified as employees. You can’t hire freelance workers to do employee-style jobs. You need to know the difference between employees and contractors. 

You also have to be careful to not transfer the costs of doing business to your employees. You may be responsible for some of the costs associated with doing the remote work, depending on your state.

4. Time Zones

If your employees are working all over the world you’ll need to have a bit of flexibility regarding work hours. Even if you only hire American workers you have four well-known timezones to consider and several lesser-known timezones

If you want the best talent that you can find, you will want to have a broad reach. It might be helpful to allow your employees to set their own hours or complete work on their own time.  A specified time limit can ensure that everyone has a standard workday.

5. Home Office Design

When using remote workers, it is easy to forget about their workstation (out of sight, out of mind). However, because they’re remote workers it is much more important to be involved in ensuring they’re properly set up to perform the job.

For example, if your remote workers are using a laptop from their bed, they are less likely to be as productive had they been working at a desk with a proper home office setup.

Every remote worker needs an ergonomic workstation assessment. This includes ergonomic furniture like the desk and chair, as well as ergonomic gadgets like the mouse, keyboard, and monitor. It may take a small financial investment from the employer or employee, but we suggest an ergonomics assessment to assist your company in setting up a home office for your remote workers.

Right now, companies like Solutions Northwest Inc. are offering virtual ergonomic assessments specially designed for remote workers. During an ergonomics assessment, an ergonomics consultant will help you design the ideal home office setup for comfort, injury prevention, and work productivity.

Just because your employees are working remotely doesn’t mean you can stop catering to their needs.

Using remote workers can give your business a huge boost. Make sure you consider several factors before assigning your employees to remote work. Consider everything that comes along with remote workers and prepare yourself for your new venture. 

If you’d like some assistance on the perfect home office setup for your remote workers,  contact our ergonomics experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. and inquire about their affordable virtual ergonomics assessment.

Looking for more tips on how to create an ergonomic workspace? Contact us at SolutionsNW.com, we will be happy to help you!

At SolutionsNW.com we value the importance of a positive workplace culture. Part of a positive workplace is a safe workplace, Contact Us to schedule an ergonomics consultation or ergonomics assessment for your office today.

Subscribe to our ergonomics blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics evaluations available in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, OR, Portland, OR, Salem, OR.

Virtual Ergonomics Assessment available nationwide!

Contact the Ergonomics Experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. Below:

Multiple Locations

Corporate Office: 120 State Ave. NE #397
Olympia, WA 98501
Business Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Corporate FAX: 360-866-4773
Email: Info@solutionsnw.com

San Diego, CA

877-976-9462

Olympia, WA

360-236-8748

Portland/Salem, OR

503-768-9742

Seattle, WA

206-521-5676

Contact our Ergonomics Experts

Why Every Business Needs an Ergonomics Assessment

Why Every Business Needs an Ergonomics Assessment

Businesswoman Relax from work. At the office

No matter the size of your business, it’s essential to take the role of ergonomics very seriously. Whether you have five employees or fifty, it’s vital to take their long-term health very seriously. The health of your employees matters and is also important to your long-term financial success.

If you’re unsure of what the ergonomics standing of your business currently is, it can be worth looking into ergonomic assessments. Seeing where your workplace stands can ensure you implement needed changes. This will save you trouble and money down the line.

Want to learn more about the benefits of ergonomics assessments? Read on.

Ergonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.

Providing a safe and stable workplace for your employees is a must.

One of the main reasons ergonomic assessments are important is that they benefit your employees. Your employees deserve the right to a safe and comfortable working environment. Plenty of modern workplaces feature working conditions that actually pose a long-term risk to workers’ health.

No employee deserves that.

Looking out for your employees isn’t only the right thing to do, it can yield a lot of positive results for your company. It’s a competitive field out there, and you want to ensure you’re hiring the very best for your company or business.

The best way to make yourself attractive to potential hires is to demonstrate a level of genuine care for your employees. A safe and ergonomically focused workplace is becoming a must-have for many of the most qualified and skilled new workers in the country.

If you fall behind in ergonomics workplace standards, you could easily lose employees to other businesses that are willing to put their workers first. The costs of hiring and re-hiring employees alone can put you under a lot quicker than the cost of a simple ergonomic assessment, not to mention the costs of potential on-the-job injuries.

Workplace ergonomics evaluations save you money in the long run.

An ergonomics assessment can point out potential dangers in the way your workplace is currently set up. It can also provide solutions.

These ergonomics solutions can lower your cost of running a business. The cost of serious worker’s compensation claims and injury lawsuits is enough to bankrupt any serious-sized company, much less a small one. Not to mention, happier and safer workers are better workers.

If you want to reduce work injury claims and increase productivity in the workplace, implementing serious ergonomics innovations is one of the best ways to go about this. Even if you can reduce claims in your company by a small percentage, you can increase your profitability on a yearly basis by a large margin.

Yes, the more ergonomically friendly equipment might cost a little bit more upfront, but the investment is more than well worth its cost. 

In conclusion, ergonomics assessments are essential for every business.

If you’re a small business owner, it’s essential for the health of your employees and your company that you take the topic of ergonomics very seriously. Allowing ergonomics assessments of your workplace can highlight potential danger areas and provide solutions that can help you and your workers out in the long-run.

Ready to schedule an assessment today? Contact Solutions Northwest Inc. anytime to speak with one of our ergonomics experts. 

Be sure to stay current with the latest workplace safety news and subscribe to our ergonomics blog often for more tips and tricks for a more efficient workplace.

At SolutionsNW.com we value the importance of a positive workplace culture. Part of a positive workplace is a safe workplace, Contact Us to schedule an ergonomics consultation or ergonomics assessment for your office today.

Subscribe to our ergonomics blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics evaluations available in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, OR, Portland, OR, Salem, OR, San Diego, CA, Carlsbad, CA, La Jolla, CA, Irvine, CA, Costa Mesa, CA, Newport Beach, CA.

5 Ergonomic Risk Factors You Didn’t Know Your Job Had From an Ergonomics Perspective

5 Ergonomic Risk Factors You Didn’t Know Your Job Had From an Ergonomics Perspective

5 Risks You Didn't Know Your Job Had

“Adapting tasks, workstations, tools, and equipment to fit the worker can help reduce physical stress on a worker’s body and eliminate many potentially serious, disabling work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).” – OSHA

No matter where you work, your computer-centric job could pose serious risk factors from an ergonomics perspective.

Here are our top 5 risk factors you didn’t realize your job had.

Ergonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.

1. Insufficient work breaks.

Without sufficient breaks, your posture can take a hit and have immediate effects on your health. It’s easy to get lost in a task and find yourself slouching with sore shoulders hours later.

This is particularly true for those who complete work on computers. Classic desk jobs require hyper-focus on screens, which correlates with less movement throughout the day.

If you have a labor-focused job in comparison, you are more likely to have risks related to unsafe methods of labor vs. unsafe posture. Combat this by setting a timer to take a break every half hour, at least.

On your breaks, be sure to get out of your chair and take a quick walk. This can be as simple as walking to the water cooler or even to a coworker across the room. Any break like this can help reset your posture and refresh your mind as well.

2. Watch for the risk factors of your desk and workstation.

Posture-related risk factors are not the only risk of a desk job. While you can control your posture or train yourself not to slouch, sometimes your physical desk space is not equipped for ergonomic health.

One simple fix is learning how to properly set up your computer’s monitor. For details, read our blog on how to set up your computer monitor.

Properly setting up your workstation can be complicated, consider consulting an ergonomics consultant to have an evaluation and ergonomics assessment.

3. Protect your eyes from digital eye strain.

Prolonged vision issues can arise from constant computer and tablet use. The average American worker spends seven hours a day on a computer.

You may notice that working on a digital device close to bedtime can result in low quality of sleep as well.

You may be unable to cut down on the hours you spend on a digital device. However, you can minimize the risk for your eyes.

Take frequent breaks and consider the 20-20-20 rule. Take a 20-second break in which you look at a location 20 feet away every 20 minutes. This will help protect your eyes every day.

4. Unsafe lifting at work can lead to injury.

One obvious risk of a labor job is related to unsafe lifting. Lifting from your back, instead of your core and feet, can result in job-related injuries and long-term pain.

Be sure to follow any safety procedures and training your job provides. It’s important to ask for help and put your health first, as ignoring this can result in a shorter career as well.

5. Cramped workplace can cause work injury.

If your desk is cramped or placed in a corner, your body will be under strain. No matter how best you optimize your space, a lack of space or tools can result in poor health.

Do your best to arrange a home office space with enough room and install equipment with ergonomics in mind. If you work in an office, be sure to collectively push for enough room between your desks to work in and breathe.

If you’re unsure of how to arrange your workstation, contact an ergonomics company to evaluate your workstation and provide an ergonomics assessment.

In conclusion, stay proactive to combat workplace injury.

In 2013, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) accounted for 1/3 of reported days-away-from-work. While stress and occasional discomfort are unavoidable, minimizing ergonomic risk factors is essential.

Don’t risk your health while you work. Take frequent breaks throughout your workday, set up your desk for success, and avoid cramped spaces to stay on track for health longevity.

In fact, consider contacting our ergonomics consultants at Solutions Northwest Inc. for an ergonomics assessment for your company.

Subscribe to our ergonomics blog to read more tips and tricks for keeping yourself healthy while you’re at work.

Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics consultants located in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, OR, Portland, OR, Salem, OR, San Diego, CA, Carlsbad, CA, La Jolla, CA, Irvine, CA, Costa Mesa, CA, Newport Beach, CA.

How to Relieve Eye Strain from Staring at Screens at Work

How to Relieve Eye Strain from Staring at Screens at Work

People who spend long hours staring at computer screens at work may experience some eye discomfort. Here's how to relieve eye strain while you're in the office.

Many office workers are aware of carpal tunnel syndrome, but what about computer vision syndrome (CVS)? Computer vision syndrome includes a variety of eye strain issues, such as dry eyes and tension headaches, that primarily affect office workers. According to WebMD, “50% to 90% of people who work on computers exhibit symptoms of CVS.”

Ergonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.

While these statistics sound scary, there are things you can do to help your eyes during the day. Let’s explore how to relieve eye strain during the work week so you can keep your body in tip-top shape.

How to relieve eye strain.

Are you ready to relieve your eyes? The ergonomics experts at Solutions Northwest Inc., have put together these tips to help you keep your vision healthy by reducing heavy strain on your eyes.

1. Adjust your screen at work.

The closer your eyes are to your screen, the harder they work. Give your eyes a much-needed break by keeping your screen at a safe distance.

A good rule of thumb is to keep your monitor 25 inches away from your face. If you don’t have any measuring tape, just use the length of your arm. If you have trouble seeing, adjust your computer settings to enlarge the text.

Poor posture also contributes to vision problems. The top of your screen should be at eye level. By keeping your computer at this level, you should experience less back and neck tension.

Check out our guide on setting up your work desk for proper ergonomics here.

2. Give yourself a break from work.

Not only is it crucial for your mental health to take breaks from your work throughout the day, but it’s essential for your physical well-being, too. You can reduce eye strain by taking one 10-minute break every hour. 

While you’re on your break, don’t switch from staring at a computer screen to looking at your phone screen. That won’t relieve your eyes at all.

Take active work breaks, go for a walk, stretch, and move around. Take a stroll around your office, or do simple office stretches at your desk. Once you return to work, you’ll notice your eyes feeling much more refreshed.

3. Brighter is not better.

Don’t turn your brightness all the way up on your computer screen. If your screen is much brighter than your surroundings, your eyes strain more to see. Adjust your brightness level to match your surrounding workstation.

To improve your brightness levels, minimize other bright lights in the office if possible.


4. Don’t forget to blink.

When you’re concentrating, you might forget to blink. According to AAO.org, people blink one-third as much as they normally do while staring at a screen.

Blinking is how our eyes naturally stay hydrated and refreshed. When you don’t blink, your eyes start to dry up as they become strained.

Making a habit to blink frequently while staring at a screen reduces tension. If your eyes feel dry, keep artificial tears at your desk. These lubricating eye drops can reduce irritation and help your eyes stay hydrated.

In conclusion, stay proactive while viewing a screen at work.

An office with ergonomics in mind is a happy office! Spread the word to your coworkers about how to take care of their eyes while spending most of the week on a computer. Through these simple techniques, you and your colleagues can reduce eye strain and feel healthier at the end of a long work week.

Now that you know how to relieve eye strain, explore other remedies for making life at the office healthier for your body. In fact, consider contacting our ergonomics consultants at Solutions Northwest Inc. for an ergonomics assessment for your company.

Subscribe to our ergonomics blog to read more tips and tricks for keeping yourself healthy while you’re at work.

Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics consultants located in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, OR, Portland, OR, Salem, OR, San Diego, CA, Carlsbad, CA, La Jolla, CA, Irvine, CA, Costa Mesa, CA, Newport Beach, CA.

The Ergonomic Way to Sit at Your Desk and View Your Monitor

The Ergonomic Way to Sit at Your Desk and View Your Monitor

Not having your work desk ergonomically adjusted can cause you injury in the long term.

In fact, one of the most important things you can do is have the correct sitting position at your desk.  Sitting correctly will help prevent headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, backaches, and eye strain while working on a computer.

While every workplace should have an ergonomics assessment done by a professional ergonomics company, below are some quick tips to ensure you are sitting properly at your workstation.

Remote Worker Ergonomics Assessment

Start with the desk.

Before you can set up your monitor, you need to start with your desk. The height of the work desk should be half an inch below your sitting elbow height. 

Your height will play a significant role in the exact positioning of your desk and chair. 

If you desk is too low or too high, you may need a work around and an ergonomic consultant can help with this.

Learn the correct sitting posture for computer work.

When sitting at your computer desk, ergonomics consultants suggest that you relax your shoulders and keep your forearms parallel to the floor. Your wrist should only have minimal bend.

Your chair should have back support and armrests, as well as be height adjustable. Keep your thighs and feet parallel to the floor and use a footrest if necessary.

Remember to get up from your chair and move around every 25 minutes to give your body a break. Consider using an app to remind yourself to take your breaks, breaks can lead to more productivity in the workplace and keep you safe from injury.

The perfect ergonomic monitor height.

To start, make sure your monitor is centered directly in front of you. This way, you can sit in your chair and look straight forward. Otherwise, you will strain your neck and back as you twist to the right or left to look at the screen. 

The general rule is that your monitor should be 18-24 inches away from you. But you can also use your arm to measure this. 

Sit back in your chair and reach out towards your monitor. It should be about an arm length away.

Next, position the monitor so that the top of the screen is level with your eyes.

If you have your screen too low, you’ll tilt your head forward and strain your neck. Position the monitor too high, and you’ll find yourself tilting your head back. This can cause neck and shoulder pain. 

Lastly, ergonomics experts suggest it may be helpful to tilt the screen back so that the base is slightly closer than the top. This can make viewing the entire screen easier and help reduce glare or digital eye strain. Not all monitors have this capability.

In conclusion, know your office ergonomics basics.

A monitor which is not set up to the correct ergonomic height may not bother you at first. But over time, your muscles will strain, your body will ache, and you may develop a cumulative trauma injury. 

You can prevent all of this by making minor adjustments until you have your monitor in the ideal position. 

Visit SolutionsNW.com to learn more about the importance of workplace ergonomics or Contact Us to schedule an ergonomics consultation.

Subscribe to our ergonomics blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics consultants located in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, OR, Portland, OR, Salem, OR, San Diego, CA, Carlsbad, CA, La Jolla, CA, Irvine, CA, Costa Mesa, CA, Newport Beach, CA.

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