Office design has a huge impact on an employees’ mental and physical health. From the decor on the walls to the number of windows, to the types of chairs and desks you have – every detail matters.
One of the most important aspects of ergonomic office design will be creating a safe and productive, ergonomic workspace for your employees. Designing a workstation with ergonomics in mind takes workers’ needs into account and improves the setup of the office to fit those needs.
In this post, the ergonomics consultants at Solutions Northwest Inc. are going to help you by giving you some ergonomic workstation guidelines designed to help worker’s maintain proper posture and avoid injuries while working.
Keep reading and you’ll know exactly how to set up your workstations to boost morale, maximize productivity, and maintain employee health.
Ergonomic Workstation Design – Posture
You can have the perfect ergonomic setup for your employees, but if they don’t have good posture, problems will still arise. It’s crucial to keep bones and joints aligned in a neutral position so that the muscles function normally. Good posture also decreases the amount of stress on the spine and ligaments.
This is how an employee should sit:
- The back should be straight with the neck and head upright
- The bottom and thighs should have equally distributed pressure
- Feet should be flat on the floor
- Minimal bend of the wrists, which should not rest on hard edges
- Shoulders and arms should be relaxed and perpendicular to the floor
Creating an ergonomic workspace will help make it easier for a worker to feel comfortable sitting with correct posture. Every workplace is different, so investing in a proper ergonomics assessment for your employee will be crucial when trying to achieve proper workstation ergonomics specific to your needs.
Each workstation will have to be set up a bit differently for each worker. Filling your office with fully adjustable ergonomic equipment will make it easier to accommodate everyone’s needs.
For a basic desk setup – give the computer monitor a 10-20 degree tilt so that it’s centered in front of the eyes, about 20-30 inches away. The keyboard should be positioned an inch above the elbows for the most comfort.
The goal is to maintain the posture as effortlessly as possible.
Your employees should have everything they need within arm’s reach so that they’re never awkwardly bending or moving, which can cause injury.
Invest in Ergonomic Equipment
The furniture and equipment you give your employees should take ergonomics into account.
When it comes to an office chair, for example, it should be comfortable and supportive of the spinal curve. An ergonomic chair will be adjustable so that the worker can assume the correct posture with ease.
An ergonomic desk is also fully adjustable so that the worker can get enough clearance between the desk and their knees. If the worker prefers to stand, adjustable standing desks should also be made available.
Computer monitors should have plenty of swivel and tilt capabilities, as well as anti-glare screens. Stock your workstations with ergonomic keyboards and mouses, and make sure lighting is available at every desk.
Following Ergonomic Workstation Guidelines
Ensuring that you and your employees are following ergonomic workstation guidelines can be tricky. The best practice is to have an ergonomic assessment done and give your employees the proper ergonomic training.
An investment in ergonomics pays off in the long run. Not only will it benefit their long-term health, but it reduces the likelihood of workplace injury and boosts worker productivity.
At Solutions Northwest, Inc., we offer ergonomic consulting, education, and training. To get an ergonomic office assessment from one of our experts, contact us today. We can help you set up a plan to examine and analyze your space.
We can even help you if you have a lot of remote workers by setting up their workspaces with an affordable, virtual ergonomics assessment, which can be done remotely (all you need is access to e-mail or a smart phone).
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Virtual Ergonomics Assessment available nationwide!