What to Look for When Shopping for the Best Ergonomic Workstation
What do remote work and office work have in common? They both carry the same risk of suffering a strain injury.
We are, of course, talking about ergonomics. Without a workstation that keeps the body in a neutral position, staying comfortable is all but impossible. The only question is which part of your body will start hurting first.
Not sure how to create the best ergonomic workstation for your needs? Start by investing in these three essential ergonomic upgrades!
Comfortable Ergonomic Chair
Let’s do a small test. Sit in your chair and press your back against the backrest. Are there any gaps between the chair and your spine?
If the answer is yes, you need a better office chair. Your back has a natural S-curve, and the chair needs to support it. An ergonomic chair will also have lumbar support for your lower back and a comfortable cushion.
These desks should be considered a long term investment as it will pay off with increased comfort and safety as well as improve productivity.
Related Article: “Why Every Business Needs an Ergonomics Assessment”
Ergonomic Standing Desk
When you’re working at a desk, your wrists and arms should be parallel to the floor. At most, they need to be slightly angled down toward your lap.
The issue: most desks are 28-30” high, which puts people who are 5’10” or above in an awkward position. One solution: raise your chair to keep your wrists above the desk. You can also mount a keyboard tray under your desk.
No matter what you do, though, you won’t find the optimal height for all five main office tasks. These include:
- viewing your screen
- using the mouse
- reading documents
Since these all require different heights, your best bet is to get an adjustable-height standing desk. That way, you can switch between sitting and standing to stay comfortable throughout the day.
Related article: “Standing vs Sitting at Your Desk”
The mouse and keyboard are also key parts of any ergonomic workplace. If they’re not comfortable, they’ll put stress on your wrists and shoulders.
A good mouse should fit your hand and be smooth to maneuver. If you can’t find a mouse that doesn’t cause you fatigue, consider another input device. For instance, a trackball will keep your hand in a neutral position.
As for the keyboard, look for a split model. Standard keyboards force your hands inwards, which causes you to hunch your shoulders. Split keyboards allow you to space each half and keep your shoulders relaxed.
Not a fan of split keyboards? Get a standard keyboard that either tilts forward or has a low, flat profile. Both types will help keep your wrists neutral.
Related article: “5 Benefits of Using an Ergonomic Mouse and Keyboard”
Setting up the Best Ergonomic Workstation
Do you or your employees spend a big part of the day working at a desk? If so, neglecting workplace ergonomics can harm one’s health. Follow the above guide and begin your journey into creating an injury free workspace.
At Solutions Northwest Inc., we understand that ensuring that you and your employees are following ergonomic workstation guidelines can be tricky. Generally, best practice is to have an ergonomic assessment done by an ergonomics consultant – and our consultants at Solutions Northwest Inc. are here to help! Contact us here to schedule an ergonomic assessment or learn more about our services.
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!