The main reason for this post is because of a reader asking me on our Community page about how to set up an ergonomic office setup.
When it comes to knowing how to set up a comfortable office setup, there is a lot of information that has to be examined.
Chances are, you have heard of ergonomics many times in the past, but the surprising fact is that many offices still do not really take it into account, nor do they realize how important it is for employee longevity.
While it is true that many offices have to shell out some money at the start of it all, the most important thing to remember is that it can actually reduce overall operating costs in the long run.
This is because employees that work in a comfortable office setup typically call in sick fewer times throughout their careers and there is less time lost for long-term leave that is related to certain medical problems.
You might be wondering…
The definition of ergonomics is relatively simple:
It refers to the way that certain office equipment is set up in a way that makes it easier for people to operate on a continual basis. Virtually anything can be usable and comfortable, ranging from an office to an automobile.
Here’s the deal:
The reason that it is so important is because the friendlier any object is when it comes to interaction with the human body, the longer the human body is able to keep operating whatever object is in question without having significant issues.
When it comes to an office setting, ergonomics involves the way that office equipment is set up and how user friendly it is from a physical standpoint. In other words, is the office set up so that employees can operate computer systems or complete tasks at their desks for long periods of time without feeling pain in some part of their body, either due to lack of motion or due to repetitive tasks?
If the answer is yes, the office is probably designed from a comfortability standpoint.
If the answer is no, it is important to redesign the office in order to minimize the amount of time that employees miss work due to injuries received from completing repetitive tasks.
Easy Steps on How To set Up An Office Desk
The steps that are necessary to set up an ergonomic office are numerous.
They are also rather involved. It is important that employers commit to completing all of the steps, as completing only a few of them will not really provide any real benefits to the employees.
Typically, there are several key points that must be carefully considered when it comes to changing an office to make it more comfort-friendly.
These steps involve the following key areas:
First and foremost, the chairs need to be comfortable. Forcing employees to sit in chairs that are miserably uncomfortable for hours on end is a recipe for disaster.
- Employees that are in pain are not typically very productive, and low quality chairs are notorious for creating back pain in those who have no history of it and severely exacerbating it for those who are already suffering.
- The truth is, the chairs have to be padded and have additional padding in the correct places. They also have to be adjustable so that employees can set them up to suit their individual body type.
Ergonomic office desk setup
- Sometimes employers have the misconception that a desk is a desk, and almost any desk will do. Unfortunately, this is really not the case. Desks need to be set at the proper height so that employees can use them comfortably.
- Obviously, the desks themselves are not adjustable so it is important to use one that is of a high quality and provides plenty of room for the employee to use it in conjunction with an adjustable chair.
- The desk itself has to provide enough room for employees to comfortably place a monitor and a keyboard along with a telephone and paperwork.
- It is also a good idea if the desk can incorporate a system that hides the computer wires and provides plenty of foot room.
Computer monitors are one of those things that are absolutely necessary in an office setting, yet they can cause a tremendous amount of strife for employees.
- In an ergonomic setting, they have to be set just below eye level so that employees are not forced to strain their necks and their shoulders by looking up to see them.
- In addition, they should be designed so that they do not produce a lot of glare, otherwise employees will find themselves struggling to see the screen and this can cause as many problems as having it set at an improper height.
Keyboards are one of those things are absolutely essential when it comes to ergonomics. The cheapest keyboards that are available do little to help employees reduce stress in their wrists and hands.
- For anyone that spends a lot of time typing, this can turn into full blown carpal tunnel syndrome down the road. This is something that often requires employees to take extended time off from work so they can have it surgically corrected.
- One of the easiest ways to relieve that stress is to utilize ergonomically designed keyboards that automatically take the stress off of the wrists by allowing employees to type with a more natural motion.
Some employees prefer footrests while others prefer not to use them at all.
- However, it is always a good idea to offer them and make them available to anyone that would like to use one.
- Sometimes they help with lower back issues or pain in the legs because they allow employees to re-position their bodies and shift into a more comfortable position.
- However, if an employee chooses not to use one it is important that employees keep their feet flat on the floor in order to minimize stress to other parts of the body.
- Ultimately, it is their choice when deciding whether or not to use a foot rest.
Benefits Of Setting Up An Ergonomic Office Desk
When it comes to employees, the benefits are the ability to be more comfortable and thus be more productive at work.
Employers have the chance to benefit because they do not have to spend as much money on sick leave for employees, nor do they have to train someone to come in and work in their place when employees are gone for extended periods of time, at least not as frequently.
When it comes to the benefits; the bottom line means that employees have less physical problems and companies can save more money.
Many people do not really think about office work as something that could cause physical issues.
However, any repetitive tasks can cause injuries and working in an office is no different. That is why it is so important to set up a comfortable office setup. If you want to find more comfort at home or the office, click this link.
It helps employers prevent these types of injuries from occurring in the first place and allows employees to worry about the work that is at hand as opposed to being distracted by physical pain.