If there's one thing that you do the most at work, what would it be?
If you answered "doing my job", you may be a little off. How so?
Because most working adults spend over three-quarters of their time sitting (or sedentary) at work! Students also spend a lot of their time in school seated.
While sitting is no doubt important, your body can only take so much of it. Too much time spent seated puts you at serious health risk, with research even showing increased cancer risk!
This is why an ergonomic workstation should be a top ranker in your workplace's priorities.
The question is, how exactly do you incorporate ergonomics in the workplace? Which office furnishings should you invest in?
All these questions (and more) we'll answer with the following tips, so make sure you keep reading!
1. Sit on the Right Chair
We can't 100% eliminate sitting at work, but we can get rid of that unhealthy chair. In other words, if you're going to sit, then make sure you do so on an ergonomic seat!
What qualities should you look for in an ergonomic office chair though?
For starters, it should feature an adjustable seat height. It should let the user's legs and knees create a 90-degree angle. The thighs should rest parallel to the floor.
Make sure you also invest in chairs providing lumbar support. This is especially important for workers who tend to slouch. With an adjustable lower back support, users can prevent straining their lower spine's structures (bye, serious back pains!).
2. Make Sure Your Chair Has Got Your Back
That's literally speaking, which means getting a back cushion to support your entire spine. A good back cushion also relieves pressure off specific muscles on your back.
Plus, it aids in promoting circulation. Better circulation means improved brain function, which then makes it easier for you to remember all about maintaining proper posture.
3. Don't Forget the Elbows
An ergonomic office chair boasts of elbow supports, as this helps prevent neck strains. To ensure it does provide support, your elbows should rest comfortably on them while you hold your arms and elbow at a right angle.
4. The Right Fit for Your Bottom
Without the right width and depth to accommodate your bottom, even the best lumbar and elbow supports won't do you any good. As such, make certain the seat itself has adequate width and depth so you can sit on it in comfort.
The standard width is between 17 and 20 inches. However, you'll also find chairs that allow you to adjust the width.
As for the chair's depth (the front to the back of the seat), the right size means having about a two to four-inch gap between the back of your knees and the front of the seat. It's best you invest in a chair with an adjustable forward/backward tilt.
5. Chair Position Matters
Aside from the essential lumbar support, you need to think about the chair's positioning itself. Proper position provides support for both the neck and the back. This is especially important for those whose jobs entail using the computer for the most part of the workday.
The correct position lets the knees form a right angle, while the eyes can look straight ahead. You should also consider footrests where you can rest and elevate your feet.
6. Go for Sit-Stand Seats
If sitting for extended periods of time is so bad, how about standing?
It depends. If you stand for hours on end, you can expect sore feet, muscle fatigue, and swollen legs among many other symptoms. But if you stand even only on occasion rather than sitting for the most part of the day, then this is a lot healthier.
Sit-stand seating systems can help introduce variation to your posture at work. These seats provide support as you stand (and work away). In time, you'll notice you've acclimatized to sitting and standing.
Best of all, the right sitting and standing combination can also help raise your productivity levels! A good pair of sit-stand desk and chair can make you about 50% more productive!
7. Comfortable and Durable Seat Materials
No one can last on a chair that's too hard, but you can't also expect to remain productive when the seat's too soft. What you want is just enough padding to keep users comfortable as they sit on the chair for long periods of time. A breathable cloth cover is also a plus to prevent skin irritations.
8. Pair Sit-Stand Seats with Adjustable Worksurfaces
Make sure you also have adjustable worksurfaces for areas you'll put your sit-stand seats in. Go for worksurfaces you can adjust to both a sitting and a standing height.
After all, you wouldn't want to stand only to crouch in order to write or work at your computer. This'll only strain your neck, shoulders, and back.
9. Let There Be Light
Too little light, and productivity and energy levels drop. Too much of it and people can start developing eye strains.
The key to achieving optimal task lighting is the ability to adjust its brightness. With an adjustable lighting system, you can fight annoying glares, while also preventing eyestrains that often lead to headaches.
10. Arm Your Desk with a Monitor Arm
A computer screen in the right position is one centered right in front of you and about an arm's length away from your face. This proper positioning prevents eyestrains and headaches.
The fastest and easiest way to achieve this is through a high-quality monitor arm.
Say Goodbye to Sores and Aches with an Ergonomic Workstation
An ergonomic workstation for you and your other team members helps in keeping everyone's health in check.
Remember, healthy workers mean productive people, which means better task output and project results. Plus, an ergonomic workplace keeps employee morale running high, so start investing in the right chairs and desks ASAP!
To learn more about workplace ergonomics and healthy employees, make sure you check out our online resources!