March 11, 2024

Ergonomics at the Workplace: Key to Health and Productivity

Ergonomics at the workplace plays a crucial role. Employees should not be subjected to overexertion or underutilization in their jobs. At the same time, work must be conducted in a human-friendly manner; negative impacts on health are a no-go. Companies are well-advised to implement these criteria in existing and planned workplaces.

What does ergonomics at the workplace mean?

At the workplace, ergonomics places people at the centre of attention. Thus, within the framework of office design, individual needs should be prioritised. Only if the environment is right will employees feel comfortable, which contributes to increased efficiency and focused professional practice. Ergonomics plays an important role not only in the office environment but also holds high significance in many other areas.

Ergonomics at the workplace: the basic equipment

Ergonomics are present in many areas of the workplace – whether in an open-plan office, call centres, co-working space or home office. The working environment must meet numerous requirements. Nothing should stand in the way of coordinated, efficient, and focused work. Ergonomic workplaces include all furniture and items that make daily office work easier. The basic equipment includes:

• Height-adjustable office desks,

• Ergonomic office chairs,

• Eye-friendly lighting conditions.

No ergonomics at the workplace: What are the dangers?

Lack of movement and incorrect posture leads to undue stress on bones, muscles, and joints. The body constantly shifts position, especially when sitting, to counteract uncomfortable pressure points. Over time, this can lead to a decline in tissue blood flow. The consequences: Health problems can arise, ranging from tension in the shoulders and neck to headaches to herniated discs. Therefore, those who want to avoid massage sessions and doctor visits should opt for ergonomic office furnishings.

Ergonomic office chairs: The better the sitting comfort, the easier the work

Ergonomic office chair

Office chairs should always meet occupational medical standards. Ergonomic models differ from ordinary seating furniture. They are designed so that a comfortable posture can be maintained for hours. Quality models counteract tension and back pain. Adjusting the chairs to individual body anatomy requires just a few simple steps. Often, they come with adjustable backrests, flexible seating surfaces, and arm and head supports. Many office chairs have adjustable lumbar supports, which are cushions in the lower part of the backrest that relieve the spine and back muscles while sitting. Moreover, ergonomic office chairs move on smooth-rolling wheels, which can be set in motion with minimal leg effort. Modern versions are covered with breathable materials so that high temperatures do not lead to heat build-up between the back and the backrest.

Without ergonomic desks, nothing works

working standing and sitting

Desks are the hubs in the office, where all threads come together. Ergonomic models make daily work easier with numerous features. As with the office chair, almost every detail can be adjusted to individual body anatomy. Particularly interesting are desks that are adjustable in height and tilt. Most models can be mechanically altered, while others are equipped with electric motors. Many people have more or less pronounced visual impairments. Ergonomic office desks often offer a generous working surface that is easy to adjust. This ensures that the screen is at the optimal distance from the eyes. Height-adjustable desks are also ideal when two or more people share an office workspace. When working, it is recommended to adjust the office chair so that both feet are firmly on the ground. The forearms should be at desk level when typing on the keyboard, forming a right angle with the upper arms.

Ergonomics at the workplace: Lighting matters

ergonomic office lighting

Lighting conditions also influence ergonomic working conditions. Both lighting and ergonomics are equally important for employee well-being. If it's too dark or too bright, employees do not feel comfortable. Ideally, daylight should enter through the windows. Semi-transparent roller blinds, venetian blinds, or curtains protect from intense sunlight. But often nothing can be changed about the structural conditions. If the environment is too gloomy, well-thought-out office lighting provides a remedy. Modern ceiling lamps emit subtle light, while desk lamps illuminate work areas. LEDs have proven to be eye-friendly and energy-efficient light sources. In general, light sources should be placed in such a way that they do not cause reflections on screens and do not dazzle.

Ergonomics at the workplace: Clever use of space

rows of shelves

The work environment should not be less than ten square meters. If space is too limited, furniture may be in the way, leading to a higher risk of accidents. Sprained bones have often led to sick leaves. Structured order is also an issue in office work. It's important to maintain it daily and especially without much effort – short processes are important. This can be achieved not only with new office furniture but also with well-thought-out work processes. Functional furniture cleverly utilizes space. This includes filing cabinets, mobile pedestals, and sideboards. Taller shelving systems can also function as a practical room divider.

Ergonomics at the Workplace Checklist

It is not always necessary to completely refurbish and redesign your office space. It is often enough to replace individual pieces of furniture with ergonomic models. The following tips help improve health at the workplace:

• Equip the office with quality furniture.

• Allow your employees to have enough working space.

• Maintain structured order.

Ergonomics at the workplace: Healthy work without ifs and buts

The humidity also affects well-being; it should be between 40 and 60 percent. If it cannot be regulated via air conditioning, dehumidifiers are a great choice. The room temperature should be between 20 and 22 degrees Celsius. Equipping the office with ergonomic highlights is one thing, but it is also important to listen to colleagues. Weaknesses are not always apparent at first glance; they are often only detectable in practice.

Set up ergonomic workplaces – Upscale supports you in doing so. With us, you have the opportunity to put together a well-thought-out office landscape. If the office has to fulfil specific tasks, perhaps a different office concept is suitable. We have the right solutions on hand. Contact us today for a free consultation: Our experts are happy to advise you!