4 Tips to Improve the Ergonomics of Workstations

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The worksite environment can be a significant factor that may affect the health and wellness of your employees and also their productivity. And ergonomics plays a key role in designing for staff benefits.

Ergonomics deals with the correct body position to help lower the onset of possible strains and injuries. To maximize health and productivity, tweak the ergonomics and positioning of four main office elements:

1. Chairs

The height and shape of chairs can greatly affect your employees’ comfort.

  • Choose chairs with seat pans that are titled slightly downward. This design can help relieve any pressure on the spine.
  • Provide lumbar support so that when your employees are typing on their computers, there will be enough support on their lower backs to prevent slouching.
  • The back of the seats should allow the knees to clear the seat pan’s front.
  • Correct seat height is achieved when the employees’ feet are lying flat on the floor and their hips are of the same level as their knees.


2. Monitor

Arranging the computer screen to prevent squinting and minimize harmful contrast are two ways to keep employees’ eyes protected.

  • Eye strain is incurred when there is too much contrast between ambient light or colors and the computer screen. Tweak the monitor display settings and external lighting to minimize contrast.
  • Avoid arranging the workstation wherein sources of lights will be pointed towards employees’ eyes. That is why the location of windows should be considered when arranging the office.
  • Neck strain and eye strain can be prevented or relieved by putting each PC monitor about 20 degrees to 50 degrees below the eye level.
  • Position the monitor at a distance suitable to the eye strength of the employee; increase the font sizes on the display to also help relieve any straining that can result from the monitor being too far from the person’s eyes.


3. Keyboards and mice

Prevent (or avoid) the onset of carpal tunnel syndrome — a common type of inflammation affecting the hands due to improper posture and repetitive actions — with proper placement of keyboards.

  • Keyboards should be the same level or height as your employees’ elbows.
  • Slant the keyboard in a similar angle as the employees’ forearms to enable wrists to remain straight and not bent when working.
  • Each mouse and keyboard should be close to the front of the desk — or farther away if the height of the desk is above the elbows. Both should be equidistant from the user.
  • Every mouse should be used along with a wrist pad, which can help provide proper support to the user’s wrist.


4. Space

Above all, workstations should always be spacious enough. This can be a big challenge, especially these days when office space rental is quite hefty.

If the size of the workstation is relatively small, spend time to look for and buy equipment and furniture that are small enough to fit into the area. If possible, have furniture customized so proper dimensions, design, and sizes can be observed for the sake of office ergonomics.

One way to determine the spaciousness of the office is to see if your employees can easily and quickly roam around. If they can freely and swiftly move within the area despite the presence of furniture and equipment, then, there is enough space. Free movement within the workstation can be a significant factor to ensure productivity and comfort.

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  1. I think the right workstation can have a big impact on productivity. If your employees are comfortable and using a chair that helps them have good posture, they will be able to focus better. I agree that you should provide lumbar support if your employees are working on computers. This is good for overall health as well.

  2. My sister will be opening a new office and she wants to make sure that the place will be ergonomically suitable for employees. It was explained here that the chairs should have the right height for people. Furthermore, it’s recommended to go to trusted furniture shops when considering used work station for sale.

  3. I didn’t realize that putting a computer monitor about 20-50 degrees below eye level could help reduce neck strain. The monitors where I work are currently all pretty much above eye level for each employee, and there have been complaints about discomfort in the office. Maybe we should look into getting consulting about office ergonomics to help us better understand what can be adjusted in our office to make the place a better environment for employees.

  4. Nice article.

    I sit in the office chair between 8 and 10 hours every day. Because of that, I had back trouble before.

    I consider that it is extremely useful to have an ergonomic chair to prevent poor posture. In addition, you must also take a two to five-minute rest break after every 30 to 45 minutes of work on the computer.

  5. It’s good to know that you can relieve pressure on the spine by choosing chairs that have seat pans that are tilted slightly downward. My husband just recently got a new office building a couple of weeks ago, and he’s wanting to find ways to make the workstation good for his employees. I’ll make sure to pass these tips along to him as he searches for furniture when setting up workstations for his office.

  6. I will be needing to get a new office chair this month. I am going to be working from home, and my current office chair is really hard to sit in for a long time. I like that you explained that it would be smart for me to consider getting a chair with lower back support.


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