Attention to ergonomics is crucial for optimal health, productivity, and well-being at work, even when you work from home. Ergonomics is the design of the workplace for optimal human health and efficiency. Even small movements like moving the wrist to operate a mouse can have negative consequences when held for hours and hours every day. There are three key elements: using the correct ergonomic chair, developing good sitting posture, and avoiding poor computer posture. For these reasons, we will elaborate on the importance of ergonomics in the workplace.
An ergonomic chair is one that not only follows best practices in terms of proven ergonomic design but is highly adjustable to meet the size and individual needs of different people’s bodies. Some key elements to consider when selecting a good ergonomic chair include ensuring that your chair offers not only adjustable seat height, but also adjustable arm support, seat depth adjustment, and backrest angle adjustment. Some ergonomic chairs also offer neck support as well as adjustability in backrest height and lumbar support.
When you think about how much time you spend sitting in front of a computer, it quickly becomes clear why having proper posture can improve or harm your health. If you spend eight or more hours a day at a desk, it’s best to make sure that the way you are sitting facilitates proper ergonomics; otherwise, you may find yourself dealing with muscle ailments and fatigue, and even cardiovascular problems.
- Keep your neck upright to minimize the pressure from the weight of your head.
- Set the seat depth so there is a 1-2 inch gap between the end of the thighs and the edge of the seat.
- Make sure your two feet completely touch the floor and don’t dangle.
- Avoid sitting cross-legged.
- Get up and move periodically from your place.
The posture of the computer goes beyond the position in the chair to include other elements, such as the position of the wrist and the height of the monitor. Using a laptop is another consideration, especially when you work from home.
- Adjust the height of the chair so that your elbows form a 90-100 degree open angle to the desk surface.
- Keep your wrist in a straight neutral position when writing. Rest on a wristband from time to time if necessary.
- Adjust the height of the monitor so that the top line is at eye level.
- For laptops, use a laptop stand to prop up the screen so that it is at eye level; use an external keyboard to avoid wrist extension when typing.
Finally, remember that proper lighting, good air quality, and the right room temperature are also important parts of good ergonomics in the workplace. To avoid eye fatigue, a simple rule to follow is the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, observe 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Take short breaks to get up and walk.