Ergonomic Office Workstation
Office Ergonomics Environment Quick Tips
- You should design your office in such a way that the glare from overhead lights, desk lamps, and windows is reduced to a maximum.
- Your office room should be designed in such a way as to m aintain appropriate air circulation.
- Do not sit directly under air conditioning vents that push air right on top of you.
Office Ergonomics Disorders
Until now we have been discussing the different ways by which, you get affected by sitting in front of the computer for long hours and the different options that you can try to avoid them. Though you follow all those recommendations and solutions to the best of your capability, there are still other kinds of hazards like task organization that can strengthen the effect of other risk factors, such as repetition.
Moreover, if you fail to recognize early warning signs, they may lead to small problems to develop into serious injuries. If you concentrate more on task organization factors and medical awareness, it can help you to minimize the risk of developing Ergonomic problems and stop further advancement to injury.
Let us discuss two important factors in this context.
(i) Prolonged Periods of Activity
(ii) Medical Awareness and Training
Office Ergonomics Disorders-Prolonged Periods of Activity:
Probable Risks of Office Ergonomics Disorders
Computers are a part of life these days. They play the role of a teacher, mailman, newspaper, and television. The software industry also provides jobs to many people. Computer work, when viewed from a total body outlook, may seem to be an effortless activity, whether it’s for a job or for fun.
But, if the user performs highly repetitive tasks for prolonged periods in the same posture, it may cause discomforts in localized areas of the body. For instance, everybody depends on the mouse while working on the computer. If this is used for a few minutes, it should not be a problem for most users.
But performing this task continuously for more than a few uninterrupted hours can expose the small muscles and tendons of the hand to hundreds or even thousands of activations (repetitions). The user may not get enough time between activations for rest and recovery, which can cause localized fatigue, wear and tear, and injury. Similarly, if the user maintains static postures continuously, such as viewing the monitor without taking a break, it can fatigue the muscles of the neck and shoulder that support the head.
Ergonomics – Quick Setup Guide :
STEP 1: Your Ergonomics Chair
The hips should be pushed as far back as possible against the Ergonomics chair.
The seat height should be adjusted so that the feet stay flat on the floor and the knees are equal to or slightly lower than the hips.
The back of the Ergonomics chair need to be adjusted to a 100°-110° reclined angle. The user should ensure that the upper and lower back is supported. Inflatable cushions or small pillows can be used, if required. Frequent position changes can be made in Ergonomic chairs with active back mechanism.
The armrest (if present) to your Ergonomics chair can be adjusted to relax the shoulders. If armrests are uncomfortable, immediately remove them.
STEP 2: Your Ergonomics Keyboard
- The user should pull himself/herself close to the Ergonomics keyboard.
- The Ergonomics keyboard should be positioned directly in front of the user’s body .
- The user should decide which part of the keyboard he will be using frequently and hence readjust the Ergonomics keyboard so that section is centered with the body.
- The Ergonomics keyboard height needs to be adjusted so that the shoulders are relaxed, elbows are in a slightly open position (100° to 110°), and the wrists and hands are straight.
- The tilt of the Ergonomics keyboard is dependent upon the sitting position of the user. Use the keyboard tray mechanism, or keyboard feet, to adjust the tilt. While sitting in a forward or upright position, the user should try to tilt the Ergonomic keyboard away from him at a negative angle. If the user is reclined, a slight positive tilt will help maintain a straight wrist position.
- Wrist rests are excellent in helping to maintain neutral postures and pad hard surfaces. However, the wrist rest should only be used to rest the palms of the hands between keystrokes. It is not recommended to rest the palms on the wrist rest while typing. Avoid using excessively wide wrist rests, or wrist rests that are higher than the space bar of your Ergonomics keyboard because it might cause strain.
- Place the pointer as close as possible to the Ergonomics keyboard. Placing it on a slightly inclined surface, or using it on a mouse bridge placed over the 10-keypad, can help to bring it closer.
If you do not have a fully adjustable Ergonomic Keyboard Tray, you may need to adjust your workstation height, the height of your Ergonomics chair, or use a seat cushion to get in a comfortable position. Remember to use a footrest if your feet hang down .
STEP 3: Ergonomics : Monitor, Desk, and Phone
If the screen and source documents are not positioned correctly, it may force the user to work in awkward postures. These need to be adjusted so that your neck is in a neutral, relaxed position. Try the following:
- Place the Ergonomic monitor directly in front of you, above your Ergonomics keyboard .
- Position the top of the Ergonomic monitor approximately 2-3” above seated eye level . (If you wear bifocals, lower the Ergonomic monitor to a comfortable reading level.)
- The distance from the screen should be at least an arm’s length away and then the distance from your vision is to be adjusted.
- Reduce glare by careful positioning of the screen.
- Place screen at right angles to windows
- Adjust curtains or blinds as needed
- Adjust the vertical screen angle and screen controls to minimize glare from overhead lights
- Other techniques to reduce glare include use of optical glass glare filters, light filters, or secondary task lights
- Position source documents directly in front of you, between the Ergonomic monitor and the Ergonomics keyboard, using an in-line copy stand. If the space is not enough, place source documents on a document holder positioned adjacent to the Ergonomic monitor.
- Place your Ergonomics Phone within easy reach. Ergonomics Phone stands or arms can help.
Use headsets and speakerphone to eliminate cradling the handset.
Office Ergonomic Information
- Try to vary your tasks and Office Ergonomics, so that you get ample time to recover from the outcome of your activity. Different ways are being practiced to provide recovery time for overused muscles.
- Design your Ergonomic Office in such a way that you can easily change your working postures according to your convenience. It is always safe to select adjustable furniture for the workstation that allows you to shift to different seated postures every time you want to. This helps different muscle groups to provide support while others rest.
- Your work area should be spacious enough to let you use the mouse with either hand alternately. Thus the tendons and muscles of the free hand get enough relaxation.
- Reduce your dependence on the mouse and use more of shortcut keys. For example, you can use Ctrl+S to save, Ctrl+P to print etc. Certain jobs do require more dependence on the mouse. Users in such professions should learn to use more shortcut keys.
- Jobs that involve more repeated tasks or prolonged static postures may lead to muscular strain. The users should forcefully take several short breaks or relaxed pauses. The users should stand, stretch, and move around during such breaks. This increases blood circulation and gives enough time for the muscles to relax.
- Try to mix computer tasks and non-computer tasks alternately in all possible situations. T his encourages the movement of different parts of the body by using different muscle groups.
Office Ergonomic Disorder-Medical Awareness and Training
Probable Risks of Office Ergonomics Disorder
Most of the users neither get a chance to go through a proper training to identify the risks and hazards of Office Ergonomics nor do they realize effective work practices designed to reduce these hazards of Office Ergonomics. Such people have more chances of getting affected because of their ignorance.
Even though disorders like Ergonomic problems affect them, they are not medically aware of the signs and symptoms and hence do not notice or address such issues. For instance, users who don’t realize the hazards of awkward postures while working on the computer don’t know how to take care of their pains and strains. Delay in realizing and diagnosing such discomforts may lead to severe injury.
Feasible Solutions of Office Ergonomics Disorder
Everybody who uses computers is bound to acquire training on general Office Ergonomics awareness based on the following issues:
They should get trained on the aspects related to all the computer components exclusively, that generally increase discomfort or risk of injury
They should be made aware of the different signs and symptoms of all kinds of discomforts caused by continuous computer usage so that they can identify these from the beginning and treat with appropriate medications.
They should be given enough information on the methods of using and adjusting all the computer components correctly as well as the environmental factors.
Ergonomic Computer Desk and Work Surface Recipe
- Ensure that the Ergonomic Computer Desks area is deep enough to accommodate a monitor placed at least 20 inches away from your eyes.
- It is recommended that the Ergonomic Computer Desksshould have a work surface large enough to accommodate a monitor and a keyboard. Normally, a Ergonomic Computer Desks with a depth of about 30 inches is used to accommodate these items.
- The height of the Ergonomic Computer Desks should be adjustable between 20 inches and 28 inches while the user is in sitting position. The desk surface should be at about the height of your elbow while sitting with your feet flat on the floor. Adjustability between seated and standing heights is desirable.
- Ensure that the user has sufficient space to place the frequently used items like keyboard, mouse, and monitor directly in front of you.
- Your Ergonomic Computer Desk should provide enough space underneath for your legs while sitting in all convenient positions. The minimum under-desk clearance depth of the Ergonomics Computer Desks should be 15 inches for your knees and 24 inches for your feet. There should be at least 20 inches clearance width.
- When you purchase a Ergonomics Computer Desk with a fixed height, ensure that you have a keyboard tray to provide enough height adjustment to suit multiple users.
- Avoid glass tops and glossy desktops. Ensure that your desktops have a matte finish to minimize glare.
- At areas where your arms touch the work surfaces, ensure that there are no sharp edges. Rounded or sloping surfaces are preferable.
- The leading edge of the work surface should be wide enough to accommodate the arms of your chair, usually about 24 inches to 27 inches. If the space is lesser than this, it will interfere with armrests and restrict your movement. This is to be kept in mind especially while working in four-corner work units.
Ergonomic Computer Desks -Work Space
The clearance space under the work surface should have adequate legroom for the user while positioned in the upright-seated posture and at least one of the other seated reference postures. Methods 1 or 2 can be applied to achieve this.
Method 1 – Upright and Reclined Seated Postures
When in a seated posture where the top of the legs is about parallel with the floor, the dimensions that represent clearances that accommodate the majority of the users are as mentioned below. The majority of the users consist of 5th percentile female to 95th percentile male.
- 20 inches (52 cm) wide.
- 17 inches (44 cm) deep at knee level.
- 24 inches (60 cm) deep at foot level.
- 4 inches (10 cm) high at the foot.
Variable dimensions (“rollover” the image)
Height is adjustable between 20 and 27 inches (50 and 69 cm) near the user.
Method 2 – Upright, Reclined, and Declined Seated Postures
The following dimensions accommodate the largest operator clearance spaces (5th percentile female to 95th percentile male). Thus, specifications conforming to Method 2 will meet Method 1 requirements. This method also includes postures where the knee is slightly lower than the buttocks (declined-seated).
- 20 inches (52 cm) wide.
- 17 inches (44 cm) deep at knee level.
- 24 inches (60 cm) deep at foot level.
- 4 inches (10 cm) high at the foot.
Variable dimensions (“rollover” the images)
- Adjustable between 20 and 28 inches (50 and 72 cm) high at the hip.
- Adjustable between 20 and 25 inches (50 and 64 cm) high near the user’s knee.
Ergonomic Desk was born with the beginning of the human science “Ergonomics”. The main goal of the ergonomic computer desk is to provide proper adjustments for the placement of the elements in order to provide maximum comfort to the user. The ergonomic computer desk should be able to adjust the height and angle of the keyboard tray, monitor shelf and other elements.
An ergonomic desk is the important thing to be considered for setting up a home office to a corporate office. The ergonomic desk is a modern desk, which provides good comfortable postures to handle things at the workstation. These ergonomic desks provide a solution to the Repetitive strain injury and Carpal tunnel syndrome.
Ergonomic desk should be at same distance from your eyes as to the monitor to avoid the frequent changes of focus and you should be able you to look from one to the other without moving your neck or back. It should support the document holder. Place the phone on the side of your non-dominant hand.
The Position your desk lamp on the ergonomic desk should be so that it illuminates source documents without causing either glare on the computer screen or direct illumination to your eyes. It should be stable and adjustable. A document holder should be used if documents are referred to during keying.
The desktop should be organized so that frequently used objects are close to the user to avoid excessive extended reaching. If a fixed-height desk is used, add a keyboard tray that adjusts vertically to provide added adjustability.
The area underneath the ergonomic desk should always be clean/uncluttered to accommodate the user’s legs and allow for stretching. The work surface should have a matte finish to minimize glare or reflections. A footrest should be used if, after adjusting the height of the chair, feet do not rest flat on the floor.
Ergonomic Desk Guidelines:
- Ergonomic Desk or work surface areas
- Areas under the Ergonomic Desk or work surface
Ergonomic Desk Quick Tips
- Ensure that the Ergonomic Desk surface is capable of keeping the monitor directly in front of at a distance of at least 20 inches away.
- Do not keep items like CPU under the Ergonomic Desk.
- The Ergonomic Desk should allow you to work in various comfortable postures.
Ergonomic Desk or Work Surface Areas:
When the Ergonomics Desk doesn’t have enough space to accommodate all the components and accessories, you tend to place them in unfavorable positions. This in turn leads to awkward postures when you have to access a pointer/mouse or look at a monitor that is placed to the side.
Ensure that at least your mouse and keyboard are placed conveniently so that you don’t have to sit in awkward positions every time you access them.
Ensure that your work surface allows you to see the screen at a distance of at least 20 inches (50 cm), and position it to achieve the appropriate viewing angle, which is generally directly in front of you.
Frequently used devices such as keyboard, phone, and mouse should be kept in the most easily accessible positions.
There are some workstations where the desks and certain equipments have hard edges that usually touch the arm or wrist of the user. This, in the long run, may lead to contact stress affecting the nerves and blood vessels, causing tingling and sore fingers.
Reasonably priced materials like pipe insulation can be padded on the hard edges of the table to reduce contact stress. Also use wrist rest and select only furniture with rounded desktop edges.
Discomfort and inefficient performance of the computer operator may be due to insufficient clearance under the work surface. Some common discomforts are Shoulder, back, and neck pain due to the long distance of the users from computer components, causing them to reach to perform computer tasks; and generalized fatigue, circulation restrictions, and contact stress due to limitation of movement and inability to frequently change postures.
Give enough clearance space for users to frequently change working postures. Items like files, CPUs, books, and storage should not be kept there.
Ensure that the clearance spaces under all working surfaces accommodate at least two of the three seated reference working postures, one of which must be the upright-seated posture.
Too high or too low desk surfaces can lead to awkward postures such as extending your arms to reach the keyboard or raising your shoulders to get the job done. This may lead to muscular fatigue of the arms and shoulders
Risers like boards or concrete blocks can be inserted under the Ergonomic Desk legs to lift the work surface.
Certain conventional desks have center drawers that block your thigh space. This can be removed for free movement of your thighs.
Cutting off the legs of the Ergonomic Desk, if required can lower the work surfaces. If this does not work, the chair can be rose a little depending on the height of the user. A footrest, if necessary, can be used to support the user’s feet.
Always select height-adjustable desks. Normally, the desk should be between 20-28 inches (50-72 cm) high.
Ergonomic computer desk is the growing trend today for setting up a corporate office or home office. The ergonomic computer desk was born with the begging of the field “Ergonomics”. The ergonomic computer desk is a modern desk, which gives the users a comfortable position. This is mainly because the awkward postures of seating for long hours leads to back and neck pain, this in turn leads to Repetitive strain injury and Carpal tunnel syndrome.
The main goal of the ergonomic computer desk is to provide proper adjustments for the placement of the elements in order to provide maximum comfort to the user. The ergonomic computer desk should be able to adjust the height and angle of the keyboard tray, monitor shelf and other elements.
The ergonomic computer desk should provide adequate clearance for the user’s legs, allow proper placement of computer accessories and awkward postures. There are two types of ergonomic computer desks i.e. the Sitting type of ergonomic computer desk and standing type of ergonomic computer desk.
When you purchase an Ergonomics Computer Desk with a fixed height, ensure that you have a keyboard tray to provide enough height adjustment to suit multiple users. The leading edge of the work surface should be wide enough to accommodate the arms of your chair, usually about 24 inches to 27 inches. If the space is lesser than this, it will interfere with armrests and restrict your movement. This is to be kept in mind especially while working in four-corner work units.
Ergonomic Computer Desk Tips:
- Avoid storing items, such as a CPU, under desks.
- Desks should be able to accommodate a variety of working postures.
- Desk surface should allow you to place the monitor directly in front of you, at least 20 inches away.
- Use a headset or speakerphone to avoid neck and shoulder discomfort if you use a phone frequently throughout the day.
- Support your document on either side of the monitor.