Sitting in a chair for hours may not seem like an inherently dangerous activity, but doing so can wreak havoc on your body if you have poor workspace ergonomics. Negative effects of poor office ergonomics include musculoskeletal disorders such as soft-tissue injuries of the nerves, tendons, muscles, ligaments, blood vessels, joints, or spinal disks. Once these issues develop, they can make working very painful—even if you’re just sitting in an office chair all day. As such, it’s important to take the time learn how to improve ergonomics in the office. Here are some simple tips you can follow to perfect the ergonomics in your workstation.
Recognize and understand ergonomic risk factors
Proper office ergonomics are vital to maintaining productivity and avoiding injury while you’re working. Ergonomic issues in a workspace are particularly sneaky because you likely won’t even notice them at first. Such issues develop slowly as a result of gradual exposure to mild risk factors and take time to reveal themselves. Once they arise, however, the effects can be significant. Some of the main ergonomic risk factors include poor posture, long frequency (such as highly repetitive tasks or static postures), or high force.
Assess your workspace for ergonomic issues
An essential step to improving the ergonomics in your workstation is assessing any potential issues. Doing so will allow you to make the necessary changes to eliminate ergonomic risk factors. When assessing your workspace, go throughout your normal workday and pay attention to any factors that contribute to poor posture or prolonged lack of movement. Examples of common causes of ergonomic issues in workstations include uncomfortable seating, poor lighting, and computer screens that are positioned too high or too low.
Gather the right equipment
Once you’ve assessed any potential ergonomic issues in your workspace, it’s time to gather the necessary equipment to make improvements. Examples of equipment you can acquire to improve your workspace ergonomics include:
- An ergonomic chair: An uncomfortable chair can cause you to slouch throughout the day, which places added pressure on your spine. To avoid ergonomic-related spinal injuries, invest in a chair that supports your spinal curves and has an adjustable height option.
- Standing desk: Sitting for an entire eight-hour work day places a lot of strain on your back—especially when you’re slouching. Utilizing a standing desk can minimize this strain by allowing you to alternate between standing and sitting. Standing places considerably less stress on the spine than sitting, and it reduces the risk of ergonomic injuries.
- Standing desk balance board: Utilizing a standing desk board eliminates two prevalent ergonomic risk factors: prolonged static positioning and poor posture. By allowing you to incorporate movement throughout your workday, a standing desk board helps you avoid static postures. Plus, standing desk boards make it virtually impossible to have poor posture, helping you avoid slouching and the damage it inflicts.