Building an ergonomic office workspace means building it according to the science of your body and its movements during work so that it is the ideal fit for the tasks you carry out.
This could mean selecting ergonomic tables and chairs so that you would be in a sitting or standing position that allows for a healthy posture. A workspace that is set up with the right design will help prevent a lot of pain in the future!
Why are home & office ergonomics important?
While we are aware that we spend a lot of time at our desks, have you ever calculated the number of hours you’re at your computer? Especially with recent transitions to work-from-home practices, we are spending more and more time stationary at our workstations in online meetings or just working on the latest spreadsheet.
If you have ever left your seat with an aching lower back or sore wrists, please know that there are methods to prevent such injuries! It is only logical to ensure that our work space is catered to maintaining our health.
Symptoms of a desk set up with poor ergonomics:
- Repetitive strain injury – injuries caused by doing the same movement repeatedly in a poor posture or in a poorly protected manner
- Neck and shoulder pain – often caused by improper desk or chair height, where you could be hunched over your desk for long periods of time
- Carpal tunnel syndrome – long hours of typing strains the wrist and forearms, caused by holding your arms at an improper angle
- Fatigue – you could be placing unnecessary stress on your body’s muscles and joints due to unsuitable furniture
Good workplace or home office workspace design prevents unnecessary strain on your body. After switching to a proper ergonomic sitting posture, it could alleviate or even solve past pain problems associated with improper workspace furniture. This is much healthier in the long run, and you’ll be much happier and productive too!
Ergonomic Problems And Solutions
1. Back Support
Everyone knows what a proper sitting posture is – but sitting static for hours on end isn’t conducive to keeping a straight back. We all forget, and end up hunched over our desks! This is why your workspace should have furniture that helps you maintain an ergonomic sitting posture comfortably and effortlessly.
An ergonomic desk with adjustable height function could be a more long-term solution, as it could alleviate strain in your entire body from working at a too-short or too-tall desk.
Consider this table with adjustable height from Malaysia’s very own ergonomic table manufacturer, Balaks.
Finally, pair your height adjustable desk with an equally adjustable chair for a full ergonomic workplace setup! Gaming chairs are specifically designed for long hours behind the screen, offering both neck and back support.
2. Neck Posture
During particularly long days, we could unknowingly hold tension in our neck and shoulders due to both stress and bad posture. Neck injuries commonly occur when the screen is placed at an awkward angle or simply too far from the eye level, either too tall or short. Your eyes should be level with the top of your computer screen and around an arm’s length away from your body.
To keep the neck straight, most people opt for monitor stands to raise their computer monitors up to eye level, such as the Balaks Meja Mini.
3. Wrist Support
Wrist support is often last to be considered during an ergonomic assessment but people who have spent long hours typing know that it is nevertheless important! Improper forearm position leads to carpal tunnel syndrome with chronic pain. Sometimes, it could be as simple as propping your keyboard up at a more comfortable angle but there are many tools to help.
A mousepad with raised padding or keyboard wrist rest could make a huge difference to your comfort level.
If you’re using a laptop, there are many laptop stands available that prop your laptop at a slanting angle.
In the end, your comfort is the most important consideration for the design of your workspace, whether you’re working from home or at the office! It is high time we put more thought into ergonomic workplace setups because injury from improper posture is an extremely preventable problem. Let’s all go ergonomic and welcome an era of comfort at work!