Updated: Apr 28
From the placement of your monitor to the height of your desk or the comfort of the office furniture, every detail of your workspace can determine how well you perform at work and affect your wellbeing.
Low-quality furniture can cause health problems including backaches, migraines and eyestrain. For example, an office chair that lack back and lumbar support or a desk that is too small can be uncomfortable for employees, which hinders their ability to carry out daily responsibilities.
In view of this, it is important that your office setup is designed for ergonomics so that employees can work more comfortably, effectively contributing to a more productive workforce.
Ergonomic chairs may be the most integral piece of office furniture that influences how effectively and safely you work.
An ideal office chair should come with a lumbar support where the curve in the back of the chair fits of spine perfectly. Chairs that conform to your body shape help you rest comfortably against the lumbar support, with the back of your knees spaced one to two inches away from the seat. This stops employees from hunching over their desks, with improved posture preventing enduring muscle tension and strain.
Highly ergonomic executive office chairs also allow the lumbar support to be adjusted according to firmness and position, seat depth and other specifications to promote comfort. Apart from having a cushioned back and sturdy base, an ergonomic chair is also height adjustable for individuals to modify the chair to their specific body shape.
The best way to be seated at a workstation is to have your hips and knee bend positioned at a 90-degree angle where the feel is placed flatly on the ground or on a foot rest. Essentially, the more adjustable a chair is, the more it can adapted to suit your comfort level.
Optimal office desk height
Like your chair, the office desks and tables have to situated at an appropriate height. This is to avoid having to hunch or reach up from where you are seated while working.
So how do you determine the right height for your desk?
Your desk should be at a height that allows you to type with your arms and hands parallel to the ground. There should likewise be enough room for you to tuck your legs underneath the office desk whilst maintaining the 90-degree knee bend.
Ideally, an ergonomic office desk should be adjustable to provide ample leg space under the surface to support frequent body movement. For instance, placing your ankles in front of the knees or crossing your legs. Changing your work working position throughout the day not only mitigates fatigue, but also deters muscle strain.
A height adjustable electric standing desk in particular can greatly reduce muscular pain. By having the option to stand up and work at the press of a button, you are reducing ongoing pressure on your joints.
Ideal monitor position
Your monitor placement cannot be too near or far away such that you have to move backward or lean forward just to properly read all text on the screen. A gauge would be to use your arm to ascertain the recommended distance of the monitor from where you are seated.
In terms of angle, the top of the monitor should be at just below eye level, where you only have a look down slightly to see. Any lower or higher and your head would be at an uncomfortable angle, which effects your neck muscles.
It is wise to replace fixed stand monitors with flexible stands that can be adjusted to your comfort level. This also means you can shift it aside whenever you need more desk space.
For greater ergonomics, consider mounting your monitor on the wall or office partitions using a monitor hanger to save more desk space and minimise distractions.
How to promote an ergonomic interior office space
The furniture you use coupled with ergonomic office design solutions helps to ensure that employees have the appropriate physical support needed to successfully complete their daily tasks in conductive working environment.
When it comes to employee comfort, even the smallest details can make a difference.
A simple keyboard stand to position it facing downwards can help reduce wrist pressure when you use the keyboard. The same goes with a wrist pad used to reduce wrist bending when using a mouse.
Having ergonomic interior solutions in the office can hence go a long way in securing employee wellbeing, ultimately contributing to a high performing workforce.