Ergonomics

Ergonomics: Create a Healthier and Happier Workscape

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It’s not exactly logical to think that a 6’5” employee, a 4’11” employee, and everyone in between should have the same height desk. But more often than not, that’s what happens.

The word “Ergonomics” has been buzzing around the world’s workforce for quite a while now. Workers are looking for offices that offer an ergonomic space – and employers are happy to provide it.

Why is everyone so obsessed with ergonomics?

It’s because an ergonomic workscape is beneficial for both employees and employers. It’s good for the health of employees – especially those that spend long hours sitting and typing at a computer screen. And as a result, it’s good for employers too, because healthy, unstressed employees have better productivity and morale.

So how do you get on the right track toward a more Ergonomic workplace?

Here are some simple, easily implemented ergonomics tips:

    1. Sit how you should
    2. First off, know that we have been doing it backwards in this country for years.  When you sit in a good ergonomic chair you are supposed to adjust it to your own body size. Good chairs have a wide range of adjustments because there is a very wide range of body shapes and sizes.
  1. So far so good, but now you have to pull up your chair to a fixed height desk or workstation. The problem is, your desk shouldn’t be a fixed height. Your desk should be adjustable. Ideally you should adjust your chair to your body and then adjust the desk height to you. Fortunately, height adjustable desks and worksurfaces are rapidly becoming popular and less expensive.  Ask for one.
  1. Adjust your computer monitor
  2. Having your computer monitor in just the right position can greatly reduce eyestrain. Center it horizontally in front of you, at about an arm’s length distance. Your eyes should be level with the upper portion of the screen.

    ergonomics monitor arm

    Sapper XYZ Monitor Arm by Knoll

To correctly position your computer monitor, trying using a Sapper XYZ monitor arm designed by Richard Sapper for Knoll. This arm offers fluid movements, so you can effortlessly reposition your monitor to suit all of your work modes, from every angle.

  1. Sit in the right kind of chair
  2. An ergonomic chair will do wonders for your posture and eliminate the back strain you feel after sitting all day long. Ergonomic chairs have a unique curved back that provides your lower back with support. When you’re sitting, your thighs should be parallel to the floor and there should be a small amount of space between the seat and the backs of your knees.
  3. The Remix Chair by Knoll takes a stylish approach at ergonomics. The curved back is comfortable and moves with you as you switch postures, while offering flexible, resilient cushioning. The seat is contoured with varying thickness, in order to provide targeted, ergonomic cushioning.

Another excellent ergonomic Knoll chair, Generation, challenges the idea that we only sit in a forward-facing position during our work day. Knoll found that this assumption is flawed, and created the Generation chair in response. Generation allows workers to rotate, lean, stretch and move in a comfortable and natural way.

Ergonomics - Generation Chair by Knoll

Generation by Knoll

After Generation came ReGeneration, another joint effort between Knoll, Inc. and Formway Design. ReGeneration focuses on function. Kent Parker, the lead designed from Formway Design, stripped the ReGeneration chair down to only the absolutely essential components and materials, so that the performance of the chair stayed front and center.

Ergonomics: Sparrow LED by Knoll

Sparrow Light by Knoll

 

 

 

Use proper lighting
Place a light off to the side of your monitor to further reduce eyestrain. A lamp that has adjustable light settings is the best choice, so you’re able to reduce or strengthen the light based on the type of task you’re performing.

Need the right light? Try the advanced LED technology of Knoll’s Sparrow or dual-mode Copeland Light.

  1. Position your keyboard
  2. Typing for a long stretches of time can be strenuous. Luckily, a simple repositioning of your ergonomic keyboard, using your elbows and shoulders as reference points, can help. The support piece of the keyboard (where your wrists typically rest) should be flush with the undersides of your elbows, and your keyboard and mouse should fit in the space between your shoulders.
  3. Ergonomics: Act II Keyboard

    Act II Keyboard Tray by Knoll

     

  4. Another helpful tip: keep your shoulders and elbows relaxed when you’re typing! To ensure you stay in this ergonomic position, use the Act II Keyboard Tray from Knoll. This tray helps you achieve correct posture, without sacrificing any space.
  5. Sit and stand
  6. It’s not healthy to sit all day long for numerous reasons, so it’s recommended that you alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day.
  7. You can migrate to another area of the office, or invest in an adjustable height desk that can be used in both sitting and standing positions.Knoll’s Tone Height-Adjustable Table gives you personalized, adaptable working options. Users are always comfortable, because they can adjust the desk to their preferred height or to fit the task at hand. Whether you want to sit or stand, simply adjust the Tone table to the perfect height for you.
  8. Ergonomics: Tone Adjustable Table

    Tone Height Adjustable Table by Knoll

Don’t ignore ergonomics

You shouldn’t ignore ergonomics when planning the design of your office. Planning your office around ergonomics ensures that you are promoting wellness in your environment, while preventing injuries. With Workscape’s help, you can seamlessly integrate ergonomic solutions into your workspace.

What questions do you have about ergonomics and how to implement it in your workscape?

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