Ergonomics 101 For Office Work: Ergonomics Principles, Facts, Examples, Tips And Checklist

Many people are unaware that a poorly designed computer workstation and/or poor work habits can lead to serious health issues. Chairs, desks, monitor stands, and other elements that make up an employee’s workstation, must all be well-organized and in the right place.

Ergonomics 101 for office work: ergonomics principles, facts, examples, tips and checklist
Ergonomics 101 for office work: ergonomics principles, facts, examples, tips and checklist

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What is the underlying principle of ergonomics in the workplace

Implementing ergonomic solutions can improve employee comfort and productivity. Ergonomics is the process of designing products so that they can be used by multiple people comfortably. Ergonomics promotes good posture and user comfort. Increased productivity, work morale, and a happier environment are all advantages of ergonomically designed office equipment. What is the significance of ergonomics? Ergonomics is important because your musculoskeletal system is affected when you work and your body is stressed by an awkward posture, extreme temperature, or repeated movement.

10 principles of ergonomics to follow

10 Principles of ergonomics to follow
10 Principles of ergonomics to follow

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A set of principles can be used to summarize the field of physical ergonomics. If applied rightly, they would ease our work lifestile and as well can apply these principles at work, home, or anywhere else.

Principle 1: Work in Neutral Postures

Your posture is a good starting point for evaluating the tasks you perform. The best working positions are those that keep the body “in neutral”. This should begin with maintaining the s shaped curve of the spine when sitted or in standing. The most important part of this “S” is in the lower back, so keeping a slight “sway back” is beneficial. When standing, putting one foot up on a footrest helps to keep the spinal column in proper alignment.
Good lumbar support is important to prevent a “C” shape. An inverted “V” curve should be thoroughly avoided when carrying objects or in lifting. Because the neck bones are part of the spinal column, they must follow the same guidelines for maintaining the S-curve. Prolonged twisted and bent neck postures can be as stressful as their lower back counterparts.The most effective way to make changes is to adjust your equipment so that your neck is in a neutral position. Keep your elbow by the side, wrist should be in less straining position.

Principle 2: Reduce Excessive Force

Excessive force on the joints can lead to fatigue and injury. In practice, the action item requires you to identify specific instances of excessive force and consider ways to improve. For example, pulling a heavy cart may put too much strain on your back.
To make improvements, check that the floor is in good condition, that the cart’s wheels are large enough, and that the cart has good grips. A power tugger may also be required.

Principle 3: Keep Everything in Easy Reach

The following principle is about keeping things within easy reach. This principle is, in many ways, redundant with posture, but it helps to evaluate a task from this specific perspective. The following principle is about keeping things easily accessible. In many ways, this principle is redundant with posture, but it helps to evaluate a task from this specific perspective.

Many times, problems with reach can be solved simply by rearranging your workspace and bringing things closer to you. This is not a difficult concept to grasp; what is difficult is having the presence of mind to notice and change the location of items you frequently reach for.
It’s often a matter of habit — you’re unaware that you’re reaching for something that could be easily moved closer.

Principle 4: Work at Proper Heights

Working at the appropriate height is another way to make things easier. A good rule of thumb is to do most work at elbow height, whether sitting or standing.

Principle 5: Reduce Excessive Motions

The number of motions you make throughout the day, whether with your fingers, wrists, arms, or back, is the next principle to consider. Using power tools whenever possible is one of the simplest ways to reduce manual repetitions. Another approach is to change equipment layouts to eliminate motions.

Principle 6: Minimize Fatigue and Static Load

Static load is defined as holding the same position for an extended period of time. It causes fatigue and discomfort and can disrupt work. Static load in the workplace is having to constantly hold parts and tools. Using a fixture in this case eliminates the need to hold onto the part.

Principle 7: Minimize Pressure Points

Excessive pressure points, also known as “contact stress,” should be avoided. squeezing hard onto a tool, like a pair of pliers can be quite strenuous. Leaning your forearms against the hard edge of a work table creates a pressure point. Rounding out the edge and padding it usually helps.

Principle 8: Provide Clearance

Excessive pressure points, also known as “contact stress,” should be avoided. Work areas need to be set up so that you have sufficient room for your head, your knees, and your feet. You obviously don’t want to have to bump into things all the time, or have to work in contorted postures, or reach because there is no space for your knees or feet.

Principle 9: Move, Exercise, and Stretch

To be healthy the human body needs to be exercised and stretched. You should not conclude after reading all the preceding information about reducing repetition, force, and awkward postures, that you’re best off just lying around pushing buttons. Muscles need to be loaded and your heart rate needs periodic elevation.

Principle 10: Maintain a Comfortable Environment

This principle is more or less a catch-all that can mean different things depending upon the nature of the types of operations that you do. In the computerized office, lighting has become a big issue, because the highly polished computer screen reflects every stray bit of light around.

Ergonomics Basics And Facts You Should Know

Ergonomic meaning

Ergonomic principles are the fundamental ideas that underpin the behaviors that employees should adopt in order to avoid ergonomic injuries such as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). It is a non-standardized term that commonly refers to ensuring that a worker’s tools and methods are a safe match for their physical capabilities.

Ergonomic purpose: what is the goal of ergonomics

The goal of ergonomics is to reduce workplace hazards. Working in awkward or uncomfortable postures and using excessive force or high repetition to complete a task are examples of ergonomic hazards. What is the purpose of ergonomics principles? Ergonomics is concerned with changing the work environment, modifying a task by using ergonomically friendly equipment, or implementing different work procedures in order to improve efficiency and reduce the risk of discomfort or injury.

Ergonomics and workplace stress

Improving workplace ergonomics can also reduce stress by lowering sick days, injuries, and long-term health issues that can harm a person’s career. Workers may experience physical stress, strain, and overexertion if work tasks and equipment are not designed with ergonomic principles in mind, such as vibration, awkward postures, forceful exertions, repetitive motion, and heavy lifting.

Ergonomics for office works: What is office ergonomics

Ergonomics is the science of designing a workstation to fit the worker’s capabilities and limitations. Either as a receptionist, secretary, technician, developer, accountant or even a computer operator, the goal of office ergonomics is to design your office workstation so that it is comfortable for use and allows for maximum productivity and efficiency.
Why ergonomic for office workers matters

Poor ergonomics in the workplaces

It is critical to understand that ergonomics is not only about comfort; it is also directly related to safety and injury prevention. Muscle strain, muscle imbalances, and fatigue are all caused by poor ergonomics. Many muscle strains are caused by repeatedly performing the same motion. Repetitive stress injuries, which are among the most common workplace injuries, result from this.

This is why it is very essential for our office or workspace chairs to have armrest ergonomics, footrest ergonomics,Shoulder ergonomics and good neck ergonomic systems to have musculoskeletal strains. Most work hazards begins with such minute ergonomics standards which are mostly ignored for cost sake.

Good work ergonomics: lower costs and higher productivity

Ergonomics can be applied to all aspects of human activity, even those that are not strictly professional. Nonetheless, there are some industries that benefit greatly from ergonomics’ contributions as it lowers cost of health conditions and improves productivity.
Workplace ergonomics aims to reduce strain, fatigue, and injuries in the workplace by improving product design and workspace layouts, such as correctly posing your chair, keyboard, and monitor. An ergonomically correct workspace can lead to less body strain, slouching, twisting, and reaching, all of which can lead to musculoskeletal problems and pain over time.

Office ergonomics

Having a home office is the new normal since the global epidemic in 2020 after the sit at home policy became the sensation due to covid 19, many remote work ergonomics where reported to have been in high purchase around this time as most companies and agency were encouraged to settle for the work from home policy and as such many began setting up their work from home ergonomics for a balanced work environment even from the comfort their home.

Posture ergonomics: types, consideration and tips in office ergonomics

Posture ergonomics: types, consideration and tips in office ergonomics
Posture ergonomics: types, consideration and tips in office ergonomics

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The study of an individual’s sitting posture in the office is referred to as ergonomic sitting posture. Following proper posture ergonomics ensures that you sit in the most comfortable and efficient position. Paying attention to your posture lowers your chances of experiencing pain, discomfort, and work-related injuries.
Maintaining a straight and upright back, neck, and head, with your shoulders up and back. Your feet should be flat on the ground or propped up and flat against a footstool, with your knees ideally at or slightly higher than the level of your hips.

Reading ergonomics

The best way to read a book is to sit in a chair with your back straight. Make sure your feet are firmly planted on the ground, and your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Maintain a straight posture and avoid neck tilting. Support your elbows and use cushions for comfort if necessary.

Poor and Bad ergonomics example

When studying or reading on a chair and table, breaks should be taken intermittently to avoid prolonged sitting, a bad sitting posture could give a lordotic curvature to the spine, chairs without armrest, footrest and adjustable heights. A bad ergonomics would mean reading postures that result from bad sitting arrangements or setting.

Proper and correct ergonomics

Proper ergonomics begins with a complete set up of well constructed chairs and tables, the emergence of adjustable chairs and tables has made life smooth for us. Sitting for too long might pose a huge risk to strains as well but with a well structured reading space, you can often switch positions from sitting to reclining chairs to semi fowler positions with 45 degrees in order to stretch your ligaments and muscles to prevent strains.

Typing ergonomics

You should stand with your feet flat on the ground and your neck and back straight. Your elbows should be open, forming an angle of 90 to 110 degrees and resulting in neutral and straight wrists. Moving up to your head, make sure your eyes are level with the top line of your screen.

Drawing ergonomics

Keep your wrist away from the desk or sketching surface. Instead, move both your hand and forearm when drawing to get control without grounding yourself, which leads to more unexpected bends in your lines and details.
As you draw, let your pinky’s knuckles barely touch or glide along the paper. So, in order to provide oneself with the necessary energy, sit. One side on one side off the easel, or slightly asymmetrically on the easel

Writing ergonomics

Avoid resting heavily on your forearm. Maintain an open elbow position (90 degrees or more). Keep your fingers calm and reduce finger motions. Reorient your writing paper or use an inclined surface to keep your wrist relaxed, especially if you write left-handed.

Seating ergonomics

Select a chair that accommodates your spinal contours. Adjust your chair’s height so that your feet are flat on the floor or on a footrest and your thighs are parallel to the floor. Adjust the armrests so that your arms rest lightly on them and your shoulders are relaxed.

Standing ergonomics

Always keep your back to the work. Maintain a close proximity to the work. Adjust the workspace to allow for a change in working position. To redistribute body weight from one leg to the other, use a foot rail or portable footrest. When working, take a seat whenever possible, or at the very least when the job procedure allows for it.

Sound ergonomics

A bad studio setup is unlikely to pose issues for a musician who only uses it infrequently and for brief periods of time. However, if the musician uses the studio more frequently and for longer periods of time, the chance of bad design resulting in physical difficulties increases dramatically. Aside from adjusting the physical layout, there are working ways that can assist lower the chance of getting musculoskeletal illnesses.

How to set up your office with computer ergonomics( a ergonomics checklist)

How to set up your office with computer ergonomics( a ergonomics checklist)
How to set up your office with computer ergonomics( a ergonomics checklist)

Image Source: Mayor Clinic

A pleasant working environment can help you perform at your best. Makeover your seated work place with this pictorial guide to office ergonomics. Make the desk height enough so that your arms can easily rest at your sides. Raise the monitor to eye level. Place your keyboard and mouse as close together as possible while keeping a neutral stance in your hands and wrists.

Phone ergonomics

To minimize the bend in your neck and preserve ideal posture, try to keep the phone at your chest, chin, or eye level or making use of a phone stand. Look down with your eyes rather than your neck if your phone is below eye level. Avoid holding the phone to one side of the body while rotating the neck.

Chair ergonomics

Ergonomic seats are designed to support the body, promote healthy posture, and alleviate pain. Give your spine support and keep your joints in a natural position. Adjust the shoulders, spine, and hips. Ergonomic chairs are extremely adaptable, which means they can be adjusted to fit any body type and give support.

Desk and table ergonomics

An ergonomic desk is intended to save the user from becoming injured or working at an awkward angle. Determine your ideal standing desk height to avoid straining your back, wrists, or elbows. Elbows should be close to the body, and the keyboard should be approximately hip-level, with hands at or just below elbow height. That is, the tabletop should be at or slightly below elbow height.

Mouse ergonomics

The angulation of the wrist is very important to prevent carpal tunnel syndromes. Place the mouse and keyboard in such a way that you do not have to strain to operate them. The keyboard should be about 5 cm from the front edge of the desk, and the mouse should be about in line with it. You must provide adequate space to support the wrists. The mouse should be close to the keyboard as well.

Ergonomics footrest

Ergonomic footrests make lengthy periods of sitting at a desk or sitting workplace more comfortable. Footrests relieve back strain and enable workers to alter positions by shifting their weight. Footrests help to improve posture, reduce fatigue, and alleviate pain and discomfort in the feet, ankles, knees, and thighs.

Keyboard ergonomics

Positioning a QWERTY functional keyboard in such a way that would reduce pressure to the fingers and wrist are an effective way to manage typing related hazards. The keyboard should be parallel to your forearms and at or slightly below elbow height. If your keyboard has feet on the rear that support it, make sure to close them to keep it flat and the wrists in a neutral posture.

Laptop ergonomics

Use a chair that allows you to sit comfortably upright or slightly reclined. For lower back support, use a towel roll or an inflatable lumbar pillow. Use a foldable and adjustable laptop stand to maintain a neutral posture by tilting the screen. Maintain an erect posture at all times. Don’t stoop your shoulders or lean in towards your laptop screen, its best to get a laptop ergonomics at home for use!

Tablet ergonomics

Make sure you’re looking down with your eyes, not your neck. Use a tablet stand to eliminate the need to hold the tablet. It will also lessen the amount of neck bending required. The screen should be at least an arm’s length away from you.

Ergonomics headset

By allowing you to move and sit more organically, using a wireless headset as part of your everyday work routine will help improve your posture. It eliminates the need to hold the phone in an awkward posture and allows users to roam freely, resulting in 35% less muscle stress than handset users. Also you can keep your headsets in place with a customized headset stand for durability and ensure its easy access.

Macbook pro ergonomics

When using a Macbook Pro in a home office setting, it is best to get a function, adjustable and foldable Macbook pro stand with it. Aside from how flexible its engo keypads have been designed to fill up an ergonomic need, it is important to adjust your chair height so that your feet are flat on the floor and your knees are parallel to (or slightly lower than) your hips. Sit up straight and push your hips back in your chair. The chair’s back should be slightly reclined at a 100- to 110-degree angle.

Computer ergonomics

Prolonged usage of a computer keyboard and/or mouse can cause muscle aches and nerve discomfort if certain precautions are not taken. The importance of ergonomics cannot be overemphasized enough. From the angle of inclinations to the screen adjustment, every details is vital to the health of the user.

Conclusion

Maintain a good posture while working at the keyboard. Make use of a chair with a backrest. To avoid quadriceps strain, keep your feet lifted from the floor, your back erect, and your shoulders relaxed with your elbows close to your sides. To maintain a calm position at the keyboard, keep your elbows at 100 to 110 degrees when working. When keying, wrists should be in a neutral or straight position, and it is critical to take rests to extend legs.

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