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What is office ergonomics?

Ergonomics is the discipline of providing a safe, comfortable, pleasant and productive work space. Office ergonomics is a branch of ergonomics that will consider the chair you sit on, your desk, your computer and other display screen or digital equipment, your telephone and a number of other factors. Some of these other office ergonomics factors might be ones that you hadn’t previously considered.

We might wonder if this is relevant to us. Well in 2018  28 million work days were lost in the U.K costing an estimated £14.9 Billion (O.N.S and HSE)

Ergonomic office equipment

Chairs, laptop stands, monitor arms, desk risers, height adjustable desks, ergonomic mice and keyboards, telephone headsets wrist and elbow supports all fit into this category.

Ergonomic equipment setup

Once you have the equipment you need it’s important to get it set up correctly and use the features appropriately for your needs.

Software and digital tools

These can make a job easier or more difficult depending upon their usability and appropriateness to your requirements.

Air temperature and quality

In order to work comfortably we need the room to be at the right temperature and to have good ventilation, without the room being drafty.

Noise levels

If a room is noisy it’s hard to concentrate and it may contribute to headaches and additional stress.

Light intensity and screen glare

If the lighting conditions aren’t appropriate and there is significant screen glare can lead to eye strain and headaches.

Space and accessibility

Space to move and accessibility of work station is key. You don’t want to be tripping over things as you move to and from your workstation. Movement is vital to our health and wellbeing, so our environment should encourage not inhibit movement.

Posture – Good posture is very important in helping to prevent muscle and joint problems that can arise from repetitive strain as a result of poor office ergonomics. This can be extremely costly to an individual in terms of pain and disability, as well as to a company in loss of productivity. In the U.K 28 million work days were lost in 2018 due to muscle and joint problems costing an estimated 14.9 Billion pounds (O.N.S and HSE)

Nutrition

If you don’t eat enough we may be prone to snacking on unhealthy and sugary foods. These create a blood sugar spike and then a dip, this situation can leave people feeling nauseated, light headed and can provoke headaches. Equally if we have a very large carbohydrate rich meal this can make up feel bloated and tired.

Hydration

Drinking enough water is important. If we drink too much coffee, tea or sugary drinks the excess sugar and caffeine can cause nausea, light headedness, headaches and contribute to nervousness or anxiety.

Movement, stretching and exercise

We should get up and walk around every 45 minutes. It’s often a good idea to have a bit of a stretch during the day to loosen up and get rid of any tightness in our muscles. Exercise is important for our physical and mental well being. Numerous scientific studies have shown that exercise out in the fresh air around the natural world can hugely reduce stress and anxiety and can help treat depression. Exercise is also hugely beneficial to our physical health.

 

To read more on ergonomics visit: https://www.stuartseating.com/spinekind-blog/

and https://www.ergonomics.org.uk/Public/Resources/Sectors/Office_Ergonomics.aspx

To read more about ergonomic problems: https://byfleetchiropractic.co.uk/blog/