The ergonomics in the office is the way to delay or improve the discomfort derived from excessive work in near vision. This science has a series of recommendations.
Ergonomics in the office: Indications
Sit so that your head and neck are upright and in line with your torso, neither bent down nor backward.
Have the vision perpendicular to the screen. Avoid seeing the screen with your head turned or having your back twisted.
Keep your elbows comfortably close to your body.
Use a chair that provides support to your lower back and that has the padded seat with a contoured front edge.
Keep your mouse close to your keyboard so you do not have to move to get there.
Position your computer screen so that the top of the screen is level or slightly below eye level.
This will allow you to see the screen without bending the neck.
Adjust the position of the screen to avoid reflections of light, either from artificial lights or natural from any window.
Put the monitor close enough to your eyes so that you can comfortably have a good view of the text on the screen without leaning forward.
When working with print documents, use a document holder to place it at the same height and distance as your computer screen.
Use a hands-free headset when talking on the phone while working on the computer.
The arms have to be perpendicular to the ground, neither stretched forward nor stretched backward.
Your forearms, wrists, and hands have to form a 90-degree angle with your arms.
The thighs have to be parallel to the floor and legs perpendicular.
The wrists and palms do not have to rest on the sharp edges.
It is recommended to rest your eyes every 40 minutes.
To relax the eyes, you simply have to look for a few seconds at a distant object (about six meters).
Office ergonomics and productivity are proportional.
Labor ergonomics offer the possibility of increasing comfort at the point of work and, at the same time, increase productivity.
The workplace – order is important
Nobody sits in a foreign car without first adjusting the seat and the mirror. The same applies to the workplace in the office. An ergonomically designed workstation helps prevent incorrect spinal and intervertebral disc strain, muscle tension and rapid fatigue. This is achieved when all the elements in the workplace are adapted to the individual conditions. After all, we are different in size and proportion. If users change, this has to be repeated before each new work shift.
First things first: First adjust the chair, then the height of the table and finally the screen is aligned.
First, the altitude:
Move the chair away from the workbench and adjust the height. The height is correct when both feet are firm on the ground and the upper and lower legs form a right angle. Do not sit on the edge of the seat, but use the entire surface of the seat, in which case the back will also rest on the backrest.
If the seat tilt can be adjusted, try which position is the most comfortable. If the seat is tilted forward, the pelvis will rise automatically and you will be upright.
Adjust the backrest:
The backrest of the office chair should extend at least to the shoulder blades. The ergonomic chairs have a lumbar support, a protrusion of the backrest in the lumbar area that supports the back when sitting upright. Next, the backrest should be adjusted so that the lumbar support fits exactly into the curvature of the lumbar spine. To do this, the backrest can be adjusted in height or – depending on the chair – the lumbar support can be adjusted separately.
Adjust the armrests:
The armrests should be under the table and, at the same time, they should have the right height to be able to release the weight of the shoulders and arms.
Adjust the counterweight of the dynamic backrest:
The dynamic backrest allows you to move while sitting, a very important aspect of ergonomics in the office.
Use headrest and footrest
The headrests help to relax the muscles of the neck. If you can adjust them, you must choose the most comfortable position.
Footrests are important for small people or when the height of the work table cannot be adjusted. They provide a balance between the floor and the height of the table. This, however, is an emergency measure because the footrests limit the range of movement of the legs. The footrest area should be large enough to accommodate both feet in different positions. At the height, make sure that the thighs are horizontal on the chair.
Even if the height of the table fits: Many people find that footrests are a relief for the legs, they are a good additional equipment for ergonomics in the office.
Sitting all the time is as bad as having to stand all day. Therefore, variety is decisive for the prevention of back pain. The road to the photocopier or the coffee maker is not, therefore, a waste of time, but it is important for your health. Last but not least, you can also exercise while sitting. It is better to remain immobile in a variable posture for a long time than to remain motionless in the same position, sitting dynamically, that is, sometimes upright, sometimes leaning forward, and sometimes leaning backward. The office chairs with s the synchronous mechanism, in which the backrest and the seat follow the movements of the body, are suitable for this purpose.
After the chair has been adjusted correctly, the work table should continue now. The height should be chosen in such a way that the forearms are loose on the table and the upper and lower arms form a right angle. If the height of the desk cannot be adjusted, p. ex. In the home office or on the road, a foot support helps compensate for this.
Easily adjustable standing tables are a good possibility to take work in standing or sitting position and thus improve ergonomics in the office.