Are office ergonomics a concern for your business? If your workplace lacks comfortable seating, adjustable desk options or other items which decrease workplace injuries, chances are your team members’ productivity and health may be suffering.
It may be time to do an audit of your workspace and make sure you are stocking essential ergonomic office tools. What should you be looking for? The following items are designed to protect your employees’ health at work, which has also been shown to boost productivity and focus.
What Constitutes Good Office Ergonomics?
Strong office ergonomics strategy is more than just setting up standing desks; it’s a mindset. Employers who embrace this belief gain three huge benefits:
- Increased Employee Retention: If you want your team members to increase their tenure at your organization, you should focus on making sure their needs are being met. Try using an employee engagement survey to help determine which areas you could be working harder to meet your workers’ needs by providing necessary ergonomic office tools.
- Decreased Liability and Safety Issues: Providing an ergonomically safe environment decreases the likelihood of an office accident and expensive workers’ compensation payments; see common workplace safety hazards here.
- Decreased Health and Wellness Costs: Health and wellness costs can be steep; encouraging good health at work starts with providing a positive environment for your employees to be in and leading by example; this will help them live healthier in other aspects of their lives.
Office Ergonomics: How to Set Up a Workstation
An ergonomically-friendly desk setup includes the placement of key items like the desk lamp, mouse, keyboard, computer and more.
- Make sure employees’ desks have a keyboard with an adjustable angle to fit their bodies.
- A keyboard tray can also help to hold the keyboard in an ergonomically comfortable place.
- Having a stand-alone mouse next to the computer is a good way to keep the wrist properly aligned and pain-free.
- Have employees keep a small stash of office supplies in their desks so they won’t have to restock them as often. Paperclips, pens and items used more frequently, like sticky notes, should be within easy reach and on the same side as their dominant hand to avoid twisting the body as they reach.
While ergonomic office tools can be adjusted until you get the perfect fit, there is nothing better than getting up for some fresh air and giving your body the chance to move! Encourage your team to take frequent breaks to enjoy brief walks or quick office-friendly yoga routines to reduce the chance of building up tension in their bodies.
Essential Ergonomic Office Tools
Adjustability is the key to keeping workers ergonomically safe. Did you know that more than 42 percent of workplace back injuries stem from ergonomic concerns and, on average, workers who suffer from these health issues take at least a week to recuperate and return to their jobs?
Stocking the proper ergonomic office tools and paying attention to employees’ needs in the workplace can help keep them safe and comfortable; here are some adjustable products to consider to positively impact your business’ office ergonomics.
A Comfortable Desk Chair
While you are sitting at work you may feel motionless, but you are using almost every muscle, from your spine to your neck to your legs. Your desk chair should gently cradle your body and provide adequate back support to keep your body healthy. Check out our options here.
Consider keeping a seat cushion on your office chair to customize your workspace to fit your needs. A cushion provides extra lumbar support, and is removable so you can change up how you work throughout the day.
An Ergonomic Computer Mouse and Keyboard
It may seem like a small thing, but investing in your own ergonomic mouse or supplying your employees with more comfortable model can increase the health and happiness in your office. Remember that one size doesn’t necessarily fit all, so try out several options before committing.
To go along with an ergonomic computer mouse, you’ll want a comfortable keyboard and keyboard tray. If your workstation had a heart, a well-supported keyboard would be it. You want one that will allow you to type and use your computer while sitting in a healthy position. The Banana Board is one of our most popular options and can be used with both straight and corner workspace designs.
A Monitor Mount
It’s important to keep your computer screen at eye level to avoid bending your neck and placing unnecessary strain your back; monitor mounts are an adjustable option that are essential to office ergonomics.
An Adjustable Sit-To-Stand Desk
Standing desks are core ergonomic office tools because they provide several major benefits:
- Boosted productivity and focus
- Improved mood and energy levels
- Lowered risk of heart disease and weight gain
- Reduced blood sugar levels
- Increased life expectancy
Transitioning to a full standing desk is a process, and it isn’t realistic to assume you will be able to stand all day with ease on the first time you try. In the beginning, you’ll likely experience leg cramping and foot pain as you get used to being upright for hours. That’s why an adjustable sit-to-stand desk may be the best option.
A Bright Personal Task Light
Proper lighting is an often overlooked ergonomic concern in many modern workplaces. While long overhead fluorescent lighting may be cost effective, it can harm employees’ ability to focus. Instead make sure each desk has a personal task light that can be adjusted to the necessary height, offers multiple brightness settings.
Also, another simple (and free!) way to boost productivity and improve workplace health is to offer as much natural lighting as possible. Place desks near windows or allow employees to get up and work near a window if they so desire.
Office Ergonomics for Laptops
Not everyone computes on a desktop at work, especially due to the increase in telecommuting and work-from-anywhere policies. Laptops and tablets are excellent portable options that allow us to keep up to date on communication, but they can cause extra strain to your body. Here are four tips for selecting ergonomic office tools when using a laptop or tablet.
Aim for Eye Level
Your laptop screen should be aimed or raised to eye level to avoid slouching. Placing your laptop too low can put strain on your neck and curve your spine improperly. To combat this, use an external or Bluetooth keyboard and place your laptop on a riser to elevate the screen. One option to consider is the HealthPostures TaskMate Go Laptop.
Use a Good Chair
Since you are placing the laptop at eye level, you’ll also need a good chair to sit in. Choose an ergonomically designed and adjustable option. It should be comfortable enough to sit in for long periods of time.
Sit Up Straight
Workers can be tempted to hunch over or lounge awkwardly while using a laptop, but try to have even footing on the ground, whether sitting or standing. It’s easy to get lost for hours in a project, so make sure you’re in a comfortable and ergonomically correct position to do so.
Use a Mouse
Although your laptop has a built-in mouse, the angle puts a strain on your wrists. Using a separate mouse with your laptop or tablet will align your arm properly with your body. If you suffer from wrist pain, consider switching between a few different styles of mouse so your wrist doesn’t sit at the same angle all week long.
We’re Here to Help with Office Ergonomics
We’ve Got Your Back is here to help you find the best ergonomic office tools for you! We are happy to offer product and lifestyle recommendations and provide you with comfortable, low-cost solutions to many workplace ergonomic problems.
In addition to offering suggestions, our experienced team can assist you with ergonomic training and provide consultations on workplace set-up, design and space-planning.