Make your office, and desk, ergonomic
Aug 18, by Tanya Alvarez
Paul’s (Owners^UP member) office setup
Sitting at a desk all day might seem like the safest job in the world, but it may not be. Repetitive tasks day after day, or putting your body in a cramped position day after day, can have a very negative impact. You won’t notice anything maybe for a very long time, but eventually it will take its toll on your body. That is why it is important to make your work area as ergonomic as possible, which means making it comfortable as well as conducive to your health.
Studies have shown that working conditions inside an office have a consistent effect on people and their productivity. Productivity can go down as much as 16 percent if the office is messy, chairs are not suitable and other negative things are going on. Work satisfaction is also impacted by as much as 10 percent.
Lighting is a major factor. Light can affect your mood and can increase your stress level. Either dim, or very bright, light can have a negative impact on your stress level and mood. Natural light, a 2014 study found, improves a person’s mood and sense of well being. It also helps people sleep better. Sunlight also helps maintain the body’s normal clock. More light is not always better though. If light causes more glare on your computer screen, it will increase eye strain.
Juliana’s (Owners^UP member) desk setup
Plants are also good for office work. Being around plants improve people’s happiness and that is good for productivity. Plants are also helpful in cleaning the air. Temperature, sound and color also have an impact on your sense of well being and should be part of the design of any office.
Setting up your desk is another area where you can improve your quality of life at work. Comfort is important, but it is also important to not do things to cause unneeded stress on your body. Your desk should allow you to type with your arms and hands parallel to the floor. Your thighs should also be parallel to the floor, and your feet flat on the floor. Your face should be 20 to 30 inches from the computer monitor, and you should be able to look straight ahead into the screen.
Chairs are also very important to your well being. Lumbar support is essential to avoid back strain. You should be able to sit comfortably with your knees just out in front of the seat. Arm rests should also allow you to not be hunched over.
When you are working at your computer, your elbows should be comfortably at your side, and very little strain on your shoulders. A surface to rest your wrists on while typing is also a good thing.
Matt’s (Owners^UP CTO) desk setup
Another way to keep your office from causing bodily harm, is to stay active. Take frequent breaks and move around. Some walking, even few steps, is generally good for help and to relax a person. Also pay attention to your posture. Sitting upright causes less stress on your body, and reduces wear and tear over time.
Doing all you can to remove things that cause stress to your body or mind, will make your workplace safer. It will also have a positive impact mentally and improve productivity.