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Ergonomics 101

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There is a lot of information about ergonomics out there, and even more about the benefits of ergonomic office furniture. While the subject is important to workers and business owners alike, it can quickly become confusing when trying to sort through all of the available information. However, it’s also important that you educate yourself on ergonomics before you go out and buy, so you understand what’s important and what ergonomic office furniture is worth the investment. We’ve put together an Ergonomics 101 guide that can give you the basics and help you make smarter choices when purchasing ergonomic office furniture.

Defining Ergonomics

Ergonomics is defined as the study of people’s efficiency in the workplace. Part of this is making sure that people are working in the most efficient positions, too; ones that allow them to work quickly, focus their attention, and avoid stress and strain injuries on their bodies. It’s also about adapting a job to fit the needs of the worker in order to help them work more efficiently at their jobs.

The Main Goals of Ergonomics

There are several goals that ergonomics is attempting to achieve, whether it’s through the adaptation of a workplace or purchasing ergonomic office furniture, but these are the three main goals you’ll want to focus on when creating a comfortable office environment:

  • •  Maintain a neutral posture. A neutral posture is one in which the body is well balanced and the joints are properly aligned without stress being placed on the body anywhere.
  • •  Reducing worker fatigue. The faster workers get tired, the less they are going to be able to do. By reducing the strain on their bodies, they will be able to work more efficiently for longer periods of time.
  • •  Reducing motions. Repetition injuries are some of the most common in both office and assembly workers. Ergonomics tries to either remove or reduce the number of times a motion needs to be repeated by making the workspace as efficient as possible.

How to Implement Ergonomics in Your Office

Now that you know what ergonomics is and what the goals are, now you’ll need to implement it in your office. How is that done? A good place to start is with your office furniture. Most office workers spend the majority of their time at the desks and in their chairs, so those two pieces of furniture should offer the best ergonomic solutions. Let’s take a look at these two pieces first:

  • •  Chairs. Chairs should allow the sitter to maintain a neutral position, with their arms at 90 degree angles. There should be plenty of adjustment options, including seat height and back angle, to customize the seat to the user. Swivel chairs are recommended to allow the user to turn without straining their backs.
  • •  Desks. Desks should allow the proper placement of the rest of your equipment. Keyboards should be positions to keep arms at a neutral 90 degree angle. Desks should be deep enough to allow the monitor to be placed far enough away that the user’s fingertips barely touch it when they reach straight out.

Once you have these basics down, you can start to explore other ergonomic office furniture & equipment solutions.