We all make an effort to make sure we are comfortable at home, but how come we don’t pay the same amount of attention to our workspace? Given that most of us will spend eight hours a day, five days a week at work, we tend to forget about the importance of making sure we are comfortable and have an ergonomic workstation.
What is ergonomic working?
Ergonomics is the science of designing the workplace. An ergonomic workstation should mean that it is set up correctly so that you are comfortable and not at risk of suffering a musculoskeletal injury.
Creating a comfortable workspace
Poor workspaces and furniture that hasn’t been set up properly to suit your needs, can leave you feeling fatigued, frustrated and can potentially cause you harm in the long run. You will be far more productive, motivated, and energised if you have a comfortable workspace. If you want to increase your productivity and avoid an injury at work, take a look at our five tips for ergonomic working.
Adopt a good working posture
Whether you have a sit-down or a standing desk, making sure you’re sitting or standing properly will help limit aches and pains. Try to sit or stand in a neutral position with relaxed shoulders, and don’t slouch! It’s worth getting into a habit of regularly checking your posture to make sure you are sitting or standing correctly, it’s amazing when you push your shoulders back how far they go!
Reduce repetitive movement
Ensure you’re not spending a lot of time in the same position or regularly reaching and stretching. If you are constantly using the phone or typing at the keyboard, make sure you switch your tasks around to avoid a repetitive strain injury.
Make sure your workstation is set up properly
The furniture and equipment should be adjustable to suit your height and the type of work that you do. If you’re sitting down behind a desk, your chair should be adjusted so that your feet rest on the floor and your knees are level with your hips. Keep the items you use regularly close to you so you don’t have to reach too far for them, and ensure your computer screen is about an arm’s length in front of you. This is a key tip for ergonomic working.
Don’t forget to get up and move around. If you’re in the same position for a long time, remember to take regular breaks to get your body moving and step outside for some fresh air.
Make adjustments around you
It’s not just your workstation that can have an effect on your wellbeing at work. The environment can also impact the way you feel. Things such as how bright the light is, what the temperature of the room is like and how many windows are in the office, can all affect your mood and motivation, so check these to make sure you are comfortable and working ergonomically.
These are just a handful of tips for ergonomic working. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask your employer for additional equipment, such as a foot rest, or to lower the air conditioning in the room so that you can work more comfortably.
Employers have a legal responsibility to provide you with a safe place of work and the right work equipment and they should be carrying out risk assessments to check that is the case, after all it’s in their interests as well as yours that you are comfortable and able to work effectively.
Photo Credits: eOffice
Author Bio: Thompsons Solicitors is a leading personal injury law firm in the UK. Our For Every Worker Injured campaign aims to improve working conditions for employees and support them when they have had an accident at work.