Furniture At Work® Explores Home Office Ergonomics
Ergonomics refers to the human factors that affect health and safety in the workplace. This revolves around understanding how humans interact with their surroundings in a work situation and looking at what measures can be put in place to ensure optimal health of all employees.
In a professional office environment, employers have a responsibility to ensure their workers have the required, appropriate tools and equipment to be able to work safely. This includes things such as ergonomic chairs and desks, proper lighting, permission to take regular screen breaks, and other equipment and regulations.
In 2020, large swathes of the UK population are working from home rather than the office, as part of the healthcare measures put in place to try and slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. This means many individuals are suddenly responsible for the ergonomics of their own working environment, rather than being able to rely on others. For lots of us, this is perhaps the first time we have had to consider ergonomics in the home environment, so it can be a daunting task to get things right.
Furniture At Work supplies a wide range of ergonomic office furniture ideal for establishing a home office that will be comfortable and prevent some of the health issues that have previously been associated with badly designed office spaces.
Many UK workers can spend upwards of eight hours every day sitting in the same chair, so this is one of the primary areas to address when looking at home office ergonomics. Most office chairs today are designed with safety and comfort in mind, but there are different levels and no one-style-fits-all solutions.
As a rule of thumb, a good office chair will be adjustable in terms of both height and arm rests. It will have a curved back panel that supports the lower back to prevent aches along the spinal column and facilitate good posture when sitting up straight looking at a computer screen.
How the chair relates to the desk is important too – the user should be able to sit comfortably with their feet on the floor, their elbows and knees at right angles, and the centre of the computer monitor slightly above direct eye level. These issues can all be fixed using office furniture such as footrests and chairs that are height adjustable.
There is evidence to suggest that using standing desks rather than sitting down for all or part of the day can help prevent many of the health issues associated with office work. Height-adjustable desks could be an option; some studies even suggest that people who use standing desks are more productive, so using them could result in a shorter workday.
Breaks and Exercises
Taking regular screen breaks is widely known to improve eye health. Taking regular breaks from sitting is also essential to maintain peak physical health. These breaks can range from something as simple as wandering through to the kitchen for a snack or taking ten minutes out of each section of the day to do some proper stretches and exercises to help soothe any sore or tense muscles.
A short series of stretches encompassing the upper body, torso and lower body can reduce the chances of developing fatigue or other conditions related to a sedentary working day. Stretching the arms above the head, rotating the torso from side to side while maintaining good posture, and alternating hugging each knee to the chest are all great, easy exercises that can be performed from your desk.