Switch it up!
Offices aren’t traditionally the most comfortable places. The old wood desks are hard & blocky and the office chairs weren’t the best to sit in; only meant for sitting for a certain amount of time. Maybe this is because work was originally never about getting too comfortable, because the theory was you would relax and, well, not keep working. However, these days, the philosophy is that work should be enjoyable and comfortable. Research has also shown that the traditional office is physically terrible for your body. That’s why the ergonomic workstations, sit stand desks, and a number of other items have been created and is selling so well to the new generation of workers. It’s more comfortable to work in the modern office with new or tweaked pieces of office furniture. Below are some easy ways to make your current office more ergonomic, ranging from keyboard trays to adjustable height tables which will fit into large offices or even small cubicles and not require you to buy all new office furniture.
The Adjustable Task Chair
Perhaps the most important piece of ergonomic equipment is the adjustable task chair, as you spend most of your time at the office sitting in it. A bad chair can really mess up the human body over time; so having one that has an adjustable lumbar support, the ability to swivel and roll around and an adjustable seat and arm rest height is key for your comfort and physical health over time. These chairs can be a little expensive but are a good value and well worth it at the end of the day.
The height of the desk should be able to be adjustable as well, so that you aren’t having to crane your neck or other parts of your body while working for extended periods of time. Not having all of your work at the right level can make you stretch and strain to do almost every task in your office. This can lead to injury, so being able to adjust a desk so that so that at least your computer monitor is eye level is better than a standard desk where you are just forced to stare up or down at the screen. If your office furniture isn’t adjust then some accessories like adjustable monitor arms, keyboard trays, footrests and task chairs will also help alleviate this problem.
Adjustable Keyboard Tray
For a computer users, the keyboard and mouse is another important part of the office that must be ergonomically sound. The keyboard should slide out to you or be placed close to you so you don’t have to reach to far to type. However, there should also be enough space for your wrists to reach out and not be at an angle, as this can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome over time. The ‘B’ key on the keyboard should be your central point when setting it up, not the width of the keyboard itself. The mouse should be as close to the keyboard as possible. This article won’t try to replace all the other pages here and elsewhere on proper keyboard ergonomics. Be aware of the recommended practices and do some “Googling” to find more tips.
Adjustable Monitors and Adjustable Monitor Arms
Having adjustable monitors is another great ergonomic office addition, as it allows you to move your monitor to the eye level you are sitting at, so that little to no strain is put on your neck while you work. Dell and others sell monitors with adjustable height bases that typically swivel a little too. The best solution is to buy fully adjustable monitor arms. These allow you to raise the monitors up and down, tilt the screen to eliminate glare, and to pull the monitor closer when needed or push it out of the way when not. An adjustable monitor arm is a small change that can make a big difference. While these adjustable monitor arms can be an added cost, it will be well worth it for the health of your neck in the long run.
A place to rest your feet while you work at your desk is also incredibly helpful to your posture and physical health. It shouldn’t be much more than a small platform, or one that is at a slight angle, but it will help you stay planted and centered and allow your back to stay aligned while you sit at your desk, working away.
Any or all of the items mentioned above can make your workday better and you more productive. If you need additional assistance in making sure that your office furniture is as ergonomic as possible then please let us know how we can be of help. No one should have to go home tired and sore at the end of a day in their office furniture.