Tips to Improve the Ergonomics of Workstations

The worksite environment can be a significant factor that may affect the health and wellness of your employees and also their productivity. And ergonomics plays a key role in designing for staff benefits.

Ergonomics deals with the correct body position to help lower the onset of possible strains and injuries. To maximize health and productivity, tweak the ergonomics and positioning of four main office elements:

1. Chairs

The height and shape of chairs can greatly affect your employees’ comfort.

  • Choose chairs with seat pans that are titled slightly downward. This design can help relieve any pressure on the spine.
  • Provide lumbar support so that when your employees are typing on their computers, there will be enough support on their lower backs to prevent slouching.
  • The back of the seats should allow the knees to clear the seat pan’s front.
  • Correct seat height is achieved when the employees’ feet are lying flat on the floor and their hips are of the same level as their knees.

2. Monitor

Arranging the computer screen to prevent squinting and minimize harmful contrast are two ways to keep employees’ eyes protected.

  • Eye strain is incurred when there is too much contrast between ambient light or colours and the computer screen. Tweak the monitor display settings and external lighting to minimize contrast.
  • Avoid arranging the workstation wherein sources of lights will be pointed towards employees’ eyes. That is why the location of windows should be considered when arranging the office.
  • Neck strain and eye strain can be prevented or relieved by putting each PC monitor about 20 degrees to 50 degrees below the eye level.
  • Position the monitor at a distance suitable to the eye strength of the employee; increase the font sizes on the display to also help relieve any straining that can result from the monitor being too far from the person’s eyes.

3. Keyboards and mice

Prevent (or avoid) the onset of carpal tunnel syndrome — a common type of inflammation affecting the hands due to improper posture and repetitive actions — with proper placement of keyboards.

  • Keyboards should be the same level or height as your employees’ elbows.
  • Slant the keyboard in a similar angle as the employees’ forearms to enable wrists to remain straight and not bent when working.
  • Each mouse and keyboard should be close to the front of the desk — or farther away if the height of the desk is above the elbows. Both should be equidistant from the user.
  • Every mouse should be used along with a wrist pad, which can help provide proper support to the user’s wrist.

4. Space

Above all, workstations should always be spacious enough. This can be a big challenge, especially these days when office space rental is quite hefty.  If the size of the workstation is relatively small, spend time to look for and buy equipment and furniture that are small enough to fit into the area. If possible, have furniture customized so proper dimensions, design, and sizes can be observed for the sake of office ergonomics.

One way to determine the spaciousness of the office is to see if your employees can easily and quickly roam around. If they can freely and swiftly move within the area despite the presence of furniture and equipment, then, there is enough space. Free movement within the workstation can be a significant factor to ensure productivity and comfort.


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