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How to Set Up an Ergonomic Office

It is thought that employees will be more comfortable and therefore more productive in an office designed around ergonomic solutions.

Your workers spend an incredible amount of time in the workplace. Poor ergonomics can result in mental and physical health issues impacting them and on you, the employer. We have all heard about repetitive strain injury, that’s at one end of the spectrum. Demotivated unhappy employees can also negatively affect your business.

Avent has a vast amount of experience implementing solutions that can make your office fit out more ergonomic. It has become second nature to us but perhaps isn’t so obvious to you.

So what is ergonomics…?

“Ergonomics is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data, and methods to design in order to optimise human well-being and overall system performance.” International Ergonomics Association

But let’s keep things simple, here’s what you can do to improve the ergonomics, comfort, and productivity of your employees:

Consider Your Chairs

Employees spend hours at a time sitting at their desks, so posture is extremely important when choosing their chairs. Ergonomic chairs will help prevent backache and reduce the risk of a range of long term sometimes permanent issues. When we sit in regular office chairs, the spine assumes a C shape instead of its natural S shape, causing pressure on the spinal discs and internal organ damage.

When utilizing display screen equipment at home or at work, employers and employees should know what good posture looks like.

The Health and Safety Executive suggests that chairs should:

  1. Provide good lower back support or that employees use a cushion, to provide additional back support.
  2. The seat height equally supports the front and back of the thighs, again a cushion may be used to raise the seated position.
  3. There should be a gap of 2-3 cm between the front of the seat bottom and the back of the knee.

Arm support is not specifically recommended by the HSE but it’s generally considered good practice allowing the user to position their “Keyboard just below elbow height”.

Adjust Your Screens

It’s essential that your employees are able to adjust their screens to avoid neck pain, strains and discomfort. Monitors, screens, and other visual displays should be positioned based on sitting eye height and the keyboard and mouse at elbow height.

Again based on Health and Safety Executive advice on screens:

  1. The top of your screen should be level with the eyes and about an arm’s length away.
  2. The mouse and keyboard should be in line with the elbow. Additional support may be added when required.
  3. The screen and keyboard should be central to prevent twisting of the back.

Think About Your Desks

Desks should ideally be adjustable to suit the individual needs of the employee. As you can probably tell, all 3 elements work together; the employee’s desk, chair, and screen need to be adjusted to suit each individual.

Consider Allowing a Beak Out

No matter how well a workstation is set up for your employee, prolonged use can cause problems. It’s also important to minimise screen time and allow employees to take breaks.

Why not offer your team a change of scenery, take a break from sitting, and refresh their minds? Breakout areas and kitchens all help your staff to feel rested and allow them to socialise.

Ergonomic Office Solutions

Avent Interiors offers office fit-outs, including advice on furniture, solid and glazed partitions, dry lining, and suspended ceiling services. By leveraging our knowledge and expertise in the industry, we can help you create a healthier, happier, and more productive workplace. Contact us on 0117 9960 950 to find out how we can help.