Former Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI) professional, Heather Rome, promotes working in an ergonomically designed office space. The concept of ergonomics is simple in that the goal is to allow an employee to work in an environment that is designed to promote comfort and efficiency. When these two items are made the focus of the office design and layout, the person’s productivity is higher. Here are the top tips for setting up an ergonomic office space.
- Many office workers, especially those who spend a good deal of time on a computer, can become physically fatigued if their body is not supported correctly during their routine tasks. Keeping the arms supported is crucial to proper ergonomics. When the arms are not supported by a desk or table at the correct height, strain is placed on the muscles of the arms, back, and neck. That muscle pain can lead to poor work efficiency.
- A well designed chair that works with the desk or other workspace is also important. These two pieces of furniture should allow the individual to maintain a comfortable position that keeps the spine in alignment. If the employee needs to crane their head and neck too far in one direction, discomfort may quickly follow. This is commonly reported by many people who work on a laptop or portable electronic device without a proper desk and chair.
- While it may look nicer to have a computer monitor set off to one side of the desk or angled on a corner, ergonomics may not support that decision. All viewing monitors should remain directly in front of the employee. The height of the monitor is also important, with the center of the device no higher than eye level. If the employee is forced to turn their head or strain hundreds of times per day to read their screen, neck problems may occur.
- Ergonomics will also consider the toll the human eyes take from looking at a computer screen. When possible, a monitor should be placed in an area that does not allow for glare. A screen that is too close to the eyes or is in front of a window will be harder to see and may cause issues for the eyes that may lead to headaches and decreased performance.
- The height of an employee’s chair is crucial to proper ergonomics. Their feet should never be allowed to hang from the chair, and instead should rest comfortably on the ground to support the legs and lower back. Former DAI professional, Heather Rome DAI , strives to make sure her office workspaces are ergonomically correct.