If you’ve found that you’re coming home from the office with a minor ailment, you’re not alone. In fact, more than three-quarters of Brits have aches and pains at the end of the day, mainly as a result of working in a space that isn’t set-up properly.
When it comes to safety in the office, employers have a general duty to adhere to HSE standards. This includes ensuring that employees’ workstations do not pose a risk to their health.
In this guide, we’ve shared the risks associated with not working comfortably, as well as how you can create an ergonomic workstation to ensure your health is not adversely affected:
Why is a comfortable working environment important?
Ensuring that your workspace is comfortable can help you concentrate on your daily tasks. By eliminating the need to constantly re-adjust your equipment, including screens and keyboards, you can concentrate solely on your work.
A comfortable workspace can also benefit your time outside of the office as you won’t be as likely to suffer with aches and pains. If you have a busy family or a hectic lifestyle, suffering with health issues due to your working environment can be extremely frustrating and limit the activities you’re able to do.
Risks of not working comfortably
Working in an environment that isn’t comfortable can cause a variety of health-related issues, including:
Amongst one of the most common office-related injuries, repetitive strain injury (RSI) can happen when computer equipment isn’t placed properly. It occurs when your body parts are held at an awkward angle for long periods of time, such as continuously using a mouse in an uncomfortable position.
If your chair isn’t placed at a comfortable angle, you could develop backache. Whether you’re leaning over to see the screen or tilting back for a clearer view, it’s an extremely common concern for safety in the office.
You may also develop headaches if you’re using an uncomfortable workstation and it can occur if you’re tilting your head in an awkward position. Headaches at work can also come because of staring at a screen for long periods of time without a break.
How to create an ergonomic desk
In order to avoid developing one of these health issues, you can create an ergonomic workstation by following these guidelines:
Chair and backrest
When setting up your chair, make sure you can place your feet flat on the floor. To ensure you have good posture, your work chair should provide back support angling about 90 degrees. You should also use a cushion to push your back forward so that you are always sitting straight up in your chair.
Your backrest support should be tilted slightly and if possible, opt for a backrest that tilts with the user and has a width of between 11 and 18 inches. Your chair’s arms should be at a comfortable height and able to support your arms when they’re relaxed. The armrests should be parallel to the height of your desk.
TVs, monitors or screens
The screen of a computer should be placed on the desk directly in front of you and at least an arm’s length away from your eyes. This reduces the likelihood that you will develop a headache as a result of being too close to the screen.
Keyboard and mouse
You should place the keyboard and mouse associated with your workspace in a comfortable position, as this misplaced equipment can contribute to RSI. They should be kept close together and in positions where your wrists don’t need to bend excessively.
As you can see, ensuring that you and your staff have a comfortable working environment is key to ensuring that you aren’t suffering with aches and pains after office hours. You’ll be sure to experience a surge in productivity by setting up an ergonomic workstation as you will get much more done when you are sitting comfortably.