At moll Shop Australia, we are dedicated to the design and development of innovative, reliable and ergonomic office furniture. But why is having an ergonomic workplace so important? A recent article stated that the average office worker spends over 65% of their time at work in a sedentary seated position, which can lead to a range of health problems including spinal issues. Back injuries can also occur through repetitive motions, poor posture, fatigue and workplace accidents. Ergonomics can help prevent these injuries, as well as benefit our health, productivity and happiness in the office.
In this month’s blog post, we present a guide to ergonomics in the workplace:
One of the most important pieces of office furniture is your desk chair. In the office, we sit in these chairs for up to eight hours a day, so it makes sense that they should be able to be adjusted to suit our bodies. Things to consider when choosing an office chair include height, seat depth, lumbar support, arm rests, comfort and mobility. Swivel chairs are the best type of desk chairs as they do not restrict our movement and force us to bend in unnatural ways.
Your desk chair should be able to be adjusted in terms of seat height and depth to suit your proportions. Your feet should be able to rest fully on the floor, and the back of the chair should have a natural curve to accommodate the spine. Ensuring that your chair has been adjusted to suit your needs will prevent back pain and other injuries during your time at work.
Click here to see our range of ergonomic height-adjustable office chairs.
The other most important piece of office furniture in your workplace is your desk. A desk that is too high, low or cramped can all cause muscle strain and spinal issues. The general rule is that you should have enough space beneath the desk to cross your legs, while the angle between your elbow and forearm should be 90 – 120 degrees. Your desk should also be organised into zones, with office supplies and documents that you use often, sometimes and rarely at corresponding distances. This ensures that you are not constantly reaching for what you need and possibly causing a repetitive injury. Your monitor should likewise be positioned at a comfortable distance so that you are not straining your neck to see it.
An increasingly popular trend in the workplace are standing desks or height-adjustable desks, where you can stand or sit at the desk and continuously change your posture. The moll range of height-adjustable office desks are electronically controlled, while others are unfolded or wound up. Some people have switched to standing-only desks, but experts have stressed that standing desks do not equal exercise, and are not necessarily healthier. Switching between standing and sitting is considered the best method, giving you time to stretch and maintain flexibility without getting too fatigued.
You can find our range of award-winning ergonomic office desks here.
An often overlooked piece of office furniture is storage. Storage containers, filing cabinets and shelves are all regularly used in the workplace, and their role in promoting an ergonomic workplace is often crucial. Having to continuously turn, bend or move to reach storage can cause strain and possible injury, particularly if it becomes a repetitive movement that you perform every day. The solution to this is mobile storage containers, which can be easily rolled to the most convenient position for your daily use. Roll containers do not have to be picked up and are also compact enough to store under your desk or in corners away from high-traffic areas in the workplace.
To browse our mobile storage options, click here.
Another essential piece of the office ergonomics puzzle is desk lighting. As we discussed in the previous month’s blog post, How To Create An Inspirational Homework Environment, natural light is the ideal light for work, as it reinforces a healthy sleep-wake cycle and benefits performance, productivity and positivity in the office. However, if your workplace does not have access to natural light, the next best option is investing in desk lighting which mimics natural light. Having a well-lit workspace also reduces the chances of eye strain and fatigue.
Click here to see our range of desk lighting options.
Finally, there are several healthy habits which you can adopt as part of achieving an ergonomic workplace. Eating small healthy meals throughout the day will prevent you from making unhealthy food choices, while limiting your caffeine intake and drinking more water will prevent the dreaded 3pm slump. Making time to get outside during your lunch break will ensure you get a dose of Vitamin D, while being hygienic will lessen the chances of becoming ill.
Apart from changing your sitting position, you should also take regular breaks to refresh your body and mind. You can even do stretching exercises while you work, to prevent sore stiff muscles and increase blood flow. With the correct office furniture and a few healthy changes to your day, it’s easy to make your work a more ergonomic, healthier and productive place.
To learn more about the benefits of ergonomic furniture, and to browse our full product range, please visit our Australian online store.