Comfort and function are key in a modern workspace. Yet these things are commonly pushed aside and forgotten. The introduction of office ergonomics has been working to change this. In the past, employees have been asked to conform to pre-existing workspaces, often resulting in discomfort and even workplace injury. Now, more companies are realizing that employee morale and productivity increase when workspaces are built to fit the people using them.
Office ergonomics have helped reduce the occurrence of musculoskeletal disorders caused by office jobs, such as tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and vision problems. The introduction of ergonomics has paved the way for an entirely new category of furniture and office accessories while also bringing awareness to the importance of comfort and proper fit for overall office health.
The first step in creating an ergonomic workspace is understanding proper body positioning. No matter whether a sitting, standing, or adjustable height desk is chosen, a neutral position is ideal. A neutral position consists of:
- Head straight
- Wrists straight
- Balanced weight
- Feet flat on the floor
- Back anchored against the back of the car
- Shoulders relaxed with arms near the side, elbows bent comfortably
A quality, an ergonomic chair is the backbone of office comfort. The proper chair should be adjustable to provide the user with a neutral position to work in.
Traditional, nonadjustable, office desks are 28-30” in height, which is perfect for anyone between 5’8” and 5’10”. For those taller or shorter, a chair with height adjustments can make up this difference.
Designed with functionality, contemporary style, and outstanding ergonomics, the Cool Mesh Pro and Presta Series are great modern office chair options.
The Cool Mesh Pro Series offers:
- Tilt Tension Adjustment
- Seat Height Adjustment
- Seat and Back Angle Adjustment
- Multi-Position Tilt Lock
- Forward Seat Tilt
- Seat Slider
- Height/Width Adjustment Arms
Presta Series offers:
- Swivel-Tilt Mechanism
- Tilt Tension Adjustment
- Seat Height Adjustment
- Padded Arms
Some offices are branching out even further from the traditional realm, with alternative desk chair styles. These can be used in conjunction with a more conventional office chair to help practice active sitting and reduce the occurrence of ailments that sitting in one position all day can cause.
Options like saddle seats and balance ball chairs promote correct spine posture and help to strengthen core muscles. Even further outside the box, kneeling chairs have become a hot item in the world of ergonomics. Designed with a proper pelvic position in mind, these chairs provide correct spine alignment and can reduce back pain and aid in improved breathing and digestion.
Modern Ergonomic Desks
The rise of modern, ergonomic furniture has changed the office desk industry dramatically. Traditional, fixed height style desks are on their way out and highly adjustable, multi-use style desks are taking over.
Sit to stand desks are becoming all the rage. These desks can improve physical and even mental health. Research has shown that most work tasks are not affected by moving from sitting to standing, but combination sit to stand desks can make this transition easy by still providing the option for either.
Transitioning quickly from sitting 8 hours a day, to standing 8 hours a day can be tough on the body. A desk that can easily go from sitting to standing for small intervals throughout the day, could prevent back, leg, or foot pain during the adjustment.
Both the Flexus and Titan Sit/Stad desks offer height adjustment, allowing users to fully adjust desk height to their own height, as well as offering the ability to work from both a sitting or standing position.
Shared, adjustable workstations, such as the Elements Shared Series, can help make traditional office spaces more modern. By incorporating this style of desk, an office offers versatility and flexibility, which are too often neglected.
Some modern office spaces have started incorporating exercise workstations into their space. Treadmill desks and desk cycles have been rising in popularity. Built for use periodically throughout the day, they are a great way to incorporate movement into sedentary situations. Depending on usage, space, and whether it’s located in an individual or shared area, treadmill desks are built for everything from light to heavy-duty use.
Ergonomic accessories are the finishing touch to fully customize and modernize your workstation.
Lumbar support pillows, seat cushions, and adjustable footrests can take your seating arrangements to the next level. Seat cushions can help reduce leg numbness, pain, and can even be purchased with heating and cooling options.
An important part of a modern, ergonomic workstation is having proper computer accessories. Since the goal while both sitting and standing during work is to maintain a neutral position, most likely both desktop and laptop computers will require additional accessories.
Monitor arms or laptop stands can raise screen height to be in line with eyesight. Variations of these stands are available to adjust to a different style of workstations. The Alto desk mount can convert to all heights of sit to stand desks.
As office spaces step away from ornamentation and move towards more modern designs, functionality takes center stage. Functionality focuses on being easy to use, navigate, and organize. Ergonomic furniture allows modern offices to successfully provide comfort and function to employees. Everett Office Furniture provides a variety of quality new and repurposed office furniture, featuring many ergonomic options to choose from.