Ergonomic Tips - Stay Pain Free at the Office
Article brought to you by: Phillip Donaldson
Ergonomic office furniture has seen a rising trend over the last decade, and for good reason. As Americans have been spending more time in front of their office desk, the demand for comfortable, pain reducing furniture and supplies has also increased. Although some ergonomic options are expensive initially, the cost of treatment for the health problems that uncomfortable furnishings can cause is often much pricier. Some of the most well-known ergonomic brands use special gel inserts and memory foam cushions to provide the best support. When choosing new supplies and furniture, it's important to look at the materials closely. Quality ergonomic products should not contain materials that will easily degrade under repeated use. On the other hand, the support provided should not put unnecessary pressure on the body, either. According to the ergonomic solutions provided by OSHA, office furniture is ergonomic only when it easily adjusts to the body in multiple sitting positions while still providing adequate support and movement.
What Does Ergonomic Mean?
When something is referred to as being ergonomic, it means that the object conforms well to the natural structure of the body. In other words, it does not hinder or impede the natural function. For example, an ergonomic mouse pad has a cushioned edge filled with gel to help support the natural curvature of the wrist. Another example would be a work desk that allows the user to maintain a 90-degree angle with their forearms. The arms should not be slanted upward or downward, because doing so for long periods of time will cause wrist fatigue. There are multiple ways that an office can be ergonomic. In addition to being ergonomic from an engineering standpoint, a workplace should also conform to the worker psychologically, as well. This can include the overall design of the room and the colors that are used.
Benefits of Ergonomics
The main benefit of using something that is ergonomic is that it causes less wear on the body. In turn, this allows for faster work in a safe environment. For example, using a mouse pad or computer keyboard that forces the hand and wrist to rest unnaturally on the desk can cause health problems in the future, like carpel tunnel. Additionally, computer chairs that support healthy posture are also beneficial in decreasing back pain. The same can be said of desks and storage cabinets, as well. As a general rule, if you have to strain to use it, or the height forces you to bend down constantly, then it will eventually decrease productivity and comfort.
Useful Ergonomic Tips
A workplace should not cause undue mental or physical stress on the worker. Because of the popularity of ergonomic office furniture, there are many different products that have flooded the market. Unfortunately, not all of them are truly ergonomic in design. For this reason, it's a good idea to actually try out the product you're interested in buying. Take the time to sit in the chair, use the mouse pad or type on the keyboard like you usually would while working. It's also worth noting that ergonomic supplies and furniture often cost more upfront, but last longer and offer more benefits in the long run. Ergonomic chairs should gently hug the body while providing support in the lumbar region of the back.
Choosing ergonomic office furniture is a big step toward making the workplace more efficient. There are many different types, from desks and chairs, to small supplies, like staplers and wrist rests. Purchasing based on color is one of the biggest mistakes that people make when they are choosing ergonomic furniture. Style is also not an important feature that should factor into the purchase. When it comes to setting up an ergonomic work station, height is a crucial factor – this applies to desks, chairs and cabinets. If it promotes slouching or repeated bending over, then it will eventually cause pain, as well.