Promoting the health and well-being of employees and minimising physical discomfort and stress: These days, ergonomics means much more than simply the functionality of desks and chairs. It involves the holistic design and conceptualisation of the working environment. Ergonomic concepts address the indoor climate and the lighting design as well as room acoustics which are tailored to the activity.
We sit too much and move too little.
Dynamic working = 60% sitting + 30% standing + 10% moving
80 to 85% of our daily working hours are spent sitting at computer workstations. Sitting stresses the spine and back muscles more than standing or walking. Poor working posture coupled with lack of exercise causes health problems. Experts therefore recommend a dynamic working mode, i.e. the healthy frequent change of posture between dynamic sitting, moving while standing and a change of scene for office work.
To that end, modern office landscapes offer diverse places which support various working postures such as standing meetings, retreat spaces in lounge environments, stand-up phone booths, and project spaces which make creative working modes possible. This brings more movement into the daily work routine.
Sitting/standing tables make a great contribution to the sustainable promotion of dynamic working; Thanks to its electrically adjustable height, the worktable can be easily moved from the sitting to the standing position at the touch of a button at any time.
Practical tips for more movement at the workstation
Do everything that does not require sitting, for example reading through the literature or holding short meetings, on your feet.
- Climb the stairs instead of using the lift.
- It is better to change positions more frequently than to stand for long periods.
- Set up your work day according to the 60/30/10 formula.
- Meetings at a standing table are often shorter and more effective.
- Use retreat spaces.
How to arrange your workstation ergonomically:
Setting up the desk and the screen
- First place the keyboard on the work surface. It should be positioned so that it is between 10 and 15 cm from the front edge of the desk. Ergonomic keyboards can be set at a slight angle. However, the angle must not exceed 8°.
- Adjust the height of the desk so that the upper and lower arm still form a right angle when working on the keyboard. The lower arm and the back of the hand should form a straight line.
- In terms of viewing distance, position the screen so that it is at least 50 cm away from the eyes. The viewing distance should be increased if the diagonal measurement of the screen exceeds 17 inches. For safety reasons, ensure that the screen does not extend out over the rear edge of the desktop when selecting a position.
- Tilt the screen no more than 35° backwards.
- Adjust the height of the screen so that the top row of characters is no higher than eye level. It is usually better to set it at a lower height. This particularly applies to those who wear glasses with varifocal lenses.
Checking the visual conditions
- Lastly, check again whether lighting or daylight create a glare on the screen when in use, and check that the screen is not affected by direct sunlight or reflections.
Adjusting the office chair
- Adjust the height of the seat so that the upper and lower leg form a right angle.
- Adjust the back of the chair so that the lower back (lumbar area) is perfectly supported when sitting in an upright position.
- Adjust the depth and the angle of the seat, if possible. When adjusting the depth of the seat, ensure that the minimum space between the front edge of the seat and the back of the knee amounts to just under the width of a hand.
- Adjust both the height and the spacing of the armrests, if possible. The elbow should be slightly supported
when the shoulders are relaxed. At the same time, the upper and lower arm should approximately form a right angle.
- If there is a headrest, the height and angle should also be adjusted so that the head is perfectly supported when leaning back.
- Adjust the synchronous mechanism so the counter pressure matches the body weight.