Whether you are contemplating a major renovation of your office interior or just some minor cosmetic changes, now is a good time to think about the ergonomics of the workstations your employees use every day. Ergonomics, as many of you may already be aware, is a scientific discipline that is concerned with how people interact with their environments and in particular, how they interact with the physical objects that these environments contain. The ergonomic optimisation of an office workspace should be focused on the key components of individual workstations – desks, chairs, keyboards, and monitors – and how they are positioned.
Possibly the most important component is the chair. Although there are a number of very expensive ergonomically-designed office chairs on the market today, there is no need to spend a huge sum of money on this essential piece of equipment if you shop around. What you are looking for is a reasonable quality chair that features arm rests, a well padded seat cushion, and that is fully adjustable. By fully adjustable, we mean that both the seat height and the back rest height can be adjusted to suit the physical dimensions of the individual using it. The bottom of the back rest should be further forward than the top, to provide good lumbar support.
If you are using a chair with an adjustable seat height, the height of the desk is not critical. As long as it allows you to sit high enough without cramping your legs and low enough that you can still rest both feet flat on the floor when your seat is adjusted to match the desk height, it should suffice. When resting your arms on the desk, your elbows should be bent at or just under a 90-degree angle, so that your wrists are relatively straight when typing on the keyboard, which brings us neatly to the next component.
Keyboards with feet that allow them to be tilted slightly toward the user tend to be the most comfortable to use and you should position your keyboard slightly to the right of centre, so that the ‘B’ key is level with the middle of your body. This will provide you with the most comfortable typing experience possible.
Most monitors sit too low on the desk. For maximum comfort, the top of your monitor should be 2 to 3 inches above eye level. You may need to have some type of custom base made, on which you can place your monitor, to achieve this aim.
If you are remodelling the interior of your office, you can rely on the Saracen Interiors team to provide you with professional advice regarding the ergonomics of your individual workstations. We design and build high quality commercial interiors that are optimised for end users.