Work station adapted to individual needs
An ergonomic work station means furnishing the office in such a way, that all its elements meet the needs of people working. Important factors include convenient work conditions, furniture adjusted to physical conditions of all the workers, and additional equipment, increasing the comfort of several-hour attendance at the office. Besides, appropriately arranged station should be adjusted not only to anthropometric characteristics of the worker, but also to the kind of tasks performed.
The main asset of ergonomic work station is increasing the effectiveness of the employee. It is important to remember that the most frequent reasons for sick leave include so-called professional illnesses. In many cases the illness is caused by wrongly prepared work station. Additionally, uncomfortable conditions of the workplace, such as an uncomfortable chair, too much noise or having only artificial lighting negatively affect employees' mood, and, as a consequence, lower their effectiveness.
The most frequent troubles caused by wrongly arranged an office computer station include, among other things, muscle stiffness, spine curvature disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome and eye disorders. Adjusting the station to employee's individual needs will not one hundred per cent eliminate these troubles, but it will neutralise negative effects of work on employee's health.
Economic slowdown creates a temptation to, in order to save money, disregard the issue of workplace ergonomics. Contrary to that idea, slowdown is the best moment to give one's attention to that issue, because during the crisis there is much pressure to have effectiveness, cooperation and inventiveness, which are all achieved mainly thanks to human brains – admits Aleksandra Krawsz, Marketing and PR Manager at Kinnarps: The way we see it, ergonomics is kind of a vaccine, which boosts employees' resistance to negative effects of the crisis, such as burnout, lack of motivation, psychosomatic disorders caused by legthy stress, etc. When remembering, that proper functioning of human brain is dependent on many physical factors, mainly exercise, we understand better the need to create a stimulating, ergonomic work environment. Smart managers know, that during the crisis it is the people - their inventiveness and morale - that decide about company's success.
Without back pain
Some of the troubles caused by lengthy office work are back pain and spine curvature disorders. Most often they are caused by wrong posture during work. The way of sitting by the desk is a resultant of an appropriately chosen chair and desk's height adjusted to employee's height. To avoid spine problems, it is worth to choose good furniture.
In tha case of the chair it is important to note if its structure is stable and if it is not limiting worker's movements. The best solution are chairs having so-called five-leg base. That kind of base makes it easy to move the chair and lowers its crankiness. Regulated height and back support, which enables for a natural position of the spine, are basic elements of a sitting workplace. An additional improvement can be forearm support (often in the shape of armrests), lumbar support or using a footrest, which allows for keeping right angle while sitting.
Another crucial issue is a desk, which suits employee's needs. Its height should be adjusted to the height of the person which will be using it. This is why it is the best to buy a desk with adjustable height, then it can be adapted to the needs of different employees.
An issue, which often is dismissed while buying a desk is amount of the free space under the desktop. It is important to remember, that providing space smaller than about 80 cm of width and 70 cm of depth will negatively affect the employee's posture. A lack of liberty of movement under the desk causes muscle stiffness.
Other important issues include correct position of the monitor and appropriate illumination, which will neutralise computer's negative effect on employee's eyes.
The monitor should be placed directly opposite the user. Height of the screen should be regulated in such a way that the person working will be able to have head and shoulders in a straight line. The most optimum solution is to put the monitor slightly below sightline, 40-75 cm away from the eyes. Special monitor stands will help put the monitor on the desk. They allow for the regulation of height and angle, which helps to place the monitor correctly.
An ideal solution is to have access to sunlight. In the case of having a limited number of widows in an office, an additional solution is artificial lighting. The level of lighting a computer station should be at 300 lux. Source of light should be placed in such a way that it will not reflect in the monitor. When choosing the office lighting, it is worth looking at the lightbulb's lightness. The brigter and more natural light is, the better.