Ergonomics is on the rise with an increase in work-from-home environments and the fight to bring employees back to the office. Creating a space that is easy on a person’s anatomy is critical to their overall satisfaction and health while on the job. Whether employees are at home or in the office, it’s essential to consider these design tips for an ergonomic office space.
The Right Seating Matters
There is an array of seating arrangements that an office space can include, and most of them are not great for the back and body. It can be challenging to find the best seat for everyone involved but consider these factors when shopping around:
- Lumbar support
- Backrest tilt
- Overall depth
These considerations are typical for most office chairs, but another ergonomic solution is active seating. Active seating offers many health benefits to a user and can help promote increased movement and flow through the workday.
Consider the Height of Your Workstation
If the chair is taller and more accommodating to a user’s preferred height, the desk height must match this design. When you’re designing or building a new office space, consider adding desks and workstations that adjust so users can decide what works best for them.
Some employees may prefer to stand up periodically during the day and sit down at other times. The ability to change the height of the workstation makes this possible.
Ensure the Monitor Is at the Right Angle
A key element to comfortable physical work in the office is the angle of the monitor. Sometimes when the monitor is angled too low, we adjust our head and neck to accommodate it, rather than move the monitor. But by picking up the monitor to adjust to us, we create a more ergonomic workflow and alleviate the stress on our head, neck, and shoulders.
The most suitable angle for a monitor is anywhere between 10 and 20 degrees, depending on chair and desk height preferences.
Utilize a Zoning Chart at Your Workstation
One of the most unused design tips for ergonomic office spaces is utilizing a zone chart at workstations. A zone chart at a workstation creates a balanced flow within the space and enables increased ergonomic movement.
There are typically three zones used, including a primary zone, a secondary, and a tertiary. How you use these zones will determine how well you move.
- Primary zone. The primary zone includes your keyboard, a mouse, and smaller things like a calculator. This zone is where you physically do the work, so it’s smaller and closer to the user.
- Secondary zone. The secondary zone is the location for desk accessories. A lamp, phone charging station, and a drink typically sit in this space. They are within arm’s reach but out of the way of the work.
- Tertiary zone. This is the farthest point from the edge of a desk, and typically this is where the monitor sits in addition to paperwork, notebooks, and décor items. On average, the tertiary zone is roughly 45 inches from the edge of the workstation.
Ergonomic workflows are beneficial from a health and productivity perspective. Just a few small tweaks in designing and planning can make all the difference.