Are you working in unsafe postures instead of adjusting the workplace to suit your body?
You are and should be the center of the story. Ergonomics is about making your environment work for you. The mistake that people make is they get this backwards and adjust their bodies to their workplace.
In ergonomics, we recognize, and honor, human factors, we don’t try to adjust them. The work environment must be adapted to the user wherever possible. To do this, we identify the unique requirements and limitations of each individual and make adjustments to workplace furniture, equipment and setup.
In ergonomics, we recognize, and honor, human factors, we don’t try to adjust them.
We focus on postural awareness so that we can finally stop adjusting our postures to meet external limitations imposed by our workplace. For instance, the number one reason people give for awkward postures at their monitor is that their cables are too short. There is no good excuse for this. Cables can be lengthened. The soft tissue of your neck, not so easily.
Did you know that the recommended range for dining room tables is three to four centimeters higher than it is for desks? Unless you are very tall, or have a chair with full seat height adjustability and use a footstool to support your feet, working at the dining room table is not going to be comfortable for your body. It’s just not worth it.
The need to fit the workplace to the worker and not the other way around is the reason why furniture should be either customized or adjustable. Rather than making endless modifications to your working posture because your desk is the wrong size for you, sometimes you have to add a footrest or trim the legs on your desk if it is too high.
If your current workplace was not set up for you it is probably not right for you.
Perhaps you need to add risers if it is too low. Or maybe it’s time to admit that you need a new desk. For more info on this, check out my first blog ever. I was inspired by the striking difference between my 5’7 husband and the 6’ tall woman with whom he was sharing his office. She customized her workplace. He adapted his posture.
Right now there is a lot of interest in adjustable-height desks for the home office. People want to be able to alternate easily between working sitting down and working standing up. But not everybody realizes the added benefit of adjustable – height desks. You can customize the sitting height of your desk so that it actually works with the height of your chair’s seat and armrests. No need for awkward postures any more. Now your workplace fits you!
If your current workplace was not set up for you it is probably not right for you. If it was set up for a task other than work (like eating), it’s not right for work. You can’t work comfortably if you are using a workplace that was set up for somebody else or for some other purpose unless you can fully adjust it. Good ergonomics looks at workplace design and adjusts it for you. It’s an investment in your comfort, in your wellbeing, and in your productivity.