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Will Ergonomic Office Design Increase Productivity?

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 4:26pm | by Guest Contributor

The word "ergonomic" may not be one that you toss around during your lunch hour at work, but the meaning behind it is definitely something that people strive to have at their place of business. Ergonomic basically speaks to creating the kind of environment that will be comfortable for employers and employees alike. As we all know, when you feel better, you are definitely able to be more productive.

So, in pondering over whether you work in an office space that is ergonomic, perhaps you're not exactly sure. Below are five ways to let you know if your office environment is working with you or against you when it comes to being a place where you can put your best "work foot" forward.

Check your chair. If you are doing work that requires you sitting at your computer for most of the day, you definitely need to think about how you and your chair relate to one another. It should feel comfortable in the sense that it should contour your body and have adjustable back and arm rests. It should also be positioned in a way that you are approximately at a 45 degree angle from your desk and the other things that you need. Make sure to also place it where you have enough leg room under your desk.

Make your desk suitable. Your desk should be just a little beneath the level of your arms so that you're not reaching too far up or down to get the items that you need. It should provide you with enough space to where you don't feel closed in, and it's helpful if it has a space especially designated for your computer monitor; one that is separate from things like books, pens and files.

Readjust your monitor. A lot of us spend many hours staring out our computer monitor all day long. Some ways to take some of the (eye) pressure off is to make sure that the monitor is set at eye level, that there is a glare free screen cover placed over it and that for every 30 minutes that you find yourself looking at it that you take about two minutes to look away to focus on something else. This little exercise does wonders for combating potential eye strain.

Protect your body. Sometimes, we will say to ourselves things like, "The keyboard should go here" simply because it looks better in one place over another. But the truth of the matter is that you should place your keyboard, writing utensils and other items that you need in places where you won't have to spend a lot of time or exerted effort reaching for them. Keep the keyboard close by with the help of a wrist prop and keyboard tray so that your hands will remain in a comfortable position. Make sure that your chair is at the height where your feet can be firmly planted on the floor at all times. And also make sure that the lighting is not so bright to where you have to squint to see, but also not so low to where you have to strain, either.

Add a touch of home. Whether it's a potted plant (which is also good for the environment, by the way), a personalized coffee mug, office supplies in your favorite color or a framed picture of a loved one, another way to apply the concept of ergonomics to your work space is to bring some of your home to your office. It will immediately make you feel more at ease, and a calm person tends to be a focused person, and a focused person tends to be a far more productive one.

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