Office Ergonomics

First published on Thursday, Dec 09, 2021

Last updated on Tuesday, Jun 07, 2022

It’s your job to provide all your staff with comfortable and well-designed workstations throughout their employment. Providing poor working setups for your employees can lead to serious health problems.

You’re responsible for ergonomics in the workplace, giving your employees a correct working space to avoid injuries. It’s crucial you understand the issues that come from poor office ergonomics.

In this guide, we’ll explain what office ergonomics is, why it’s so important and, the guidelines to follow when it comes ergonomics.

What is office ergonomics?

Ergonomics for office workers is about providing your employees with a comfortable workspace. This helps to avoid long term health problems.

Giving your employees the best working area possible keeps your staff healthy, happy and lead to an increase in productivity.

Examples of office ergonomics

For employees based in an office daily, there are many potential ergonomic issues. Ensure you make your employees aware and keep an eye out for the following:

  • Poor sitting posture: Slouching or leaning forwards putting extra pressure on the spine.
  • Awkward postures: Any unnatural postures when bending, twisting, or overreaching. Activities which could lead to this are looking down at computer monitors or extending the wrists to type. This puts extra pressures on the joints.
  • Prolonged stationary positions: Sitting in the same chair over a sustained period of time.
  • Repetitive movements: Performing the same movements over a long period of time. For example, moving a mouse, this can cause inflammation.

Ergonomic guidelines for computer workstations

You should provide your employees with a computer ergonomic checklist. This should be adhered to when working at a computer. Included in these guidelines should be the reporting process for any issues regarding the ergonomic position for computer work.

Split your guidelines into two separate topics, computer posture ergonomics and computer screen ergonomics.

Make sure you explain your office ergonomic standards to any new starters, as well current employers as a refresher.

Include the following in your ergonomic workstation assessment checklist:

Computer posture ergonomics

  • Top of monitor level with eyes.
  • Monitor about an arm’s length away.
  • Elbows close to body at 90-degree angle.
  • Support for natural back arch.
  • Shoulders relaxed and back straight.
  • Wrists in straight line with forearm.

Computer screen ergonomics

  • Top of computer monitor horizontal to eyes.
  • Wear glasses if required.
  • Ensure computer screen isn’t too bright.
  • Monitor should be placed at an angle of between 10 and 20 degrees.

Why is ergonomics important to computer users?

Computer ergonomics are extremely important, especially if your employees are office based.

Some of the health problems caused by incorrect computer ergonomics manifest over a long period of time, but this doesn’t make them any less serious.

The following are common examples of ergonomic injuries which you need to be aware of:

  • Back or neck pain.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Vibration syndrome.
  • Tendonitis.
  • Eye fatigue.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Arthritis.

As per the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety website (CCOHS), there’s many more injuries that can be caused via poor office ergonomics. It’s vital you understand the potential health risks to your employees when it comes to office work.

How to improve office ergonomics

To improve your workplace’s ergonomics, you should provide regular training. Make sure your employees undertake workstation assessment training when starting or moving desks within the company.

This training will ensure your employees can set their new workstation up to avoid any health issues. They will be able to set their working equipment up in correct positions.

Ensure you have an ergonomic policy, which includes your computer ergonomic checklist.

The CCOHS provide a free online office ergonomics training course. Include this course as part of the onboarding process to ensure your employees are aware of the risks.

Get help with your office ergonomics today with BrightHR

Keeping your employees fit and healthy is extremely important. Having clear ergonomic training in place will keep your workplace as safe as possible. Not training your staff properly could lead to long term health issues.

BrightHR has a range of tools that can help keep your workforce safe. Our BrightSafe online health & safety software allows you to manage ergonomic training efficiently.

Contact us on 18882204924 or book a demo today.

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