Working ergonomically and enhancing productivity

With advancements in technology making international collaboration easier than ever before, the work day is getting longer and longer, and modern office working is becoming overwhelmingly sedentary.

Many articles and studies have highlighted the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle and sitting for prolonged periods at work. The physical and mental condition of employees has a massive impact on their productivity levels, and sitting at a desk for hours a day can cause discomfort and fatigue, put pressure on the back and spine, and ultimately lead to lower employee engagement and productivity.

However, a whole new industry is taking off that seeks to mitigate the effects of long days in the office by improving employee comfort and wellbeing.

Ergonomics is the study of how equipment and furniture can be adapted to best suit the needs of those using it, so that people can do work or other activities more efficiently and comfortably.

Luckily, there are lots of easy ways you can start bringing the benefits of ergonomic design into the workplace. Below are a few items and elements you can incorporate into your office space to make the working environment as ergonomic as possible.

Desking: Sit-Stand desks are great for encouraging staff to keep moving throughout the day and can be easily moved up and down to suit the user.

Poseur Tables: These tall tables are usually found at events and spaces where you are more likely to interact with other people standing up, so they are great for keeping your workforce engaged, stimulated and productive during meetings, and avoiding the discomfort caused by sitting down for a long time.

Task Chairs: Task chairs are constructed with easy-to-use, easy-to-reach controls that mean they can be customised to suit any user, and curved designs that work with the contours of the human body to provide excellent, well-distributed support all day.

Exercise Balls: Exercise balls are an increasingly popular seating solution for use in meetings and at intervals during the day, especially for those with back problems. The instability of an exercise ball requires the user to keep their abdominal and back muscles constantly engaged in order to maintain balance, thereby improving posture. Although they shouldn’t be used as a permanent alternative to a proper office chair, they are a great way of keeping active even during a long day in the office — easing the discomfort caused by sitting still for hours on end, and helping to increase productivity.

Footrests: Dangling feet, poor feet posture, or feet that stay still for hours on end can all cause blood to pool in the lower limbs, increasing stress on local muscles, ligaments, and tendons. You have an ergonomic work posture when you make a 90-degree angle with your legs, and an ergonomic footrest can help you adopt a healthy posture and prevent back and shoulder problems. It can also be used as a stepper when working at a standing desk, to optimise blood flow and minimise lower leg fatigue.

Mouse pads/keyboards: There are also lots of ergonomic stationery solutions that can bring additional comfort to a working environment, such as keyboards and mouse pads with wrist support that prevent the fatigue caused by using a computer for extended periods of time, once again promoting comfort and productivity.