The Ergonomically Positioned Work Center

The average adult now spends 50-70% of the day sitting at work which equals out to about 2,000 hours per year. All of these hours can take a toll on your eyes, back, arms, and neck.

Poorly designed working environments can result in momentary pain as well as contribute to reduced efficiency, decreased production, loss of income, increased medical claims and permanent disability. The ultimate goal of ergonomics is to design the workplace so that it accommodates the variety of human capabilities and limitations to prevent musculoskeletal disorders. Musculoskeletal disorders account for about one-third of all injury and illness costs of businesses, so applying ergonomics to the workplace can help lessen the likelihood of MSDs arising. 

It’s not all doom and gloom though. Smart companies, like workrite ergonomics, are meeting these challenges head on with a proactive approach. When the incompatibilities between the work and the worker are removed, it allows for safe work performance. Ergonomic risk factors are removed and the worker achieves great productivity. For these exact reasons, we say that ergonomics is good for business and even better for people. 

At Workrite Ergonomics, they believe that everybody has the right to work comfortably and safely. Every product is designed with the direct input of the ergonomics community and businesses like yours. Research shows that changing position periodically or standing for regular intervals throughout the day can reduce fatigue and improve alertness and productivity.

Below are Acceptable Working Postures

Approved Positions

Regardless of how good your working posture is, working in the same posture or sitting still for prolonged periods of time is not healthy. You should change your working position frequently through out the day in the following ways:

  • Make small adjustments to your chair or back rest
  • Rearrange the work area to avoid excess bending, stooping, and reaching
  • Stretch your fingers, hands, arms and torso
  • Alternate between seated and standing positions while you work

These are just examples of body posture changes that provide neutral positioning for the body.

A good chair can contribute significantly to reduce the risk of lower back pain or injury. Besides a good ergonomic chair there is also a proper seating position.

  • The height of your work surface should allow you to work without reaching or bending.
  • Forearms should be parallel to the floor and approximate 90 degree angle from your upper arms
  • Wrists, neck and head should be in a relaxed neutral position- not angled up or down.
  • The distance between your eyes and the monitor should be at least 15.7″ or more.
  • Adjust the height of your seat so that your feet are resting firmly on the floor

Remember that ergonomic features won’t help you if the chair doesn’t suit your body or sitting habits, so adjustability is important.

Adjustable sit-stand work centers are quickly becoming a popular trend in workplaces. The idea is simple. By limiting the amount of time you spend seated in a given day, you can stave off a variety of potential health risks. Sit-Stand desks allow you to easily raise and lower your keyboard and monitor to proper heights. With this comes a proper standing position

  • The height of your work surface should allow you to work without reaching.
  • Wrists should be straight and hands at or below elbow level.
  • The top of the monitor should be at or just below eye level.

It is truly in everyone’s best interest to apply ergonomics to the workplace. Poor working conditions are bad news for both employees and employers, resulting in physical suffering and adverse economic impact. Although the suggestions in this outline can help, but you may wish to take the extra step of consulting directly with a professional to analyze specific working conditions and make recommendations. A partnership among staff, employers, and ergonomic specialists can help redesign the workplace to meet the capabilities and potential of every employee.

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Diagram of a Woman Sitting