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Essentials for Creating an Ergonomic Workstation

Setting up an ergonomic workstation is essential for maintaining comfort, productivity and overall well-being while working. Here’s a comprehensive guide on the key considerations and items to include, along with the benefits of each ergonomic element.

  1. Adjustable Chair

An ergonomic chair is crucial for supporting your lower back, promoting good posture, and reducing strain.

Benefits:

  • Lumbar Support: Reduces lower back pain by maintaining the natural curve of the spine.
  • Adjustability: Allows for customisation of seat height, depth, and backrest recline to fit individual needs.
  • Armrests: Adjustable armrests reduce strain on shoulders and arms.
  1. Sit/Stand Desk

Switching between sitting and standing throughout the day can significantly improve your health and productivity.

Benefits:

  • Reduces Back Pain: Alternating between sitting and standing can help alleviate back pain and prevent musculoskeletal disorders.
  • Improves Circulation: Standing periodically can improve blood flow and reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues.
  • Boosts Energy and Mood: Changing positions can increase energy levels and improve mood and focus.
  1. Monitor Stand or Arm

Positioning your monitor at eye level is essential to prevent neck strain and maintain good posture.

Benefits:

  • Eye Level Positioning: Reduces neck and eye strain by keeping the monitor at a comfortable height.
  • Flexibility: Adjustable stands and arms allow you to position the monitor for optimal viewing angles.
  • Desk Space: Elevating the monitor frees up valuable desk space for other items.
  1. Monitor Riser

A monitor riser elevates your screen to eye level, reducing neck and shoulder strain.

Benefits:

  • Improved Posture: Ensures your monitor is at the correct height, promoting better posture.
  • Increased Desk Space: Provides additional storage space underneath for books, notebooks, or other items.
  • Reduced Neck Strain: Keeps your neck in a neutral position, reducing the risk of strain and discomfort.
  1. Ergonomic Keyboard

Using an ergonomic keyboard can minimise strain and prevent repetitive stress injuries.

Benefits:

  • Natural Hand Position: Split and curved designs help keep your hands in a more natural position, reducing strain.
  • Wrist Support: Integrated wrist rests reduce pressure on the wrists during typing.
  • Compact Design: Reduces the distance you need to reach for the mouse, minimising shoulder and arm strain.
  1. Ergonomic Mouse

An ergonomic mouse is designed to reduce wrist and hand strain, which is common with prolonged computer use.

Benefits:

  • Vertical Design: Encourages a more natural hand position, reducing wrist strain.
  • Adjustable Sensitivity: Allows for smoother and more precise cursor control, reducing repetitive movements.
  • Comfortable Grip: Ergonomic shapes and sizes fit the hand better, reducing fatigue.
  1. Document Holder

Keeping documents at an optimal viewing angle helps reduce neck movement and strain.

Benefits:

  • Reduces Neck Strain: Keeps documents at eye level, reducing the need to bend or twist your neck.
  • Improves Workflow: Having documents in line with your monitor can improve efficiency and comfort.
  1. Foot Rest

A foot rest can improve circulation and reduce strain on your lower back and legs.

Benefits:

  • Improves Posture: Encourages proper alignment of the spine and reduces pressure on the lower back.
  • Reduces Leg Strain: Provides support for the feet, reducing pressure on the legs and improving circulation.
  • Adjustability: Allows for customisation to fit individual height and comfort preferences.

Summary of Ergonomic Essentials:

By incorporating these ergonomic elements into your workstation and adhering to recommended positioning guidelines for your monitor and keyboard (see below), you can create a healthier, more comfortable, and productive work environment.

  • Adjustable Chair: Supports lower back and reduces strain
  • Sit/Stand Desk: Enhances health by alternating sitting and standing
  • Monitor Stand/Arm: Positions monitor at eye level to prevent neck strain
  • Monitor Riser: Elevates screen to improve posture
  • Ergonomic Keyboard: Reduces wrist strain with natural hand positioning
  • Ergonomic Mouse: Minimizes wrist and hand strain
  • Document Holder: Keeps documents at eye level
  • Foot Rest: Improves posture and circulation

 

What is the Optimal Monitor and Keyboard Position?

Monitor Position

Your eyeline should be level with the top third of your monitor screen. The monitor should be about an arm’s length away from you, roughly 20-30 inches. This positioning helps reduce neck strain and ensures a comfortable viewing angle without excessive head movement.

Keyboard Position

Your keyboard should be positioned directly in front of you, and close enough to allow your elbows to remain at a 90-degree angle and your wrists to stay straight while typing. This setup minimises strain on your arms and wrists, promoting a more natural and comfortable typing posture.

By incorporating these ergonomic elements into your workstation and adhering to recommended positioning guidelines for your monitor and keyboard, you can create a healthier, more comfortable, and productive work environment.

For further support or advice, get in touch here with one of our friendly advisers at Quills Office Supplies for all your workplace essentials.

 

 

The Pros And Cons Of Sit-Standing Desks – Should You Buy One?

Today, we’re going to be exploring the benefits of sit-stand desks and the drawbacks, so you can discover whether your office really needs one.

Sit-stand desks are an increasingly popular choice for workplaces worldwide – and for good reason! With claims of fixing back-pain, correcting posture problems, increasing productivity and more, it’s no hardship to see why the sit-stand desk is so popular.

However, how true are all these claims?

Explaining the sudden rise of sit-stand desks: the importance of standing

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the sit-stand desk is just another meaningless fad, but that could not be further from the truth.

With our lengthening life spans, taking care of our health is increasingly important. Shopping trends have started to reflect this; consumers are more conscious about their health than ever before.

While the importance of exercise for our health is well known, recent studies have uncovered that exercise isn’t enough. Furthermore, it’s not just that exercise is good – living a sedentary lifestyle is bad for us. Studies have shown that sitting down for long periods of time actively harms our health.

The World Health Organization identified a sedentary lifestyle as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality.

This translates directly into the workplace. The average British office worker spends 35-40 hours a week sitting at their desk, not including sitting down to commute and time spent sitting for leisure. All this time sitting down contributes to a number of harmful consequences such as:

Naturally, on the heels of this research, people grew increasingly concerned about their work habits – enter the sit-stand desk. The sit-stand desk is an adjustable desk that allows office workers to use it whilst standing or sitting, offering them the ability to stand up during their work day.

Health Concerns Around Standing

While there are a lot of health concerns around the sedentary lifestyle, this doesn’t mean that the answer is never sitting down again. On the contrary, there is research to suggest that too much standing can have a negative health impact too.

In fact, there has been a study showing that jobs requiring employees to stand up all day were associated with an approximately 2-fold risk of heart disease compared to those that were sitting. That being said, it’s worth keeping in mind the fact other factors of standing jobs (such as operating machinery, carrying heavy items, being in high-stress environments such as sales etc.).

One of the likely reasons for this is the fact that standing causes blood to pool in the legs and there is increased stress when pumping it back up to the heart. Excessive standing has also been linked to varicose veins, clogged arteries and night cramps.

The benefits of sit-stand desks are vast – but maybe the fact that they allow you to sit and stand is the biggest one. If you shouldn’t sit too much and you shouldn’t stand . . . what is the best thing for your health? As with many things, the solution seems to be a happy medium.

Benefits Of Sit-Stand Desks

Now that you have an overview of the science behind the concept, we’re going to identify and explain the benefits of sit-stand desks.

1. Allows you to break up hours of sitting

As we’ve explained in the previous section, sitting down for too long is harmful. However, it’s also inevitable if you work in an office.

The idea of getting up for breaks every hour may sound doable in principle, but in practice it may be less so. You may be working to tight deadlines and not have the time to spare; you might work in customer service and have to be present to answer the phones.

The first benefit of sit-stand desks is the ability to break that streak of sitting down, while still working. You can seamlessly switch between sitting and standing during the workday, so you don’t have to take constant breaks.

2. Standing is beneficial for your health (in moderation)

Not only does standing ensure you aren’t sitting still for too long, standing for part of the day is actively good for your health. Standing for three hours a day has the health benefits of running 10 marathons a year!

3. You have the option to sit and stand

We’ve touched on the fact that standing all day can be just as harmful as sitting, so having a standing desk may not be the solution. However, one of the biggest health benefits of sit-stand desks is the ability to adjust the settings to both sitting and standing height. This allows you and your employees to create a balance between the two throughout the day that fits you.

4. Good for productivity and focus

Amongst all the health benefits of sit-stand desks, there are workplace improvements too. Studies have shown that in some offices the introduction of sit-stand desks increased productivity by 46%! Not only do sit-stand desks improve your employee’s health, they improve their working ability – a solid investment, in our books.

6. Helps to maintain a healthy weight as you burn more calories

The last benefit of sit-stand desks that we’re sharing today is the fact they help employees to maintain a healthy weight and reduce obesity. When you think about it, it’s logical – sitting down expends far less energy than standing, so your body burns less calories sitting.

Studies have shown that employees utilising a standing desk burned 0.7 calories extra per minute; this adds up to around 50 calories an hour and, even better, over the course of a year, you would burn 30,000 calories. (Based off spending three hours a day standing, five days a week.)

These are just six of the many health benefits that sit-stand desks have to offer. If you are interested in providing your office with sit-stand desks, here at Quills we have a wide range of options. Feel free to send us an enquiry, or have a browse of our digital brochure.

Call: 0845 078 0324   Email: sales@quillsuk.co.uk   Live chat: www.quillsuk.co.uk