Episode 57 – A beginner’s Guide to Office Ergonomics – 8 Factors to Fix


Are you an office worker or business owner?


For those who work in an office setting, you’ll know what it’s like to be sitting down and working for hours on end. You may have also realized that office ergonomics – the design and arrangement of your workplace – has serious health implications on your mind and body and must to be optimized regularly. Why? Because you can permanently damage your health and wellbeing if you don’t.


The following guide to office ergonomics highlights some factors that can impact your body in both the short-term and long-term:

1. Desk

Good desk height and positioning are critical in office ergonomics. As you know good posture allows proper blood circulation, nerve function, and lymphatic drainage – all of which are important for health and wellbeing.


What to do with your desk:

Your desk shouldn’t be too high or too low, as this would affect your overall posture. An adjustable desk would be ideal (such as the ones that allow you to stand and sit), however alternate solutions such as, choosing a chair with an adjustable height work just as well (in comparison to a fixed chair height).


2. Chair

A comfortable, supportive, and well-positioned chair is key for an optimal workstation, as this is what your body rests on throughout the day.


What to look for in a chair:

Ideally, you should get an adjustable, compact chair that allows you to sit upright while supporting your lower back. This is beneficial for both your upper torso and lower back in particular. You might be interested in purchasing a Swiss Ball Chair, or a Half Dome Chair for balance and upright posture. Another thing to consider is the sitting position on the chair. Make sure your sitting “square on,” not on an edge or too far back or forward.


3. Lighting

The general lighting of your workplace should be considered as well. Make sure you have just the right brightness level for what you need. The last thing you want is to be squinting too hard to see things in the dark, or worse, exposing your eyes to harsh or extreme brightness – either would be disadvantageous to your productivity.


What to consider with lighting:

If it’s dark, have an extra source of light nearby such as a desk lamp. Moreover, if you can get a light with a dimming feature where you are able to finely adjust the brightness of your surroundings that would also be an added benefit.


What about your computer monitor?

Similarly, the brightness of your computer monitor or any screen display used (e.g. phone, tablet) should be moderate. Overly bright or dark screens could affect your vision, causing short-term problems like headaches and eye strains, but more alarmingly long-term issues such as impaired vision. Notably, blue spectrum light coming from your monitor can have serious consequences on your sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, ultimately impacting your sleep at night. You may want to look into downloadable software that helps reduce these UV rays emitted from your computer monitor.


4. Monitor

Your monitor’s height should be right at your line of sight or slightly above, otherwise improper positioning may lead to problems like Upper Cross Syndrome (or “hump back”) which is chronic bad posture. If it is positioned too low, you may find solutions such as placing your monitor on a stack of books or other supportive items may help. You can also buy monitor stands if you wish. Another factor is the monitor’s distance from your eyes. If your monitor is too close or too far away from your eyes, it may lead to a number of vision problems, such as, eye strain and impairments, as earlier discussed.


How to help your eyes:

Take a rest as often as possible, practice eye rolling exercises and even learning to juggle are easy activities to do while you rest. These will get blood flow to your eye muscles (yes eyes have muscles).



Like my guide to office ergonomics? Scroll down to find out 4 more ergonomic factors to fix.

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