Work is a big part of our everyday lives. It’s something we should enjoy and be happy about. As the saying goes, “Choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” So, no matter what you do for a living, make sure that you love it. Make sure you feel good, cozy and comfortable in your working environment. Having the optimal setting around you will increase your productivity, happiness and success.
But the most important part of it all is being in good health. With the growing trend of today’s jobs being more and more in sitting positions, people tend to develop back and neck problems more often. Did you know that around 4 million Australians (16% of the total population) have back problems, forcing them to take medications, undergo physical therapy and even quit their jobs? This is why more and more employers and individuals tend to create ergonomic workplaces.
What Is Ergonomics?
The word ergonomics comes from the Greek words “ergon” meaning work or labour and “nomos” meaning natural laws. The basic definition of the actual process of ergonomics is designing and arranging workplaces, products and systems, so they fit the people who use them. It seeks to learn about human abilities and limitations, for later to apply these learnings in order to improve human’s relationship with environments, products and systems of any kind.
The main goal is to optimize workspaces to minimize the risk of injury. To acquire the best results possible, ergonomics focuses on researching many factors on, and around us, such as body sizes, shapes, muscles, light, heat, noise, hearing, vision, skill, errors, communication, behaviours and many more.
How to Create an Ergonomic Workspace?
Sitting at a desk for 8 hours and more isn’t a natural position for our body at all, that’s why we need to figure out ways to improve the time spent bent over the desk. As technology advances, it creates new tools to keep us comfortable, safe and healthy. Let’s see what are the latest inventions that will help us maintain a working station that fits our needs.
Thanks to its practicality and the health advantages it offers, the split keyboard is becoming popular by the day. It is one of the best ways to reduce tension and improve the ergonomics of your workstation. Basically, split keyboards consist of two parts, a left and a right one. Both parts have suitable keys, divided accordingly for your left and right hand. The only thing that’s missing is the number pad on the right side, but don’t worry, you still have numbers inserted into the keyboard. Depending on the manufacturer and the model, they can be found on the first row on the left side or incorporated into the letters of the keyboard and activated with a special button.
Because not everyone is built the same way and has the same body type, the type of ergonomic split keyboard that we use will vary from person to person. That’s why, when choosing one, we need to consider a few things. First, it’s reach distance. Think about how often you use the mouse and the numeric keyboard, it will have a big effect on the relief of the shoulders. Second, it’s muscle tension. Strain is caused by constant tension in the forearm muscles, but it can be reduced by supporting the hands and wrists. An important thing to keep in mind is to keep the keyboard as flat as possible. Lastly, it’s the angle. The split keyboard gives you the opportunity to adjust the angle you’re comfortable in working depending on your body shape, without having to bend the wrists.
The biggest advantage of split keyboards is the natural position of the wrists while typing. Keep your arms at the proper angle and closer to your body (at shoulder width), which is a natural position. No matter whether you have wrist pain, trying to prevent RSIs or just the flexibility of it attracts you, buying an ergonomic split keyboard is a smart investment in your health.
Did you know that people who use their mouse frequently pass around 27km with it a year? That’s a big number for such a small task. To relieve the discomfort of your mouse marathon we recommend using an ergonomic mouse. This type of mouse is designed to the shape and natural position of your arm and palm.
The first thing it helps you with is your posture. Because your arm is now placed in a natural handshake position, muscular strain is avoided, and the right tilt angle provides comfort all through the day. It also avoids pressure on the wrist by allowing your arm to rest on it. And reduces unwanted muscle activity during the repetitive movements we perform. No need to stress how much it helps people with arthritis, carpal tunnel and Mouse Arm Syndrome. Also, some of the ergonomic mice are programable and can include the ability to program buttons, allowing you to reduce the number of clicks and movements.
An ergonomic chair can be a lifesaver. It’s full of comfort and has features that adjust to you providing you with the right posture and increasing your productivity and happiness. Sitting in the same position for hours can have a highly negative impact on your body, that’s why having an ergonomic chair can help you. Here are some of the benefits of using it:
- Supports posture by providing the right sitting angle for your back, spine and legs;
- Reduces the risk of neck problems with its neck supporters;
- Reduces back pain with the reclining options and proper support;
- Reduces pressure on the hips with good seat depth;
- Improving blood circulation by sitting at a 90 degrees angle;
- Designed for all users;
- Provides optimal safety etc.
It is important to incorporate movement in your work time, especially if you sit for 8 hours a day. This is now possible thanks to the height-adjustable desks that are all the rage these days. They have gained popularity among office workers and employers because of their many benefits. They reduce back pain and improve well-being, increase productivity levels, prevent weight gain, cardiovascular disease and lower blood sugar levels. It is highly recommended, and research has confirmed it, to switch between sitting and standing every 30 – 45 minutes. Start gradually and increase the standing time as it suits you and your needs.