Sitting for long hours leads to muscular-skeletal disorders and obesity. Slouching on your chair causes back pain. Eye strain is caused by staring at the computer screen for long hours. These health problems are avoidable by changing your work habits, such as taking regular breaks and walking around or doing simple stretches. Another improvement is by using office furniture that promotes wellness.
Ergonomics, which aims to design safe products to improve work efficiency, has been gaining popularity. By applying its principles, an improvement in office furniture designs encourages better health.
Here are some tips for choosing your office furniture:
According to Safe Work Australia, around 50% of Australian workers work in jobs that involve sitting. The average daily sedentary period is from 8 to 10 hours. Therefore, it is essential to have comfortable tables and chairs.
Ideally, the height of the desk should allow your elbows to bend at 90 degrees, with forearms parallel to the floor. Since workers have different heights, it is advisable to have adjustable desks to reach comfortable sitting levels.
A variation is a sit-stand workstation, where you can alternate between sitting and standing.
According to results from the “Take-a-stand” project of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), standing burns more calories and lowers blood sugar levels. Those with lower back pain have reported improvements with the use of standing desks. There is also a reduction in upper back and neck pain.
Aside from being an attractive decor, office chairs should have the following features:
- Lumbar support
Chairs that support the lower back prevent back strains and sciatica. Chairs with adjustable back portions will allow fitting to a user’s lower back.
Seat height should be in a way that allows the user’s feet to rest flat on the floor, with thighs and arms parallel to the height of the desk.
The standard seat width is 17-20 inches. The depth (from front to back) should allow the user to rest his or her back against the backrest.
Office chairs should be adjustable to accommodate different heights.
- Seat fabric
There must be enough padding to support the user without feeling the base of the chair. The material should also be breathable to avoid becoming hot after long hours of sitting.
Filing cabinets are one example of office furniture that can cause accidents. Its drawers should have balanced weight to avoid tipping over.
As much as possible, filing cabinets’ locations should be in areas with low traffic. Workers might suffer injuries from stumbling over an open drawer.
Fractures are the second most frequent workplace injuries in Australia. Therefore, it is advisable to consider the placement of cabinets in the office layout.
A study shows that exposure to fluorescent lighting increases UV-related eye diseases like cataracts and pterygia. Most workplaces have replaced fluorescent lights with LED lights.
Employers can implement these practical tips regarding office furniture to promote workplace wellness. Having healthy employees means more productivity, less absenteeism, and lower health care costs.