Ergonomically furnished offices boost the health, satisfaction and performance of those who work in them. The topic of ergonomics links in to the megatrend of healthy lifestyles and is also in the economic self-interest of employers. In the home, ergonomically optimised furniture can help prevent muscle tension and back pain. Such measures for preserving good health using ergonomic furniture provide retailers with persuasive arguments for use when advising customers.
Ergonomics means the optimal adjustment of working conditions to suit the human mind and body. The aim is to establish a good working atmosphere and to create conditions that will have as little impact and long-term effect on the health as possible. The field of ergonomic research has discovered that healthy and content employees are more productive. Investment in ergonomic office furniture therefore not only makes life more pleasant for the employee, it also makes financial sense for the employer. This is a strong argument retailers can use when advising customers.
Ergonomic workplace design is especially important where the employee spends most of their time sitting by a desk. Poor posture can cause significant damage to health. Ergonomically changing the height settings of office chairs, desks and computer screens is important: the height and distance must be optimally adjusted to suit each employee. If a job involves a lot of sitting, it is also vital that the person stands up and moves at least every hour in order to keep the spine healthy. Even the best ergonomic chair cannot replace the need for regular movement.
At an ergonomically correct sitting height, the legs will be at an angle of around 90 degrees, the soles of the feet in contact with the floor, and the thighs almost horizontal. There should be a gap of around a hand’s width between the top of the legs and the desk. The backrest should allow continuous adjustment and protrude up at least 20 cm above the seat. If the backrest reaches up to the shoulder blades, the lumbar support – i.e. the backrest’s internal arch – should be at waist height.
Dynamic sitting has been around at least since sitting balls were first used in offices. The principles of healthy sitting offer numerous benefits, but it is still important to stand and move around every now and again. Height-adjustable standing desks are also useful as a way of varying your work posture. Standing aids are available as a support, and these allow a dynamic posture between standing and sitting. Cutting-edge research has shown that working while standing is not only healthier, it also makes employees more productive. On average, employees only take the opportunity to work while standing for about an hour a day – but even that is enough to see a positive effect.
Taking ergonomic principles into consideration is just as important in the home as it is in the workplace. A number of the tasks we carry out at home are not exactly beneficial to our health, for example if the kitchen worktops are too high or too low.. Restorative sleep is very important if we are to start the new day fully rested and ready for work. Poorly suited mattresses can cause muscle tension, shoulder pain and hip complaints. In very serious cases, people develop problems with the back and the vertebrae, and they can even suffer slipped discs. Ergonomic mattress systems can prevent all that. For optimal relaxation in the living room, there are ergonomic armchairs and sofas that help you to avoid sitting rigidly – the perfect way to rest and relax after a day’s work.