Are you looking to make your office ergonomic-friendly? Or maybe you’re not entirely sure what ergonomics is? Are you tired of your back aching every time you get home from work? If any of those sound like you, read on. This post is for you.
What is Ergonomics?
Applied ergonomics is the optimization of a workspace and the tools within it to minimize fatigue and injury created by humans using that workspace. To put it simply, it’s designing a space or work area so that you’re encouraged to use it in a way that’s most healthy for your body.
If you’ve ever looked into ergonomics before, you’ve probably come across charts like this, where the optimum resting angle of almost every joint has been meticulously calculated and written out. While this can be helpful for engineers designing ergonomic products, it’s not that helpful for those of us who aren’t mannequins and actually need to move our bodies while we work.
In reality, ergonomists are well aware of the human body’s need for movement. Ergonomic standards manuals take into account both the upright seated position as well as a relaxed, reclined position. If you stay still in a position like the chart shows, you’re still going to run into problems like joint stiffness, back aches, or general fatigue. It won’t be as bad as the person hunched over their desk with the keyboard way too high, but you’re still not solving the overall problem. Humans need to move to stay healthy and avoid muscle and joint problems, but this movement simply hasn’t been happening in modern offices.
Office products like electric standing desks and desk risers have been revolutionary in encouraging regular, healthy movement throughout the work day without disrupting your concentration. This also lets you avoid the aches and pains associated with staying in a single position for hours. VIVO’s electric desks allow you to switch between sitting and standing at the push of a button. But if you’re looking for something more budget-friendly, or you’re just attached to your current desk, we also offer a wide variety of desk risers that can simply be placed on top of your current desk.
How often should I switch between sitting and standing?
Some ergonomists recommend a schedule of switching between sitting for 1 hour and standing for 30 minutes. You can adjust this based upon your personal needs and goals, but if you want to stand for longer than 30 minutes at a time, you’ll need a foam anti-fatigue mat on hand to relieve some of the pressure from your feet and back.
Making sure to maintain movement throughout the day is of utmost importance, but optimizing your workspace for proper posture is another important piece in the ergonomic puzzle. Stay tuned for our next post where we’ll be talking about how to optimize your desk to be ergonomic-friendly!
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