Blog at Buzz Furniture
In our final installment of ‘Ergonomic Essentials’ by Buzz Furniture in Melbourne, we discuss the benefits of considering other areas that can be made conducive to workplace productiveness that are less considered, apart from the typical ‘chairs’ and ‘desks’ that come to mind when thinking of the word ‘ergonomic’. Believe it or not, the arrangement of items on office desks and workstations such as placement of the monitor, keyboard, mouse documents and other items and positively or negatively affect work performance.
Regardless of whether you work with a desktop, laptop, or tablet, keeping the screen at optimal height and viewing distance helps to reduce or prevent eye strain and muscle tension in the neck, shoulders, and upper back. It is all too common for office workers to develop rounded shoulders when screens are badly placed, which can result in increased risk of shoulder impingement and unnecessary pain or tension in the upper body. Some factors that are important to consider when arranging monitors includes:
Keyboards that are adjusted optimally should allow you to keep your wrists straight while typing. For most people, this means simply moving the keyboard up or down the desk, or raising or lowering your chair so that you can hold your wrists straight while touching the middle row of keys. Slight adjustments can also be made to the keyboard angle by folding the legs on the underside of the keyboard.
Sore wrists can develop from unconsciously dropping your palms or wrists while typing. This can be assisted with palm or wrist supports during rest periods from typing. Note they are only beneficial to wrist health if they are used as rests occasionally when you stop typing or mousing. The wrist support should be of similar thickness to the keyboard and narrow in depth so it only touches the palm and not the wrist.
A range of alternative keyboards are also available. These keyboards can be split, angled, or have alternative keyboard arrangements that are thought to reduce discomfort when typing.
The Mouse and other Tracking Devices
The mouse and other tracking devices (such as a stylus) should be able to be used when your wrists are straight, shoulders are relaxed, and elbows are by your sides. Discomfort in the hand or wrist may also be improved by increasing the pointer speed of the mouse.
Documents that are poorly placed can cause muscle discomfort or eye strain. This is because you may have to hold your head in an awkward posture for long periods to read the document, or repeatedly move your head in different directions between the computer screen and the document.
For jobs that require high volumes of moving between screen and documents such as data input roles, document holders should be strongly considered by the employer as that allow the documents to be placed correctly at eye level and right next to or directly underneath the monitor screen.
As we have explained, how you arrange your keyboard, monitor, mouse, and other work materials at your office desk can directly affect your comfort and ultimately your health. Carefully considering the placement of your workstation items and how they can be modified can be a fantastic start to creating a productive, ergonomic workplace.