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Some Ergonomics in the Workplace Tips To Boost Productivity

written by: N Nayab•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 10/28/2011

Ergonomics aims at optimizing human capabilities with work demands by redesigning work processes based on safety, comfort, ease of use, productivity, performance, and aesthetic considerations. Following ergonomics in the workplace tips contributes to the smooth functioning of the home office.

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    Great Ergonomics in the Workplace Tips

    Ergonomics for Computer Users Wikimedia Commons Studies on ergonomics in the workplace indicate that optimal productivity occurs when the workstation suits the user's body. An ergonomic workstation that does not suit the user's physique would result in the user having to hunch down, crouch, slouch, strain, twist or assume some other uncomfortable position. Repeated use of such workstations can also cause hand, eye or back injuries.

    Using a chair of the wrong height or size, or a chair that does not support the back or arms often relates to low productivity. The optimal seating position is where the muscles, ligaments, and tendons are relaxed, and the vertebra properly aligned to reduce pressure on discs. The key to attaining this state is to position thighs horizontal with the knees at the same level as the hips, resting the feet on the floor and the back on the backrest. There are several ergonomically designed chairs available in the marketplace that allows users to sit in such a position.

    An ergonomically correct workstation mandates the correct height for the work desk and placement of the monitor and keyboard. The ideal place for the monitor is directly in front of the user, about one arm’s length (20 to 26 inches) away. This is essential to keep the head and neck as straight as possible and view the screen at eye level.

    Studies have also shown that productivity increases when:

    1. The top-level of the desk is at elbow level when the user sits down,
    2. The surface holding the keyboard and mouse is about 1 to 2 inches above the user's thighs,
    3. The keyboard placed in front of the user's body.

    Most ergonomically designed desks have adjustable keyboard trays and sufficient desktop space to achieve such optimal placements.

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    Office Lighting Ergonomics

    Improper lighting and glares cause eyestrains, fatigue, discomfort, and annoyance, resulting in loss of visual performance and, thereby, productivity.

    Office lighting ergonomics recommend a lighting of 20-50 foot candles for paper tasks and for viewing CRT display monitors. The recommended lighting display for performing the same tasks on LCD display monitors is 73 foot candles.

    Glares occur when monitor settings like brightness, contrasts, and color are not optimal, or when external light reflects to the screen. To prevent glares, the workstation should ideally be located away from sources of light such as windows. The following adjustments also help reduce glares.

    1. Using binds or curtains on windows to limit reflection of light.
    2. Using louvers to control intensity of overhead lights.
    3. Painting walls and work surfaces with a medium colored non-reflective paint, to limit reflection around the screen.
    4. Using glare shields on screens.
    5. Tilting down the monitor, to reduce reflection of overhead light.
    6. Wiping screens frequently to remove dust that adds to the glare.
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    Workspace Organization

    The basic ergonomics in the workplace tips relate to organizing files, folders and other documents. The best placement is to ensure access of all items with considerable ease and without spending much time or effort. Place the items required frequently in the most easily retrievable position.

    There are many ergonomically designed file cabinets and home office storing solutions available in the market. Select ones that confirms to ergonomic standards, and which best suits your purpose at the same time. Alternatively, you may design your own home office desk.

    Finally, our last ergonomics in the workplace tip--make sure that the home office layout you select reflect ergonomic considerations.

    The sound application of ergonomic principles at work boosts productivity and not only provides a positive return on investment but also leads to a better quality of work life.