6 Tips to Fulfil Your Ergonomic Requirements


man sitting on a couch working from his laptop but not fulfilling his ergonomic requirements

Everyone has the responsibility to look after their health and wellbeing. In the workplace setting, the employer must take responsibility by providing a safe working environment with ergonomic equipment, and employees are responsible for learning and using the equipment correctly.

1. Understand Your Ergonomic Requirements

The basic principle of ergonomics is the study of people in their workspace. It’s the process of designing and arranging products and systems to help increase efficiency and productivity while keeping workers safe from injury. The tasks a worker undertakes will determine their ergonomic requirements; for those who sit most of the day, correct posture may be most important, while for others, the placement of their equipment or reducing the impact of repetitive movements will be key. 

2. Ergonomic Furniture is Key

A worker can have all the ergonomic knowledge possible, but if they don’t have the right equipment, there won't be any practical benefits. The ergonomic furniture and equipment each person requires are unique; a worker’s body shape is one determining factor, just like how they spend their work day. Two people employed in an office working side by side can require completely different ergonomic furniture requirements. For example, a petite framed office worker may need an ergonomic chair with a shorter seat length, while her colleague may be tall and heavy, so the requirement will be a chair that can accommodate his weight and long back. If both staff members had the same standard chair, the ergonomic requirements of either of them wouldn't be met.

3. The Right Chair

When buying a chair, consider how you like to work. Do you like to rest your elbows on chair arms, or do they get in the way of pulling your chair close to the desk? Make sure you can adjust the chair in the ways that are important to you, such as:

  • Height of chair
  • Backrest height
  • Back support angle
  • Seat angle
  • Armrest height
  • Lumbar cushioning adjustability

4. Standing Desk

We know from research that the most ergonomic posture is the one that changes throughout the day from the standing to the sitting position. An electric standing desk is the easiest and quickest way for workers to change their position regularly. You can program it with the optimum standing and sitting heights, so there’s no need to remember each time.

5. Small Ergonomic Equipment

The monitor's height can highly impact a worker’s posture, especially the head and neck. Looking up or down at computer screens puts workers at risk of neck and shoulder injuries. Luckily, a monitor stand or arms make it easier for the screen to have the ideal height for the individual.  

If your role involves a lot of work with the mouse, an ergonomic mouse will allow your hand and arm to stay in a more natural, vertical position rather than horizontal. The way a worker uses their keyboard can determine the best type of ergonomic keyboard for them. 

A worker who does a lot of numeric data entry can work more efficiently and comfortably with a separate numeric keypad. Moreover, someone who suffers from wrist pain or is at greater risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome may need a split keyboard to keep their wrist in a neutral position.

6. Developing Healthy Work Habits

The world’s best ergonomic furniture won’t be enough to make you an efficient, safe worker if you have poor work habits. It’s never too late to learn how to work in the safest possible way. All tasks from taking regular breaks to lifting a heavy box, can be done correctly and incorrectly. 

Often, staff members take a break from work by picking up their phones to check social media. And while that may give your mind time to rest, your body is still seated at the desk, and your eyes are still focused on a short distance. It’s far better to take a break by leaving your desk, going for a walk to get the blood circulating, and shifting the focus by looking at objects further away than your monitor. Even if it isn’t time to take a walking break, exercise your eyes by looking further afield for a few seconds and remember to blink while using the computer screen.

When it comes to more laborious tasks, thinking that picking up one heavy box incorrectly won’t make any difference is a mistake; it can be the one that gives you a painful back injury. Whether the box is heavy or light, always pick up loads with bent knees and keep the weight as close to your body as possible, and if it feels harder, ask a colleague to help or find a trolley. Developing good lifting habits and sticking to them will reduce the risks of injury. 

Many workers know what they should do to keep themselves safe at work, but they slip into bad habits. All workers must be responsible for fulfilling their ergonomic requirements just as much as their employer. If not, they may have to live with the consequences for the rest of their life. 

If your ergonomic equipment needs to be improved or could do with a refresh, contact Ergolink at (08) 9240 7066, visit our website, our showroom or contact us online.