A healthy office environment is a priority for any business that wants to grow. Healthy employees enjoy their work more and deliver better results. However, office injury and other health concerns can be sneaky to spot. After all, office trauma isn’t like falling off a crane or scaffold or electrocution by a poorly connected circuit. They can merely be problems like stiff necks, a strained back, and a neglected wrong-positioned wrist that affect your employee’s well-being. But there are ways to minimize your risk of developing office workplace injuries and make your work more efficient. An ergonomic workspace is a place to start. In this article, we collected effective tips on how to make your office more ergonomic, improve your staff’s health, and create a positive working environment for everyone.
What is an ergonomic workspace?
Office ergonomics describes the workplace design built to accommodate your body and create a comfortable and correct posture. From your working desk to the wrist support – every detail counts. Ergonomic design improves working efficiency and helps you feel comfortable for longer periods. A great example is a proper office chair. Your chair should be the right height to allow you to put your feet on the floor and your tights parallel to the floor. It keeps your back straight but relaxed. Other important items to have in your workspace are:
- An ergonomic desk
- Computer monitor
- Laptop stand
- Wrist support rest
Why is ergonomics important in the office?
On average, people spend 8 hours at work. Most of the time, they sit in their chairs, working on a computer. A poorly designed workstation can cause back strains, stiff neck, lower back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and many other ailments. Chronic pain can become a significant problem as it lowers employee morale and performance efficiency.
Ways to build a healthy and ergonomic workplace
Good ergonomics is vital to a productive, happy, and healthy workforce. So, here are the 5 most important adjustments that can improve workplace ergonomics and your staff’s health.
1. Encourage a proper working posture
Whether employees are standing or sitting when using a computer or laptop in the office or at home, it is necessary to ensure and maintain a good working posture. You should be able to position your arms in a correct ergonomic position for the wrists to lay on the desk without experiencing much pressure on the median nerve.
You can achieve this using static wrist rests or traditional mouse pads with wrist rest. However, they are static and do not work as well as ergonomic wristbands like Uppo. Uppo greatly relieves wrist pain because it wraps around your wrist and stays there when you switch between the keyboard and mouse. You can also use it with a laptop in different sitting positions.
2. Adjust working desks and chairs
We encourage all companies to get their employees adjustable working chairs and desks to maintain a good posture and neutral body position — for example, ergonomic chairs like W chairs or adjustable desks like the UPLIFT desk. It’s worth getting an adjustable desk because everyone can use it and adjust it to their height and needs. Your desk should be at the right height so that you can put your forearm comfortably and type and use a mouse without needing to strain your arms.
3. Do short breaks throughout the day
Every company wishes to have a happy, productive, and energized workforce. Going for short intermittent breaks is very important because you need to stretch your body after keeping the same posture for many hours and doing repetitive movements. Every specialist will assure you that breaks between work are one of the most important things you can do when working on a computer for long hours. That is why companies should ensure multiple breaks for their workers, as this allows them to rest their eyes, neck, back, arms, wrists, and legs.
4. Exercises for wrists
Ergonomic office equipment and breaks are crucial for optimal health and working performance. But we often forget the simplest yet most effective way to stay healthy: to be active. Taking a short break, walking, and stretching is good, but you shouldn’t forget your wrists. When typing on the keyboard or using the mouse, we put our writs in an uncomfortable position. After a while, it presses the nerves and ligaments responsible for the motion and sensitivity of your whole hand.
Some quick exercises can help you regain flexibility in your wrists and reduce discomfort and pain after a long day on a computer. Wrist exercises are easy, and you can do them at your desk.
The first exercise is for the whole hand:
- Sit comfortably and extend your arms in front of you;
- Clench your hand into a fist;
- Hold it for a few seconds and then unclench to a half fist (the palm open, but fingers bent)
- Then open your hand fully and hold it for a few seconds.
- You can repeat the exercise a few times.
The second exercise is for the wrists:
- Stand or sit straight and extend your arms parallel to the floor.
- Bend your wrists down and slowly clench your finger. Keep it there for a few seconds.
- Then bend your wrists upwards.
- Repeat the exercise a few times.
While exercising your wrists, notice if you feel any difficulty or resistance. If you feel pain, it’s better to start slow and gradually increase repetitions.
5. Exercises for the back
The back, and especially the lower back, is very vulnerable to office injury. Even if you sit up straight, your back still takes a lot of weight that eventually can cause pressure in the lower back. While there are great options to alleviate back pain if it becomes chronic, like going to a physician, massages, yoga, and other alternatives, simple workplace stretches for the back can prevent future injury and back pain.
A lateral back stretch is one of the simplest back exercises you can do in your chair:
- Sit in a comfortable position (can be in your chair, sofa, or even on the floor);
- Keep your back straight and lift one arm and bend it over your head;
- While your arm leans over your head, slowly lean your back to the same side until you feel a stretch on the opposite side.
- Come back to the center and repeat on the other side.
Here’s a great video that shows simple back exercises you can do at work.
Uppo wristband for an ergonomic workspace
Happy and healthy staff should be every business’s priority. With the tips mentioned in this article, you can invest in your employees’ long-term health and help them feel happier and more comfortable at work. If you have already invested in comfortable chairs and desks, don’t forget about wrist health.
Uppo ergonomic wrist rest band is designed to help people who spend a lot of time at their desks to relax their wrists. Our lightweight wristband stays on your wrist all the time, so you can keep it while typing or using a mouse. It’s made of high-quality fabric that lets your skin breathe and avoid odor or skin irritation. It’s a great gift to show employees that you care about their health. We invite you to check our wristbands and find the right ones for your ergonomic workspace.