Conceptual and corrective ergonomics
Workplace ergonomics is divided into conceptual and corrective. Conceptual ergonomics deals with the adaptation of the workstation to the capabilities of the employee already at the design stage. At this stage, the type and size of the room, its heating and lighting, the purchase of appropriate equipment or the layout and type of furniture are planned. Corrective ergonomics aims to improve already existing working conditions. The idea is to adapt them, if necessary, to the psychophysical needs of the employee in question.
Principles of office ergonomics
The task of ergonomics is to improve human working conditions. Ensuring comfortable conditions and the safety of the employee, its effect is to improve the productivity of the employee and minimizes the negative effects of, for example, office work on health. Ergonomics takes into account the specifics of the workplace and its nature. Here are some of the principles of office ergonomics:
The desk should be adapted to the height of the employee and have the appropriate height, width, and depth. The desk should have the necessary equipment for work, such as a computer, telephone, notebook, and pen. The desk should be kept clean and tidy.
The chair should be comfortable, stable, and adjustable. It should have back support and armrests. The height of the seat should be set so that the feet rest on the floor or footrest and the knees are bent at right angles. The distance between the seat and the desk should be about 10 cm.
The monitor should be placed at eye level or slightly lower. The distance between the eyes and the screen should be about 50-70 cm. The monitor should be tilted back at an angle of 10-20 degrees. It should be perpendicular to a window or light source to avoid glare.
The keyboard should be placed at elbow height or slightly lower. It should be flat or slightly tilted forward. It should be about 10 centimeters away from the edge of the desk to provide space for the wrists to rest.
The mouse should be placed next to the keyboard, at the same height. It should fit well in the hand and be easy to use. It should be used with a pad of soft material.
Lighting should be adapted to the type of work being done and the time of day. It should be even and non-glare. It should provide adequate contrast between the screen and the background. Direct (e.g., sunlight) or reflected (e.g., from a wall) light should be avoided.
The temperature should be maintained at 20-24 degrees Celsius. There should be adequate ventilation and humidity (40-60%).
Noise should be kept to a minimum. Sound insulation measures (e.g., panels, carpets, plants) should be used. Noise sources (e.g., printers, telephones) near the workstation should be avoided.
Benefits of office ergonomics
Improving people's working conditions by providing comfort and safety in accordance with ergonomics will result in the benefits of an ergonomic workplace, such as:
- increased efficiency,
- less sick leave,
- long-term improvements in health and well-being,
- greater employee engagement,
- flexible solutions for the future,
- reduced risk of injury.
Ergonomics also demonstrates a company's contribution and commitment to employee health and safety. Fostering a health and safety culture leads to better employee productivity. A healthy employee is a happy person. This has great value for the company's structure, but also for his private life.
Office ergonomics is not only a science but also the art of adapting working conditions to human capabilities. Its purpose is to ensure the comfort and safety of office workers, who are exposed to many health risks from prolonged computer work. Office ergonomics benefits both employees and employers - it improves productivity, reduces sickness absence, boosts morale and loyalty, and builds a positive corporate image.