Back Health and Workstation Ergonomics

- Global Interiors and Office Furniture Trends, Vancouver Interiors and Office Furniture Trends

How do you get back pain?
Most people will experience back pain once in a lifetime. The causation of back problems could originate from ligament sprains, joint problems, slipped disk, and muscle strain or spasms.

How could I prevent back pain from happening?
Regular back exercise and good posture habits are the best solutions to prevent back pain. Ergonomics is defined as the art and science related to individuals and their work, considering the anatomic, physiologic, and mechanical notions that affect the effective utilization of human energy. In simple terms, good ergonomics is when we complete our jobs while our spine is in its neutral position, which is also its strongest position.

With good posture, your spine is aligned. Therefore, your muscles, joints, and ligaments take less strain, resulting in the reduction or prevention of body fatigue, muscular strain, and body pain.

How would height-adjustable tables, task chairs, and computer workstation accessories help with good ergonomics?
Many employees spend many hours each day sitting in-front of their computers. As a result, repetitive strain, overexertion, and poor seating posture can lead to injuries.

It all starts with healthy work habits.
Yes. Ergonomically designed office furniture would definitely help. Though, it all starts with good work habits. We should always be cognizant of our own work posture. We should also take vision and physical breaks and implement stretching exercises.

A recommendation in with the way we should consider sitting.
Now, let’s talk about the sitting posture. The standard office table and office desk height is 29” from the ground. It is always a good practice to place the mouse close to the keyboard, so that your arm is not over-extended and adding stress to the wrist. When using the keyboard, keep your hands and arms parallel to the floor. The sitting position should be back straight with the lower back being supported, and with the feet touching the floor. Lastly, the monitor should be at eye-level, and at arm’s length.

Workstation accessories, such as monitor-arm, document holder, keyboard supports, ergonomic keyboard and mouse are used to accommodate and encourage correct sitting position.
There are a lot of options available when it comes to ergonomic keyboards and mice on the market-place. Off-the-shelf products are available at the local office supplies retailers, and more customized and ergonomically-designed products are available with office-furniture dealers. The ideal solution comes down to the individuals and their preference. The product is tool to assist us in working comfortably with good and healthy posture.

Last but not least, the ergonomic task-chair.
The most important furniture in the office is the chair. It is personal and it is the most frequently used. Many ergonomic chairs on the market are stacked with features. Some brands even sell executively on the quantity instead of the quality of the features.

Features are important. Though, the education behind understanding the feature is even more relevant. Therefore, an excellent task chair would be one that has all the essential ergonomic features, along with a design that makes it simple, intuitive, and accessible for the user to utilize the features.

Education comes first when it comes to understanding your office chair.
Upper and lower back supports
One adjustment with a typical task chair is the upper and the lower back-seat tilt. Its purpose is to adapt the chair into a position that would provide the greatest lower back support, also known as lumbar support, and maintaining the thoracic curve with the upper back. The key is to have a balanced alignment with the back.

There are some newer chairs that sell on the concept that the back-seat will move with the person, particular with the left-to-right movement. Though this allows for body movement, it could also encourage the individual to sit on the side. Once again, this confirms the educational importance of ergonomic knowledge.

The seat itself
The seat-tilt and chair-height adjustment is also another common feature. Again, it follows these basic principles:
• Feet should touch the ground.
• Back should be kept straight, with hands and arms at work-surface height and parallel to the floor.
• Legs should be allowed to be positioned at 90 degrees.

Form is the material most used for office task chairs due to its comfort as well as its cost. Consumers might find a chair with thick a comfy form seat at a lower cost than one that has a thinner padding. The key reasons behind the price difference are the quality of the form and the application of the form. To save cost, some manufacturers simply use a layer of form as the padding between the chair seat and the fabric. Through time, the form will gradually lose its shape and support-capacity. Therefore, its initial comfort will be gone, and its purpose will be lost.

There are many add-ons and options available with chairs, such as the head-rest and the front-back seat-adjustments. Please keep in mind that the chair is as good as the knowledge on how to use it.