The quick guide to office ergonomics

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Office ergonomics is all about making your office a comfortable work environment for you and your staff. Good ergonomics enables staff to work longer, concentrate better and get more done. Office ergonomics also reduces stress injuries, sickness and poor productivity by tuning the office to the needs of the staff.

That’s not to say we’ll be suggesting buying beanbags and letting staff put their feet up on their desks. It’s about designing your existing workspaces so they help people work rather than getting in the way.

Here are a few quick ideas to make your office work better for productivity. Use as many of them as you can practically manage to get more out of your staff. 

Desk and chair setup

Make sure staff can sit upright, have their backs supported and can rest the weight of their arms when typing. A sitting position with the spine as straight as is comfortable with the head supported above the neck is most beneficial. Try to configure the workspace to make slouching uncomfortable and encourage staff to sit up as much as possible.

Computer monitor height and distance

Setting the computer monitor up so it is at eye level and directly in front of the person using it can avoid many common neck and shoulder issues. Place the keyboard directly in front of the main screen to encourage a correct position. Unless eyesight demands otherwise, the monitor should also be at arm’s length to avoid eyestrain.

A photo posted by Humanscale HQ (@humanscalehq) on


A photo posted by Nordic Appeal® (@nordicappeal) on


Staring at clouds

If possible, allow access to windows or provide a long distance focal point for staff. Staring at a screen all day is never a good idea. Allowing for frequent eye breaks by enabling workers to look out of the window or at something a good distance away allows the eyes to rest. This has long-term productivity benefits for everyone concerned.


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Feet should ideally be placed flat on the ground underneath the chair or have something for them to rest on. Feet should not be allowed to hang free and legs should not be jammed against the chair. Provide an office footrest if necessary or advise on adjusting seat height if appropriate.

A photo posted by Humanscale HQ (@humanscalehq) on


Mouse and telephone 

Both the mouse and telephone should be within easy reach and preferably accessible without having to move too much. Cradling the phone between the shoulder and ear should be discouraged at all costs. Consider providing headsets if telephone use is a primary task.

Those are just a few tips for better office ergonomics. As you can see, they are cheap and easy to implement yet can have a far-reaching impact on productivity and wellbeing. Both worthy benefits to any business as far as we are concerned!

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