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Wanting to create a comfortable workspace? We spend a lot of time working, so it’s important to ensure that where you work is not affecting your health or wellbeing. One way you can improve this is with ergonomic furniture.
What is ergonomic furniture?
Ergonomic furniture is furniture designed for health, comfort, convenience, and efficiency when completing tasks. Ergonomic furniture can include chairs, desks, keyboards, computer mice and a myriad of other pieces, ensuring that your setup is as comfortable as possible.
Why is an ergonomic workspace important?
Having an ergonomic workspace is important because whether you’re freelancing from home, typing away in the office or studying for university in your room, you can experience neck and back pain from hunching over your desk and headaches from staring at the screen. This can lead to fatigue and a lack of productivity. An ergonomic workspace can combat this, with different functions ensuring that you’re more comfortable and focused.
What do I need for an ergonomic workspace?
There’s an assortment of ergonomic pieces you can purchase to complete your workspace. Some things you should consider include:
- A sit-stand desk
- Ergonomic chair
- Footrests and anti-fatigue mats
- Ergonomic mouse & keyboard
- Lumbar support and extra chair cushioning
As well as ergonomic furniture, develop good working habits by regularly taking breaks and standing up, drinking plenty of water and exploring options like blue light glasses to protect your eyes.
How do I set up an ergonomic workspace?
Follow these simple steps to set up the perfect ergonomic workspace.
- Sit with your head directly over your shoulders, without straining forward or backward, about an arm’s length from screen.
- Your neck should be elongated and relaxed.
- Your shoulders should be kept down, with the chest open and wide.
- Your back should be upright or inclined slightly forward from the hips. Maintain the slight natural curve of the lower back.
- Your elbows should be relaxed, at about a right angle.
- Your screen should sit at eye level or slightly lower.
- Your wrists should be relaxed and in a neutral position without flexing up or down.
- Your fingers should be gently curved.
- Your keyboard is best when kept flat (for proper wrist positioning) and at or just below elbow level.
- Your knees should be relaxed and in a neutral position without flexing up or down.
- Your chair should be sloped slightly forward to facilitate proper knee position.
- Your feet should be firmly planted on the floor. Shorter people may need a footrest
How to Set Up an Ergonomic Workspace
Ergonomic Workspace Furniture at Officeworks
Discover the range of ergonomic furniture available in store and online.
A sit-stand desk allows you to alternate between sitting and standing positions, adding variation to your workday. Dr Andrew Rochford, in his Officeworks-assisted tips for wellness (link), lists the reduction of fatigue, tension, depression, and confusion as some of the benefits of choosing a sit-stand desk as a piece of ergonomic office furniture. And in the Worker Health: The Take-a-Stand Project, studies showed that pain in the back and neck were reduced by 54% using a sit-stand desk for four weeks.
Some of the features of a sit-stand desk include:
- Adjustable height so you can manage your sitting or standing position.
- A sturdy metal frame ensuring that the weight of your monitors is supported.
- A tray for the organized placement of your keyboard.
Do you need help choosing an ergonomic desk?Read our Ergonomic Standing Desk Buying Guide here.
One of the points in Dr Andrew Rochford’s tips for wellness is the importance of posture, describing it as a “really simple way of wishing away those daily aches and pains.” His suggestions include not slouching and having your eyes in line with your screen. An ergonomic chair is an important part of maintaining a good posture, as they’re equipped with adjustable components and specific material to keep you comfortable. That way, long work hours at the computer are less strenuous. The features of an ergonomic chair may include:
- Adjustable arm and backrests, as well as seat and back tilt functionalities, so that you can optimize your sitting position
- Foam materials that mould to fit the shape of your body comfortably.
- Backrests that are shaped for lumbar support.
Do you need help choosing an ergonomic chair?Read our Ergonomic Chair Buying Guide here. Shop Now
According to Dr Andrew Rochford, planting both feet on the ground is important in a comfortable workspace, as a skewed stance can “put un-even weight distribution on your knees and hips.” This is where a footrest can be helpful, keeping your feet level and enhancing your posture. The features of a footrest include:
- Adjustable-height and angle functionalities for finding your ideal foot placement and reducing leg strain.
- A non-slip base, so your feet stay firmly placed on the rest.
- Massage surfaces and a rocking function to increase blood flow during work time. Shop Now
Lumbar support is a backrest you can add to your existing chair, to help support the lumbar curve of your back and improve your overall posture. By placing it on your chair, it increases comfort and reduces the need for constant readjustments. Lumbar support rests are a great way to prevent slouching and keeping your eyes in-line with your screen. Some of the features of lumbar support include:
- Memory foam for adjusting to the shape of your body
- Straps for keeping it secure on your chair.
- A removable fabric cover that you can wash when necessary.
Ergonomic Mouse & Ergonomic Keyboard
Discomfort at your desk isn’t only attributed to your sitting position. It can be caused by strain on your hands and fingers from typing and using your mouse. Ergonomic mice and keyboards are to prevent this, allowing you to be more productive throughout your work or study hours. The features of an ergonomic mouse and keyboard include:
- A curved design that allows you to rest your wrist and fingers in relaxed positions.
- Wireless connectivity to your laptop or computer, allowing a cordless, tidier desk space.
- Unique keyboard layouts and mouse scrolling options to streamline your work process. Shop Now
What are the benefits of ergonomic furniture?
Investing in ergonomic furniture for your workspace, whether it is at home or in the office, is important for your health and the health of your employees. Considering how long we spend at work, it is necessary to make it as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Here’s why having an ergonomic workspace is a must-have
The three main benefits of having ergonomic furniture in your workspace are:
- Reducing pain
- Boosting productivity
- Improving Wellness
It reduces pain
An ergonomic workspace is designed to reduce the strain on your body that comes with sitting down for long periods of time. When you use ergonomic furniture, you’ll be helping reduce pain in your back, legs, neck and wrists while also reducing the strain on your eyes.
It boosts productivity
With comfort, comes motivation. By relieving physical and mental stress in your workspace with ergonomic furniture, you can focus more on your work and work for longer periods of time without feeling uncomfortable.
It improves your wellness
An ergonomic workspace can boost both your mental and physical wellness. The absence of pain when working at your desk can leave you feeling motivated and happy to do your work. This leads to a more positive attitude in the workplace which can improve workplace culture.Learn more about the benefits of an ergonomic workspace, check out this article by Dr Andrew Rochford.