Designing a Healthy Office

Designing a Healthy Office

Designing a healthy office is important in fostering an environment where morale is high and people are productive. Employees are motivated to work as a team and focused on their tasks, instead of how to handle their aches and pains.

But what is a healthy office setting and how do you achieve a place where people are comfortable and productive?

Let’s start with the basics, like how you sit and do your work.

Ergonomics

Ergonomics in designing a healthy office refer to the equipment designed to help people accomplish their tasks in a way that creates minimal stress on the body. Today’s height-adjustable desks and ergonomic chairs allow users to sit with proper posture so their eyes are focused on the screen at the right level while at the same time the joints in their bodies endure as little stress as possible.


Photo: OFS Impulse G2 Private Office

The strain on the wrists, elbows, knees and lower back is greatly reduced.

Ergonomic chairs come in an array of colors and shapes. But you should always look for quality lumbar support that adjusts easily to body weight and movement.

Since office workers sit for hours per day, a quality chair promotes physical health. But so does getting up at regular intervals.

Ergonomics applies to other areas, too, like talking on a cell phone.

Promote the use of speaker phone or the use of headphones to avoid cradling the phone on the neck and shoulders for prolonged periods. Tilting the head too much toward a computer screen or to one side of a shoulder gradually causes misalignment.

Designing a Healthy Office with Movement

Movement is key in design a healthy office. Humans are built to be active and if we remain sedentary for hours on end, then our bodies and minds are going to pay a price. After a couple of hours working at a desk, encourage your team to get up and move for about 10 minutes to 15 minutes.

This can be taking a brisk walk down a hallway, getting a drink of water, or taking a laptop and continuing to work at a lounge area.

Height-adjustable desks can be useful to promote movement as well since they make it easy to go from sitting to standing.


Photo: Humanscale eFloat Standing Desk

However, the main reason to get up and move around the office isn’t to burn calories but help the blood circulate. Don’t overlook this aspect of having a healthy workforce.

When blood is flowing well through the body, it also means that it’s circulating in the head, and that reduces foggy brain syndrome. And a clear head increases productivity.

An article in Harvard Health, “More movement, better memory,” notes that the center of learning and memory in our brain is the hippocampus. It’s located in the medial temporal lobe, a region that benefits from exercise.

Participants in the study were an average of 65 years old and enrolled in an aerobics class for 20 weeks. There was no change in the body mass index, but researchers “found that those who exercised showed a greater ability to rearrange and reconfigure nerve connections in their brain. This allowed them to better learn and retain information, and then logically apply that information in a new situation.”

Movement is healthy.

Indoor Air Quality

If you’re concerned about the smoggy air outside, then you’ll want to clean your indoor air. According to estimates published on Allwork.space, we spend about 90% of our time indoors where offices with poor ventilation will have air that is two to five times more toxic than outside.

  • Regularly clean the vents used for your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system
  • Open windows occasionally to boost indoor air flow
  • Rebalance or adjust HVAC systems to increase total airflow to occupied spaces when possible

You can also bring nature inside and use indoor plants. They do their part in cleaning pollutants and freshening the air, and definitely help in designing a healthy office.


Photo: OFS Yelly and Kasura Seating

Light and Color

Designing a healthy office means creating an environment that’s good for both our physical health and mental well-being. There’s even a discipline known as chromotherapy, based on findings that color and colored lights can help treat both our physical and mental health.

Colors have their own traits:

  • Blue signifies the intellect
  • Red impacts courage and strength
  • Yellow is an emotional color that represents creativity
  • Green is for harmony, representing nature and balance
  • Orange creates a sense of comfort because it blends the physicality of red and the emotional trait of yellow

In addition to colors, natural light is a proven mood booster.

Assess how you use colors in your work environment. Where can you maximize the flow of natural light? Are there barriers in the way of windows?

Using cubicles and clear modular walls in place of solid walls or other barriers can brighten the office space.


Photo: OFS Skara and Saven Rocker Seating

Now get some inspiration for how your office can look—make it more modern and bright, or tone it down and give it an industrial look. You can even make it appear homey and warm with a resimercial approach.


Photo: Source International Lore Lounge

Morale

The goal of planning office space and creating an upbeat look is to boost morale and guide your team in working at their best levels. This is good for the company’s bottom line, but it also leads to professional satisfaction for team members and keeps them engaged with your brand.

We’re Here to Help you in Designing a Healthy Office

The team at 2010 Office Furniture has more than 50 years of experience equipping Southern California’s leading corporations, centers of higher education, and small-to-medium sized businesses.

Contact us and share your space planning and office furnishing needs. We’ll be glad to share solutions.

Read Also: Energize Your Office with Movement
Main Photo: Humanscale Ergonomics
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Humanscale, Source International & OFS

The Best Office Spaces are Responsive to Employee Needs

Best Office Spaces ERG International Connos, Newport and Tango Collection

Office spaces that are responsive to a changing marketplace and the circumstances impacting society have a competitive advantage. Employees should be able to focus even when change swirls around them, and they can use different spaces that give them the freedom to work as effectively as possible.

Keeping your team healthy and well is a high priority due to Covid-19 and ailments from colds and the seasonal flu. Sick employees, upticks in sales that create demand for more workers, or economic downturns affect how many permanent and temporary staff occupy the floor space.

Best Office Spaces Friant My-Hite
Photo: Friant My-Hite Tables

A strategic office design and space plan charts the regular workflow through the workspaces and environmentsneeded to meet your goals. Each space contributes to employee productivity and achieving the results you want for your organization.

Assigned Spaces

The responsibilities that you have as an employee often begin at your assigned workstation or desk. Whether you’re the CEO, Vice President, a mid-level manager, or just starting out with a new company this is where you’re expected to perform at a maximum level.

Strategic space planning will allow for an effective workflow between individuals and departments.

Workspaces that are responsive to the needs of employees are considered ergonomic and make use of flexible furnishings like the Friant My-Hite Height Adjustable Workstation or the Hon Accelerate Workstation. Multiple configurations are possible to safely accommodate individual workers side by side or in small groups.

Best Office Spaces HON Accelerate
Photo: HON Accelerate Collection

Remote Spaces

When stay-at-home orders were issued during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, remote spaces became a necessity and not just a cool option. Employees who were accustomed to the layout of a corporate office were suddenly asked to work from home, competing with personal needs like children taking online classes in the living room or their bedrooms.

In today’s world, if a team member has a bad cold, but is still well enough to work, then staying at a home office or other remote space is a smart option.

Best Office Spaces Friant Collection
Photo: Friant Work From Home Collection

Looking ahead, one-third of full-time employees in the U.S. are expected to work remotely in the coming decade as noted in TechRepublic.

What makes an effective remote space?

Uncluttered space is important, one where an employee can step out of their personal life and into their professional role. An adequate surface, an ergonomic chair, and an Internet service that has satisfactory transmission rates all help to make a productive work area.

And just like in a corporate office setting, have access to natural light and move often to change the body’s position and posture.

Collaborative Spaces

Getting together to lay out challenges and find solutions is an important part of any business. It’s possible in an open office environment to create collaborative spaces that don’t interfere with the work of individuals who need to focus.

Look at what you can use to define the space:

Best Office Spaces OFS Obeya Architectural Structure
Photo: Obeya Architectural Structures

These products create flexible, or responsive, environments. You can move different pieces to fit the needs of the moment, keep the furnishings and accessories in one place or rearrange them to create a new area.

Add personality with the OFS Obeya Architectural Structure. You can add audio-visual equipment, curtains, additional panels, planters, and other accessories.

A collaborative space can also double as personal areas for employees when a group isn’t meeting.

Restful Spaces

Don’t confuse restfulness with a lack of productivity.

Whether it’s legend, fact, or a combination of both, it’s widely reported that Albert Einstein slept for about 10 hours every night and, in addition, he’d take regular naps during the day. He’d let his sub-conscious tackle problems and then come up with solutions while he dozed.

The lesson for us today is that an office that’s all work and no personal reflection is draining. We can thrive on fast-paced excitement, but many times we also need to withdraw and quiet down.

We can’t live non-stop in a fight-or-flight response, as noted in Understanding the Stress Response on HarvardHealth.com. Chronic stress “contributes to high blood pressure, promotes the formation of artery-clogging deposits, and causes brain changes that may contribute to anxiety, depression, and addiction.”

What does a restful place look like?

Define the space by creating a boundary that’s similar to collaborative spaces. If possible, allow for a flow of natural lighting and use plenty of indoor plants to bring in nature. Plants help the air remain fresh, they boost moods, ease stress and deflect sound waves for a quieter area.


Photo: Nevins Climb Seating Series

A modular arrangement like the kind available with the Nevins Climb Multi-Level Seating solution allows the furniture to be used for individuals or group meetings.

You can make a rest area look more like a living room and less like an airport lounge for the most personal touch possible.

Patios are a bonus. Install sliding glass doors to connect an indoor space with the outdoors where team members can retreat to for quiet moments. You may choose to have one space like a lounge for phone calls, and another space for reading, writing and reflective thinking.


Photo: Nevins Synk2 and Climb Seating Series

Resource Spaces

No industry is immune from some sort of change today, whether that due’s to a worldwide phenomenon like the Covid-19 virus or technology changing how business is done.

Staying up to date is essential. Dedicate a small space as a learning center. You can have books and magazines on a shelf, a computer dedicated to research, and a bulletin board where you encourage employees to post an article they’ve read that lead to an aha! moment or breakthrough.


Photo: Global Linking Panels

Defining spaces shows that you expect more than people showing up, putting in their time, clocking out and then going home. You’re investing in them and you see them as the company’s most valuable assets.

Different spaces have specific purposes. Put them together and you’re working to create community and a shared experience. The team stays engaged with their work and with each other.

Get Professional Guidance on Creating the Best Office Spaces

An effective office layout takes deliberate planning around your corporate goals.

2010 Office Furniture can help to maximize productivity and create the best office spaces possible for your company. Share your space planning and office furniture needs to get the input you need.

The team at 2010 Office has nearly a half-century of combined experience advising and supplying the most distinguished companies in Southern California.

Read Also: Office of the Future: Plan an Office that Meets Your Company Goals and Personal Needs
Main Photo: ERG International
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: ERG International, Friant, HON, OFS, Nevins, and Global Furniture Group

 

Energize Your Office with Movement

Energize Your Office with Movement AMQ Kinex

A productive office emphasizes smart movement over a sedentary lifestyle. It’s important to learn how to energize your office with movement that’s good for the body, mind and overall well-being of employees. Moving comes in many ways that are beneficial.

The Problem with Not Moving

Sitting during the workday begins before you arrive at the office. Once you leave home, you may be sitting in the car for thirty minutes and up to an hour on freeways and streets.

Guess what’s happening during that time?

Stress is building. Yesterday’s troubles may still on your mind, or you may have to change routes because of an accident. Anxiousness can kick in while you wonder if you’re going to make it into the office in time for that important meeting or call.

Your mind is active, but you’re physically confined.

So when you get to the office and make it to your workstation, you may be buzzing inside and all fidgety when you’re confined at your desk again.

Sound familiar?


Photo: OFS Genus Chair and Heya Lounge

In recent office history, employees were considered productive when they were sitting at desks and quietly absorbed in their work. The longer they sat still, the better. Those who stretched or got up often for a drink of water or trip to the bathroom were suspected of not focusing or working hard.

In the modern office, that attitude is changing with plenty of studies showing the benefits of moving instead of remaining in one physical place or posture.

Why?

Sitting or standing in one position stresses knees, elbows and ligaments. Posture suffers as well, and parts of the body like the neck and shoulders and lower back muscles get strained and sore. It’s a physics principal that works on inanimate objects, too, like recreational vehicles (RVs).

RVs that aren’t driven need to be on blocks so weight is taken off the tires. The air in the tires won’t circulate and the vehicle’s pressure will ultimately ruin the treads. Our bodies are similar.

Sitting at a desk for a few hours at a time makes you like that RV stuck in the driveway, especially if you’re at a workstation that doesn’t support your natural body movements.

Wonder why your brain gets foggy?
Photo: Maverick Height Adjustable Table 

When your blood isn’t circulating well then you have less oxygen flowing to where your thinking occurs.

Movement helps you maximize personal productivity.  That’s why it’s important to remember to energize your office with movement.

The Benefits of Movement in the Office

Moving is essential for learning because it ignites our mental functions. When you’re moving, blood is flowing to the brain.

Changing positions reduces weight on specific points of the body and minimizes stress on your joints.

A study advising ‘sit less, move more,’ available as an abstract by the National Institutes of Health, notes that the use of active work stations reduces fatigue levels and lower back discomfort.

The study, focused on six universities in Spain, concluded that simply reducing “insufficient physical activity” by 10 minutes had health benefits. Ratcheting movement up to two hours a day was highly recommended.


Photo: Energize your office with movement with Humanscale Office Ergonomics

Here are simple ways to add movement in the office and promote employee wellness.

  • Supply ergonomic chairs that support a person’s weight and allow natural movements
  • Use height adjustable desks
  • Think of “90/10” – 90 minutes in one position, followed by 10 minutes of movement
  • Encourage stretching exercises at workstations
  • Use good posture while on phone calls
  • Allow working in different areas, including out of the office
  • Take brief walks at lunchtime
  • Make water breaks part of the day
  • Install a treadmill or two if space allows
  • Bring in a masseuse once or twice a month to give chair massages

Quality ergonomic chairs like the Humanscale Freedom Task Chair are engineered for movement. A chair like this adjusts to the user’s weight automatically, including a “weight-sensitive recline system.” Armrests are adjustable allowing for a comfortable posture when typing on a keyboard and looking at a monitor.

Photo: Humanscale Freedom Chair

Desks like the Maverick Height Adjustable Desk are useful for executive offices, reception areas or for shared work surfaces. An employee can sit with a desk surface that’s just right for them or raise the desktop and stand to change positions.

Make Movement Part of the Office Culture

Moving more in the office means you’ll also have to trust employees for acting responsibly and to take charge of accomplishing their goals. Don’t expect to look over their shoulders and micro-manage their work.

Stay in communication. Set deadlines they have to meet, no matter the location they’re in.

Photo: AIS Height Adjustable Table

The Covid-19 pandemic tossed the office environment into chaos when stay-at-home orders were issued and the familiar workplace suddenly changed. Virtual meetings became normal and expected.

If you have employees who want to sit at their workstations and then switch locations to another part of the office temporarily that form of movement can be healthy. If someone wants to go home early and finish the workday there, or even in a park, then that could a helpful way to minimize stress.

A smartphone itself is an amazing communication tool with its access to social media platforms that allow video and text messaging for updates and progress reports from anywhere with a wi-fi signal.

Movement doesn’t mean a lack of productivity or skipping out on work.

Space Planning is Essential


Photo: AIS Day to Day Powerbeam

The team at 2010 Office Furniture knows that an office isn’t just a collection of useful furniture. They’ll help you arrange your workspace to help energize your office with movement, to promote office health, productivity and effective communication.

Share your office design and space planning needs with 2010 Office to get the layout that addresses your needs most effectively.

2010 Office Furniture supplies Southern California’s most distinguished companies, from large corporations and prestigious universities to leading nonprofits in Los Angeles County, Orange County, and the Inland Empire.

Contact 2010 Office Furniture and share your thoughts.

Read Also: Social Distancing Tips and Adjusting to the Realities of Covid-19 in the Office
Main Photo: AMQ Kinex Workstations
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: AMQ SolutionsOFS, Maverick Desk, Humanscale & AIS

 

Office of the Future: Plan an Office that Meets Your Company Goals and Personal Needs

Office of the Future Global River Lounge

Businesses around Los Angeles have seen how the Covid-19 stay-at-home orders had a sudden impact on their office workplace and operations. Many small businesses have had to fire more than half of their staff. A neighborhood clinic in Pasadena immediately switched to tele-medicine appointments because they had to cancel in-person visits.  Many are wondering: what does the office of the future look like and what does it mean for us?

Our communication tools make it easier than ever to have user-rich experiences when people are physically separated.

The complexities of Covid-19 created what consulting firm McKinsey referred to as a “large scale work at home experiment to reimagine how work is done.”

Office of the Future Friant Work From Home
Photo: Friant Work From Home

As technologies develop and people adapt to new circumstances, will workers want to return fully to the office, work remotely, or have flexibility in where they work?

That answer is key to understanding the office of the future.

A Brief History of Offices

The early to mid-20th century was the age of heavy industry in the United States. Steel was king in many cities. Automotive manufacturing turned Detroit into Motown and, locally, Southern California had its own automotive headquarters. Toyota once had its main U.S. offices in Torrance with over 5,000 employees.

In the industrial age, executives of all ranks, plus tradespeople like graphic artists, were expected to work completely in-house. Companies were run top-down and offices were rigid in their rules and expectations because steel, cars and other similar products were manufactured in a linear fashion.

The technology that was needed to run a company, like large mainframe computers, was housed solely on the company’s property.


Photo: DeskMakers ReFit Adaptable Headers

All work got done in the office. End of story.

Then along came:

  • the study of ergonomics
  • personal desktop computers
  • cell phones
  • laptops
  • cloud-based applications

You can see what happened.

And then Covid hit.

Little by little, technological changes and societal shifts have transformed how and where we do our work, giving us a peak at what the office of the future look like.

Offices that Support Employees

Studies reveal that about 62% of full-time employees in the U.S. worked at home at the peak of the Covid-19 virus. A majority of those workers, up to 80%, said they enjoyed working out of their houses.

Photo: Photo: Nevins Arlo Table

The distinction between the office and personal lives has blurred. It’s possible for many workers to perform their functions from anywhere that they have an Internet connection. Virtual meetings quickly became normal and apps can let someone perform a variety of functions remotely, like setting the temperature at home or tracking inventory shipments.

Employees, though, are drawn to an office that’s planned for maximum productivity—and one where they know they’re supported through quality furnishings and tools.

A company that offers a supportive environment can find it much easier to rally its team in one place and boost morale in ways that aren’t possible for a worker whose only at a remote location.

Office of the Future Allermuir and DeskMakers
Photo: Allermuir Famiglia and DeskMakers Adaptable Division

An office that supports people will have assigned workstations, collaborative spaces for small group meetings, teleconferencing, and areas for quiet and personal reflection.

The office of the future has flexible options that extend beyond the walls.

Flexible Office Expectations

Work must get done, but the way it’s approached is less structured now than in the industrial offices of the 20thcentury. Technology gives us mobility that was once impossible. The challenge for employees isn’t running off somewhere to hide, but it’s getting unplugged because the office can follow you wherever you go.

Here’s one way Covid-19 brought about changes. In the old days, if you had a bad cold then you’d tough it out and head into work. Today, you’re told to stay put and work from home. No more Mr. Tough Guy.

Inside the office, flexibility is also possible thanks to the many styles of modular furniture and safety devices available.

An example is a small company with 20 employees who are divided into four different departments. Business starts booming and suddenly new progammers or marketing team members are needed. Modular cubicles are easy to set up to accommodate a group of four or five people and either add additional workstations or reconfigure for smaller numbers as necessary.

Office of the Future Enwork Skyline
Photo: Enwork Skyline and Edge Desktop Screens

Now here’s something else to consider about today’s office setting. A growing company can rent space for added flexibility.

Let’s say the XYZ company in El Segundo is expanding and wants to hire a few new employees who live in the Inland Empire. The commute would be outrageous, and yet ABC wants to bring the small team together in one space.

Renting a shared workspace in a city like Ontario or Riverside could be the answer. The space can be set up for maximum productivity just like the main office.

There are truly many flexible options for staffing and supplying offices today and into the future.

Office Communication is Key

Clear communication is essential in an office that’s functioning well. Online meetings make it possible for workers to hear and see each other, but the non-verbal cues we pick up on in-person are missing. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will help.

Microsoft has created Together Mode, a new meeting experience that “digitally places [meeting] participants in a shared background … that makes meetings more engaging by helping you focus on people’s faces and body language.”

The goal is to reduce fatigue that comes through video conferencing and create realistic interactions.

Together Mode can also create the shared experiences that people value, even if they’re working remotely.

An Office Blends Core Strengths

Companies have a core strength and that’s the product line or service that they build their reputation on. Global brands like Coca-Cola have a different core than, say, a regional dental practice with several locations, a law firm, or university.

A successful company or non-profit organization knows its core well and then hires talent to achieve profitable results.

The employees themselves have their own individual core strengths, and that means they have to be supported in different ways. A graphic designer who lays out presentations and marketing collateral has different needs than a project manager or a vice president of sales.

The key is planning an office to maximize the strengths of each team member, or, the departments where they work.


Photo: Groupe Lacasse Stad Workstation and Allermuir Phoulds Chair

This is a timeless principle—one that will still hold true within the office of the future—valuing people as the company’s greatest asset and supporting them as effectively as possible.

How do you achieve this?

By arranging office spaces that take into account:

  • Inter-office workflow
  • Remote workers
  • Employees who choose either on-site or off-site
  • The different zones needed in an office for work, meetings, and quiet

Get Professional Guidance on Starting Your Office of the Future

Share your project here and get the office layout and furnishings you need to support your team.

The team at 2010 Office Furniture has nearly 50 years of combined experience advising and supplying Southern California’s most distinguished companies.

Read Also: Energize Your Office with Movement
Main Photo: Global River Lounge
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Global Furniture Group, Friant, Nevins, DeskMakers, Allermuir, Enwork & Groupe Lacasse

 

Modular Home Office Furniture to Improve Working from Home

Modular Home Office Furniture to Improve Working from Home

The idea of work from home has gained popularity in recent times. Many organizations provide the facility of working from home to the employees to cater to the needs of the staff and to ensure convenience. Also, there are already many artists, freelancers, and startup entrepreneurs who are spending their days working at home. To ensure that sufficient infrastructure is available, home office furnishing has been introduced which offers an excellent level of comfort and space to organize work at home.

Home office furniture can be a simple table and chair or can be a sophisticated set to manage the space and organize the paperwork at the home workspace. Depending upon the need, a person can select from a wide range of designs available. Home office furniture is aesthetically and ergonomically designed to provide the best comfort while working. There are modular home office furniture items available in the market that are created by specialists to avoid space restraints at home.


Photo: HON Voi Modular Desk / Workstation

Modular Home Office Furniture

Modular furniture is composed of small sets called modules that are arranged together to form the complete furniture. The autonomous sets are designed to be arranged and rearranged to form the perfect home furniture. These are pre-made or ready furniture pieces for different spaces.

Some of the benefits of setting modular furniture at home are:

Flexibility: Modular furniture can be arranged as per the space requirement and convenience of the person. The modules can be fixed together to form a work station, desk, or separate space for the files. This provides flexibility in managing the space and organizing the work.

Space Saving: The available space at most homes is not adequate to manage the whole office infrastructure and the traditional office furniture is stocky and takes an ample amount of floor spacing which restricts movement. Modular home furniture, on the other hand, occupies less space and makes the most of the space available at home. Even when not in use, the modular furniture can be downsized to be stored in storerooms.


Photo: Groupe Lacasse Concept Modular Desk Set

Aesthetically Built for Homes

Office furniture designed for homes comes in different configurations and sizes and can be matched to suit the space and interior of the room. Various colors are available in the market and on platforms online to choose from.

Sleek and Appropriate: No one wants big cabinets and shelves to occupy the space and make the place overwhelming. Modular furniture is sleek and light and will easily fit in small spaces. With modular furniture, separations can be created so that each desk, chair, chest of drawers, file organizers, copying machines, and printers all have their separate spaces.

Easy to Move: The best part of modular home furniture is that it can be easily moved to a different place whenever needed. If you are relocating to a different place, then there won’t be a need to leave behind your favorite furniture. The furniture can be disassembled and the modules can be packed separately and transported.


Photo: Friant Dash Revitalize Modular Office Furniture

Factors to Consider While Buying

If you have decided to buy home office furniture, then keep in mind the following pointers as they will help you in selecting the right furniture for your home:

Functional Designs: Rather than going for contemporary designs, select the designs that are adjustable and easy to fit. The desks and chairs available in the market have adjustable heights and you can easily move them up and down at your convenience.

Comfort Always Comes First: Since you will be spending a lot of your time sitting in front of the computer writing a business plan or having meetings online with your colleagues, the design of the chair should be selected to provide comfort to the body. If you spend long hours on the desk, then you should go for ergonomic chairs that provide extra comfort to the spine and ensure contoured back support. The armrests, headrest, and height of the chair are adjustable to provide movement while sitting for long hours.


Photo: DeskMakers Ascend Modular Desk Set

Proper Lighting: As you will be continuously working on the desk, it is imperative that there is adequate lighting on the desk. Modular home office furniture has exclusive designs of lamps which are adjustable in height and illumination. Be sure that you check the lights available with the furniture while making a purchase.

Ample Storage Space: You will have a lot of files and paperwork to take care of and to manage that, you should check the bookcases provided with the furniture or other storage solutions. This will help in organizing any vital paperwork that you might need later.

Your home office is the place where you can’t compromise on comfort, as it will lead to less efficiency and productivity. To make working at home more comfortable and enjoyable, many furniture companies offer customized home office furniture solutions to meet your needs.


Photo: National WaveWorks Height Adjustable Table and Storage Solution

Get the Modular Home Office Furniture Expertise You Need

Get input from 2010 Office Furniture on your space planning needs and laying out an office that meets the needs of employees and departments.

Our team has more than 45 years of experience serving corporations, universities and small businesses throughout Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire.

Read Also: Reasons to Refresh and Improve Office Layout
Main Photo by: Arcadia WorkSmith Table
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Arcadia ContractDeskMakersGroupe Lacasse, Friant, HON, National, and ODS / Office Design Studio

Modern Cubicles Office Workstation

Modern Cubicles Office Workstation

Office layout plays a very important role in creating a work environment in the office. A healthy work environment can bring in more leads and sales for companies and increase the productivity of the workforce. Office layout defines company culture. When companies are starting, they pay a great amount of attention to the details on what type of office furniture should be used and what layout will go with it. Providing updated, comfortable furniture such as modern cubicles and planning an attractive layout of the office helps in hiring and retaining top employees. On the other hand, uncomfortable furniture and poor office layout impacts the health of the employees in the long run and causes a sense of discomfort when stepping into the office. Top companies make sure that the comfort and satisfaction level of the employees is taken well care of since they consider them to be their greatest asset.

Types of Workstations

Office workstations take a fair share in building the office layout. Over time, the idea of an ideal office workstation has evolved. From the cubicle to open to modular office workstation, companies have constantly adapted to the changing demands. Many companies opt for an open office environment by removing barriers and cubicle walls. This design is often known as a “benching system,” which includes close seating arrangements for the employees with carefully planned power integration. Though the benching system is fairly a new concept and many companies are opting for it, it has its disadvantages. That is the reason many companies have remained with the cubicle systems over the years. They might have modernized their workspaces but the main inspiration behind the arrangement is the traditional cubicle system.


Photo: National WaveWorks Open Plan Workstation

Modern Cubicles

Many companies are reverting to office cubicle workstations by making some improvisations in their idea. The idea of the cubicle was first proposed in 1967. The idea was to give the worker the feel of personal office while managers can monitor their activities and performance. Modern workstation cubicles help in isolating workers, which decreases the distraction level and increase their concentration on the task. Overhead bins, shelving, and drawers are the major components of the cubicle to meet the basic requirements of the employees. The following are few of the benefits of modern cubicles.


Photo: Friant Novo Modern Cubicle Panel System

Increased Productivity

Research has shown that the employees who work in modern cubicles have 50% more productivity than those who work in an open office. The reason for the increase in productivity is because of a significant drop in distraction from the other employees and lesser noise. The percentage of error-free work also dramatically increases when employees work in cubicle workstations.


Photo: HON Accelerate Workstations

Privacy

Another advantage of using these modern cubicle office workstations is that they provide a sense of security and privacy when dealing with sensitive data and materials. Some employees find it hard to focus on their work because they feel like they are always being watched, which in turn affects their productivity negatively. To facilitate these kinds of employees, managers tend to be inclined towards using cubicles to maintain discipline, aid focused work, and help the employees meet the given deadlines.


Photo: Trendway Choices Modern Cubicle Panel System

Modern Cubicles Price Factor

Modern office cubicles serve the purpose of facilitating employees with their personal space without getting too heavy on the pocket. Rather than providing individuals with their separate room or office, companies can go for modern office cubicles. The average space of a cubicle in 1994 was 90 sqft, which shrunk to 75 sqft in 2010. The rent of offices has drastically increased through the decades, so to optimize the workspace, the size of the cubicle was decreased. The cubicles have been downsized to 5′ x 5′ ft space from 8x10ftspace. The average cost of a cubicle ranges from $1000 to $2000, which doesn’t include tax, installation, or delivery charges. The construction of office cubicles is a one-time cost, and the same cubicles can be used in case the company decides to shift its office or decides to expand. These cubicles are durable and reliable.

Design Improvements

Some improvement has been made in the cubicle design; for example, now office cubicles use sliding doors, which helps in using the designated space more efficiently. Instead of providing each employee with the locker room, overhead bins are used, which are cost-effective and saves space. Employees can also stick their pictures and motivational quotes in their cubicle and personalize them according to their needs. This way, they will get a sense of belonging to the workplace, which can positively impact their work.


Photo: ODS / Office Design Studio Crossroads Modern Cubicle Panel System

Mobility

Materials used in building office cubicles are easily available and inexpensive as compared to the traditional office room. Concrete office rooms use a lot of materials to be constructed, and they’re not mobile either. While on the other hand, office cubicles can be made from plywood or special cardboard. It is also easily set up and can be moved easily.

Standardization

Modern office cubicle workstations also give employees a sense of standardization since every employee gets the same working space. It increases the spirit of employees and also increases the cohesiveness between them and the management. The company’s office layout helps in promoting the brand of the company. The appearance of the workplace matters a lot. Neat and functional workspaces boost the morale of the employees and create a sense of belonging to the work culture.
Photo: Global Divide Workstations

Flexibility

Office cubicles are a popular idea in today’s age because it doesn’t require to be built all at once. For example, if a company has 30 employees, they can build the required number of cubicles. As new hiring is completed, new cubicles can be constructed accordingly, which cuts the upfront cost for the office.

Things to Also Consider

Though it is important to get it installed by professionals and experts to save time, proper planning on the structure and size of the cubicle is required. Many offices create cubicles that are too small for the employee in which they cannot work comfortably. The other disadvantage of a cubicle is that it causes hindrance in coordination with the other employees in case proper meeting channels are not practiced in office.


Photo: Groupe Lacasse Paradigm Workstations

Get the Modern Cubicles Expertise You Need

Get input from 2010 Office Furniture on your space planning needs and laying out an office that meets the needs of employees and departments.

Our team has more than 45 years of experience serving corporations, universities and small businesses throughout Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire.

Read Also: Easy Ways to Reduce Office Stress and Create a Welcoming Atmosphere
Main Photo by: Groupe Lacasse
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Groupe Lacasse, National, Friant, HONTrendway, ODS / Office Design Studio and Global

Creating Ergonomic Workstations for Office Well-Being and Productivity

Creating Ergonomic Workstations for Office Well-Being and Productivity

Creating and designing an ergonomic workplace with ergonomic workstations isn’t just a passing fad. Here’s why.

You’ve known plenty of dedicated employees who struggle with maladies such as carpal tunnel syndrome, back strain, or spend hours squinting at the computer screen. In the break room or in social settings, how many times have you heard co-workers or friends moan and say they’re getting older?

What do you think?

Do you know the impact that the right desk, chair and lighting can have on office well-being and productivity?

Find out how ergonomics came about so you get a good understanding of not just how to create ergonomic workstations but why it’s important.


Photo: HON Empower Height Adjustable Tables

What is Ergonomics

Ergonomics is the study of how employees interact with their work surroundings. The purpose is creating an environment to meet the needs of workers instead of making employees fit into the work setting.

Can you identify with this familiar situation?

A person types away hours every day on a keyboard and strains the wrist. Who hasn’t heard of carpal tunnel syndrome? The employee has to take time off to get treatments or can’t work as productively.

Keyboards, chairs and desks are now designed to support good posture instead of making workers potentially suffer more problems. The equipment is designed to help people do their tasks well and reduce the risk of injuries.

Ergonomics, also known as human factors, creates efficiencies while minimizing problems that come from doing repetitive tasks. The discipline is appropriate for both white collar workstations and factory floors.

How Ergonomics Came About

An Italian physician in the late 1600s noticed how metal mining workers suffered poor health. Respiratory illnesses were prevalent but also their bodies were affected by awkward working positions.

They forced their bodies to meet the demands of the working environment and paid a price in poor health.

Skip ahead to 1857 when a Polish biologist is credited for creating the word ergonomics based on the Greek words ergon (work) and nomos (natural laws).

Now head into the late 20th century and into Southern California where local universities like UCLA started to improve working conditions through ergonomics. Since 1987, UCLA’s Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program has “trained thousands of workers and supervisors in office ergonomics.”

A company of any size can design a work environment to adapt to the needs of its people. Let’s see how this is done by looking at something as simple as the office chair.

What Ergonomic Stations Reduce or Prevent

In the late 1800s, the growth of railroads in the U.S. made it possible for businesses to reach customers across the country. A heavy emphasis was placed on office administration to track orders.

Bookkeepers, secretaries and other support staff needed something to sit on. Wooden office chairs were a one-size fits all solution. End of story.

The chairs were sturdy and you didn’t have to worry about them breaking or falling apart. They were completely stationary. If you had to bend and take paper from a desk drawer your hips and back had to pivot since the chair was built to stay in one place.

If your hips or lower back got sore, then you’d take anti-inflammatories to temporarily reduce the pain.

Along came executive chairs that looked fancier and had wheels. Now you could glide to the nearby filing cabinet or to the phone. By the 1970s, more executive chairs were designed to support a person’s body.

Executive office chairs were more comfortable, but they still didn’t address two underlying maladies facing the modern office worker:

  • Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)
  • Repetitive Strain Injuries

This is more than just bad backs. MSDs affect nerves, ligaments, blood vessels and tendons as noted on a write-up of ergonomics on the OSHA website.

When a person does the same work constantly at a desk or chair that’s at an improper height and they have poor posture, they’re at risk for repetitive strain injuries. MSDs lead to frequent absences from work.

Employee absenteeism became widespread and serious studies evolved on how workers interacted with the workplace. That’s the focus of ergonomics.

Flip the calendar back to the early 1900s and you’ll find in-depth work appearing on ergonomics. The growth and use of aviation in the world wars that followed made the U.S. military see how they could make crew members better able to handle their duties. Engineers studied the intersection of airplane design and the limitations of the human body.

Now, back to the office.

Here’s where this extensive research has taken us—to high quality solutions that are readily available.


Photo: 9 to 5 Seating Ergonomic Chairs

You work in an office every day but can you name the basics element of a workstation?

If not, no problem. It’s listed below.

Principles of Ergonomic Workstations

What makes up a workstation?

  • Desk or Worksurface
  • Chair
  • Monitor and Keyboard or Laptop
  • Mouse and Mouse Pad
  • Lighting


Photo: Humanscale M10 Monitor Arm

Do those last two items surprise you? They shouldn’t.

Learn why as you read along.

When setting up an ergonomics workstation, pay attention to the space design of the room, a key part of the 2010 Space Planning Strategy.

Also look at the placement of accessories and the equipment layout on the desk as noted in a detailed write up on computer workstation ergonomics by The University of Western Australia. A person’s joints shouldn’t be stressed while sitting and working.

Here’s a summary of how an ergonomic workstation keeps a person in a neutral position:

Be seated so you’re eye level with the top of the computer screen.

Use a wrist pad when not typing to rest your wrists at a neutral position. Wrist pads aren’t meant to be used while typing.

Adjust armrests so elbows are close to the side of the body and are bent at a 90 degree to 100-degree angle.

Adjust the chair so feet are sitting either comfortably flat on the floor or on a footrest.

Be aware of good posture. An article and infographic from the province of Alberta, Canada notes that your ears should be above the shoulders. Those should be over the hips. This position reduces back strain. Use a lumbar pillow or roll against the lower back for extra support.

Now, let’s look at individual items.

Desks

Here’s a tip for working comfortably at a desk. Make sure the surface has everything within easy reach so you don’t have to turn and twist unnecessarily.

How does your desk adjust to your body so you can be more productive and reduce the risk of injuries? Height adjustable desks are an ergonomic solution in many offices.

Desks that support good health can be used in private offices and serve the needs of one person or they can be used in a pod of four people or more. Each person can adjust the desk to suit their preferences so they can work using the best posture possible.

If you’re wondering what to look for in the best ergonomic desks then consider this: make sure the desk changes heights quietly and is easy to reset.

How heavy will the items be on the surface? You don’t want equipment that creates instability.

Height adjustable desks fit well in compact spaces, executive suites and open plan offices.

The equipment does more than provide a place to work. Desks that adapt promote office wellness. A 12-month workplace study from the Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found that height adjustable desks are linked to increased productivity, better concentration and improved health overall.


Photo: HON Empower Height Adjustable Worksurface

 


Photo: Humanscale QuickStand 

Office aesthetics are important, and today’s desks fit traditional office spaces and the latest floor plans.


Photo: HON Empower Worksurfaces with Privacy Screens

A private office desk like the Krug Adesso Height Adjustable Desk has a finely crafted appearance while the Hon 10500 Series Height Adjustable Desk is minimal for a compact work place and collaborative open floor plans.

Desks are a good way to improve ergonomics, but now let’s look at chairs.

Chairs

Sitting for a long period of time simply isn’t a natural position for the body. That’s why it’s important to move. Stretching every 20 minutes to a half hour and take a quick walking break every 90 minutes to two hours.

Moving gives your muscles and tendons a chance to reset.

Make sitting easier and less harmful to your body by using an ergonomic chair that supports a body’s natural movement.

Think of it this way.

You’re not sitting still on a chair. You’re reaching for files, turning to look or listen to a co-worker, and, yes, sitting with good posture, we hope, while typing up your latest report.


Photo: Humanscale Freedom Chairs with Headrests

Remember that ergonomics is meant to keep the body in a neutral position, meaning little to no strains on the joints and lower back.

If you’re looking for the best ergonomic chair, then you need a chair that has a comfortable tilt to it with good lumbar support. Make sure your knees are bent at about 90 degrees. Use a footrest if your feet don’t touch the floor.

Choosing a chair that works is subjective since no two bodies are the same. Evaluate the material, the durability, and overall comfort. Make sure the chair provides support so you’re not hunched over or leaning forward excessively.

Ergonomic Computer Accessories

Posture has a tremendous impact on overall well-being. Your head weighs as much as 12-pound to 14-pound bowling ball so you don’t want to learn forward to squint at the computer screen.

The more your head tilts forward, the more you’ll strain your muscles at the base of your neck and along your shoulders.

Keep computer screens at an eye level so you don’t have to lean forward to read the screen. Accessories like a keyboard and mouse should let the arms remain horizontal. Be careful that your wrists aren’t bent or extended upright.

Office lighting also affects your work and posture.


Photo: Humanscale Keyboard Tray Systems


Photo: Humanscale Keyboard Tray Systems

Light


Photo: Humanscale Vessel Pendant Lights

Light does more than just let you see what you’re doing. Controlling the proper amount of light flowing from windows and lights is part of an ergonomic office design.

The right amount of light in an office boosts your employees’ morale. Natural light is a proven mood booster that promotes a restful night’s sleep as well.

There are three basic types of lighting:

  • General
  • Localized-general
  • Local, also called task lighting

General lighting covers a large area such as ceiling lamps that cover a wide area.

Localized-general lights include ceiling lamps that can direct light to specific areas.

Task lighting is much more focused and lets specific users adjust light levels. Desk lamps are a good example of task lighting.

Good lighting tips include arranging light fixtures so they’re not creating glare on computer screens, but providing enough focused light so users don’t have to squint.

Light “enhances the mood and desirability” of work spaces and public places as noted by the International Association of Lighting Designers.

Now consider the various elements of an ergonomically sound workplace? Can you understand what it ultimately delivers?


Photo: Humanscale Infinity Desktop Light

The Ergonomic Workstation Solution

Sitting comfortably with good posture, being able to handle repetitive tasks with little discomfort and working with proper light are all elements of an ergonomic workstation, and healthy work environment.

How we feel physically also impacts our thinking and our emotions. Investments in the right equipment are investments in people and their health.

Make this a team effort. One person in the office doesn’t have to decide how to carry out improvements and changes. Employees typically want their voices heard.

A successful ergonomics program involves employees in worksite assessments, solution development and implementation.

Here’s the end result of an office that’s planned well.

Expect a reduction in absenteeism from ailments like carpal tunnel syndrome, aching shoulders and bad backs. Employees will be more engaged and alert with proper workstations and a supportive environment.

Give your team the opportunity to function at their optimal levels.


Photo: Friant System 2 Workstations


Photo: Humanscale Ergonomic Workspaces

Get the Expertise You Need

Get input from 2010 Office Furniture on your space planning needs and laying out an office that meets the needs of employees and departments. Call or submit your questions.

Our team has more than 45 years of experience serving corporations, universities and small businesses throughout Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire.

Read Also: Designing an Office Layout for Maximum Productivity
Main Photo by: ODS / Office Design Studio
Resources & Special Thanks to: OSHA, University of Western Australia, UCLA, MyHealth.Alberta.Ca, IALD, & Respective Product Manufacturers: ODS / Office Design Studio, 9 to 5 Seating, Friant, HON, and Humanscale

Move, Sit & Listen: The Basics for Holistic Office Wellness

Promote holistic office wellness by helping staff move, sit, and listen. It’s easy to put it into the daily routine with a low cost and high potential returns. Here are three categories to use in evaluating your approach.

Office Wellness with Movement

Furnish your office for activity. Our bodies are meant to move and not sit in one place for hours at a time.

This write-up from Office Vibe shares important facts: up to 80% of Americans work in jobs that require little to no movement; and research shows that employee medical costs fall by $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs.  Here’s what happens with a sedentary lifestyle at the office and at home. Pressure builds on the lower back and joints while key muscle groups can weaken. Blood circulation suffers and, ultimately, less oxygen flows to the brain.  Office wellness that includes movement can be subtle. Show employees stretching exercises to do while seated. Encourage them to take a brisk walk down the hallway every couple of hours or scoot around the block outside during lunch.  Install height-adjustable desks for individual offices and for workstations. Start getting used to it slowly by using it in a standing position for 10 to 15 minutes at a time.

Wellness When Sitting

Sitting seems like a non-stress activity that shouldn’t have any impact on our bodies. Not true. Make no mistake that sitting without moving creates stress.  Gravity is at work, plus the way we sit can aggravate key areas of the body like the neck area, lower back and hips.  Employee wellness should focus on sitting with proper posture while using ergonomic chairs and workstations and desks with height-adjustable surfaces. Here’s why:

  • Proper posture is when a person is sitting in front of a computer with a relatively straight back and not straining to see the screen. Leaning forward strains the neck because our heads weigh as much as a heavy bowling ball. That gradually pulls the vertebrae out of alignment and pinches the nerves running from the brain to the rest of the body. Blood flow is reduced and pain signals increase.
  • Ergonomic chairs have a real-world benefit that adjust to the contours of the body and evenly distribute weight. They allow for natural movement, too. Not all chairs are quality ergonomic so look for those with lumbar support, waterfall seating to relieve stress on the legs and adjustments for armrests, height and tilt.
  • Height-adjustable desks and workstations conform to individual needs so it’s easy to sit properly. This reduces the flare-up of ailments like carpal-tunnel syndrome.

Another danger to sitting is when people slouch on chairs or sofas and cradle a cell phone with their neck and shoulder. Remember, our bodies and the parts that make it are a whole. A daily repetitive motion like this can throw us out of alignment.  That’s why stretching and regular intervals of movement are beneficial.

Listening Properly

Another part of office wellness isn’t so obvious, but it can reduce stress a great deal. It’s listening properly.  By nature, people want to have their voices heard and know that their ideas and opinions matter. Personal interactions are easily misinterpreted because personality differences come in such wide ranges. This is true in a family and it’s certainly true in an office setting.  And as much as we sometimes try, we can never really fully separate our personal lives and needs from our work and professional lives. Broken relationships, sick kids, and other personal issues distract from the tasks at hand.  Learning to listen well can reduce internal stress—that’s the jangling nerves that we don’t see. Executives, mid-level managers and hourly workers can all use reminders on how to stop, hear what the other person is saying, and repeat back what they’ve heard.

Having designated areas for quiet conversation and personal reflection is key. Semi-enclosed meeting pods and seating arrangements that allow for one-on-one or individual time provide focus and reduce distractions. Leave cell phones behind and don’t take a laptop to go online.

Achieving Holistic Office Wellness

Office wellness can easily be implemented in the everyday work setting. For ideas on how to plan and furnish an office for better office wellness submit your questions and needs to us!  Our 2010 Office Furniture team of experts have a combined of five decades of experience helping start-ups, nonprofits and leading corporations throughout Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire.

Read Also: Staying Productive with an Effort for Holistic Office Wellness
Main Photo: Global River Lounge
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Global

Staying Productive with an Effort for Holistic Office Wellness

Staying Productive with an Effort for Holistic Office Wellness

Although important, health and wellness isn’t just about weight loss or getting flu shots. It’s really about knowing what makes us thrive physically, mentally, and spiritually – what energizes us.  Southern California’s image is one of beaches bathed in glowing sun and rugged mountains for skiing and hiking. Yet, the reality that we experience is much different. Meeting hard deadlines at work and braving congested freeways create high levels of anxiety and stress.  An effective approach to holistic office wellness cares for the whole person, and promotes overall well-being.  Read on below to learn some holistic office wellness tips for the body. Most of these are easy on the budget and can help make the week a little brighter and the mood a bit lighter.

Staying Physically Well

  • GET FLU SHOTS:  Remember that staying healthy is an important of part of practicing holistic office wellness.  Encourage employees to get a flu shot every fall. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that vaccines prevented 5.3 million influenza illnesses in 2016-2017. A person who says they’re healthy and don’t need a flu shot should still get one. Without the vaccine, they can infect others who are vulnerable.
  • REDUCE EYE STRAIN: Working on a computer for hours without a break will strain the eyes.  So will texting, web-surfing and catching up on social media on mobile devices. Dry eyes, blurred vision and not being able to see colors clearly are symptoms of eye strain.  Use screen displays that are large and clean. Improve lighting to eliminate glare on the screens. Reduce air-borne irritants like dust and take regular breaks.
  • USE ERGONOMIC FURNITURE:  Our physical comfort directly affects our holistic office wellness.  If we are not comfortable, then we don’t feel good and we can’t perform well.  It’s important to understand that how we relate to our surrounding environment includes our posture when sitting at a workstation and in a chair, especially while working for long hours at a time.  Reducing strain on the joints and sitting on quality chairs that support the body’s natural positioning keep the focus on work instead of aches and pains.  Use ergonomically designed chairs and height adjustable desks to adapt to various physical needs of the body.
  • STAY IN MOTION:  Staying active doesn’t only mean hitting the gym for an hour.  Periodic movement throughout the day helps the joints and muscles stay limber. Blood circulation benefits as well, which in turn can help keep the mind and thinking clear.  Stretch even while at the desk every 30 minutes and take brief walks during lunch. Take the stairs instead of an elevator or install a treadmill where employees can walk while reading.
  • RELAX THE MUSCLES:  Find a local masseuse to stop in at the office once a month (or more often if possible) to give 10-minute massages.  Ask a personal trainer to demonstrate exercises that can be done at a desk.
  • EAT AND DRINK WELL:  Food is very when practicing holistic office wellness.  You wouldn’t put kerosene in your car’s gas tank because it would hurt the system. What we eat and drink can slow us down mentally and physically. Get momentum going by bringing in fresh produce and keep a generous supply of water.  Bring healthy eating into the office. Have a local chef cook a pop-up meal and serve it in the lounge area. Or once a year, have an office cook-off using dishes with organic ingredients.

Following a Holistic Office Wellness Regimen

A well-coordinated holistic office wellness effort will reduce employee absenteeism and help boost overall positivity and productivity.  If you are interested in designing an office space that’s conducive to holistic office wellness, please don’t hesitate to ask us for help.  Our office furniture experts are here to guide you and help you every step of the way.

Read also: Harnessing the Benefits of Collaborative Workspaces

Image Source: Groupe Lacasse Quorum

Make Office Ergonomics Your Next Smart Move

Make Office Ergonomics Your Next Smart Move

What is Office Ergonomics

Keeping employees well and productive isn’t just about giving lectures on how to stop smoking or regulate blood pressure. Physical movement is one of the keys to keeping an office staff healthy.  It impacts work-related absenteeism (since prolonged sitting or standing stresses muscles and joints which can lead to musculoskeletal disorders or MSDs), and can overall affect a company’s performance.  Oftentimes, office movement is directly related to office design and the furniture utilized by the staff.  Conditions like unwieldy office chairs can cause ailments, and existing health problems to persist and worsen. That is why addressing the issue of office ergonomics come is so important.  Office ergonomics apply the science that lies behind the interactions people have with their environment, so personal well-being and office efficiency occur at a peak level.

Don’t Just Sit (or Stand) There

Sitting for long hours or standing for long periods of time will stress the body’s joints. Poor posture aggravates muscles and joints.  One very common example is an employee working in front of a computer screen.  Ever pick up a heavy bowling ball? A person’s head weighs between 10 pounds to 14 pounds. Leaning forward to glance at the computer screen with gravity pulling down on the head will gradually strain the upper two vertebrae out of alignment. This will pinch the nerves in the brainstem, an area located at the bottom of the neck and shoulders, which ultimately will cause health problems for the employee.  This risk, however, can be alleviated through regular movement, proper workstation arrangements and chairs that flex with the body.

Shake, Rattle, and Roll – or at Least Stretch

When the topic of movement in the office is brought up, most workers think the main reason is to burn calories. But that’s just one of the resulting benefits.  Moving, even small stretching exercises, maintains a healthy blood circulation and is important for the health of the muscles. You can also promote movement by adding some key types of furniture to your workspace.  Height adjustable desks (for both collaborative spaces and individual offices) as well as a conference table that can double as a ping-pong table are effective office additions that can help keep employees moving.  It’s important to note that the key is to avoid being in one position for too long. Standing while working, which helps with movement, should still be done in brief amounts of time, perhaps intervals of no more than 15 to 20 minutes.

Workstation Standards that Raise the Bar — For Best Office Ergonomics

Proper workstation set up is, according to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), “the first step in combating musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the office environment.”

OSHA standards are:

  • Aligning joints in the neutral position
  • Chairs adjusted correctly for the individual user
  • Backs supported
  • Computer monitors, keyboards, and accessories like a mouse are at the right height for the user

This is why adjustable office furniture is so important. Individual pieces can all be adjusted independently.

Sit On It with Confidence

Every office has people with a range of postures.  Chairs that don’t conform well to sitting positions can result in tight shoulders, breathing that’s constricted, and tightness in the thighs and throughout the legs.  That is why it’s important to have ergonomic chairs that allows users the freedom to move naturally while in a sitting position.  Ergonomically designed chairs like the Cherryman Eon Chair and 9 to 5 Seating’s Vesta Chair have lumbar support and an advanced tilt feature,  which helps these chairs to work well at conference tables and for individual office use.

Image Source: Humanscale