Our goal at Wakeout is to help you inject a healthy lifestyle into your office (or remote) culture. By nudging you with peak-worthy write-ups and charming work break hop-alongs, we are doing our best to help companies eliminate discomfort, keep employees happy, and lower the risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, work-related injuries, or physical decay. With a little help of workplace ergonomics, let's help you get there.

Why are ergonomics important in the workplace?

Ergonomic workplace design carries a profound impact on the health, wellness, and productivity of your favorite bunch of people sharing space. By taking care of workers’ bodily needs companies are subscribing to increased morale, fewer burnout cases, and overall higher productivity rates.

This is why today we’re bringing you four pillars to make everyone’s 9-5 more pleasurable and your mission to help employees just that much more fulfilling.

However, before you consolidate your health-design process…

One of the benefits of workplace ergonomics you haven’t thought of…

Cherishing an ergonomic design in your company equals to promoting a collective flow state. There simply isn’t one without the other - at least in modern workplaces, there isn’t. You may wonder - having studied a couple of other pieces and after assessing your risk factors - how’s an ergonomically designed workplace a flow-arousing one?

At the heart of this claim sits the fact that employees - and companies alike - have never been more aware of the downfalls of a sedentary lifestyle.

Well-being goals reside atop most charts in the workforce - with a healthy human body, eating habits, work-life balance, and enough exercise at the forefront.

Knowing the company is working like a dog to ensure the best employee health, soothes the aches that stand in the way of focused work. This, as a consequence, leads to higher employee engagement and employees' willingness to step outside their job role as they feel comfortable at work.

#1 Exercise balls for effective workplace design

A business woman sitting barefoot on an exercise ball in her office

Before you even think about bouncing off ideas to support employee health, here’s something bouncy. Although it's super basic, the benefits these spheric health prodigies bring are far from one-dimensional. They are not just better alternatives to chairs or ways to design salubrious workplace ergonomics. No, no. They are escape clauses you sign to get away from the static decay your workers tend to suffer.

Using air globules takes many forms. Well-acquainted individuals, after a while, spontaneously use them to stretch out while talking. They sit and stand more frequently, breaking the long periods of sitting and even have some fun dribbling the ball while thinking through genius ideas.

They are cheap, easy to integrate, lovable, and super effective. You can go for these balls even without running any ergonomic assessments first. They are that safe and marvelous. Plus they help workers do the following while sitting:

  • Fix posture
  • Prevent slouching and even eye strain
  • Increase low back mobility
  • Prevent low back deterioration
  • Increase core strength
  • Prompt productivity

#2 Physical activity breaks

A work team doing physical activity breaks together in office

Limited movement and prolonged seated periods are becoming a pain in any company’s buttquarters. With IT, remote work, and open office space on the rise, the movement seems to be evaporating from work cultures. In turn, we’re witnessing more downsides of behaving like privileged pandas.

Therefore, integrating worker routines that don't disrupt productivity is crucial. FYI - although a great pastime, the ping-pong tables will not suffice for a good workplace ergonomics.

One way HR departments are tackling this challenge is by promoting physical activity breaks. Research shows that short movements in desk exercises are emerging as an obvious win-win (and win) scenario. They are a proven way to promote health and well-being. They also buoy up team spirit and ensure employees - especially those with musculoskeletal disorders - take well-needed pauses during work. Most importantly, physical activity breaks split the prolonged sitting into chunks where people feel alive and kicking.

Creating tip-top workplace ergonomics means stirring up movement in your work environment - and physical activity breaks seem to be the least obtrusive health and productivity agent.

#3 Work desk ergonomics

An ergonomically fit workstation with a standing desk option

A little bit of planning can prevent many problems that arise from sedentary work. In this scenario - when itchy health problems are in question - you want to pay close attention to work desk design. Aka your office space feng shui.

The good thing - it’s really not that hard. To design healthier screen-time residences, make sure you check off a few things most people will benefit from.

  • Have standing desks for good ergonomics

Make sure at least 5-10% of the total amount of desks are standing desks. Perhaps allow employees to book a slot at a high desk. Even better, go for the adjustable worktable employees that allow manual handling.

  • Place posture-up reminders

Have a booklet or an image of the ideal sitting position placed on each desk. It should serve as a good reminder for employees to slouch less and keep the good posture. Better yet, browse posture devices or back support systems.

  • Set sit-up reminders

Sitting too long is still a no-no regardless of perfect posture. It also leads to chronic back pain. Have a system in place in your office design that notifies employees to get up and move.

  • Position items correctly

Adjustable computer monitor at a head level, arm’s length away. Put laptops on stands. Desk at 28 to 30 inches in height and close to natural light. Chairs at 16-18.5 inches. Right-size chair with lower back and elbow support to help maintain neutral position.

#4 Ergo tool stack

A hexagone signaling an ergonomic tool stack

People vary in their levels of amazing, creative, productive, funny, and healthy. They also vary in terms of health concerns and physical features. That's why general workplace ergonomics advice sometimes misses the mark - there are many other aspects too, especially in bigger companies. But generally, there's no one size fits all scenario.

Instead of just buying a ton of equipment your employees turn a blind eye to you could have them pick what issues they struggle with the most - poor posture, musculoskeletal injuries, back pain, neck pain, stiff muscles. In turn, your tool stack algorithm could suggest what tool should best serve their health risk factors and whether a tool is available at the moment.

There are many tools worthy of being on the roster. Here are some that could be a part of your work processes:

  • Ergonomic keyboard & mouse
  • Adjustable monitor
  • Best use chairs with BIFMA compliance
  • Adjustable sit/stand workstations
  • Ergonomic headset
  • Blue-light blocking glasses
  • Anti-fatigue mats
  • Treadmill workstations
  • Air humidifiers & essential oils
  • Oxygen-providing plants
  • Ergonomic cushions, footrests, & lumbar support

Need more ergo advice or tips related to the science of equipment design? Read a deeper dive on Wakeout's blog to improve productivity and ensure a healthy 9-5!

A Brief Guide to Ergonomics: Ideal Posture, Chair, & Monitor Position
Do you have neck tension, back aches, or tired legs? Might be that leaning into a new work station setup will perk up your workday productivity. That, along with physical activity breaks, will give you a new outlook on life!

Are your employees suffering eye strain? That's also a part of workplace issues good ergonomics can solve. Or, perhaps, this piece right here. 👇

Does Eye Strain Lead to Brain Drain?
You’re about to read the very real value of taking active eye breaks. The added plus is that you’ll get the inside info on how eye strain negatively impacts performance. As in, the cause of brain drain.
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