How is it that a day at the office can make you feel so tired, so run down, so physically uncomfortable? It turns out that eight to ten hours in a desk and chair aren’t so good for you after all.

For hundreds of years now, we as a species have been subjecting our bodies to undue stress by forcing ill-fitted equipment onto it.

Outfitting your office to maximize the ergonomic factor takes a little bit of work. Everything that you use on a regular basis can and should be tweaked to ensure that they are as comfortable as possible.

Today we look at five ways you can fix up your office to make it ergonomic.

Step One: Understand the Objective

Ergonomics is about more than just comfort. We’re not talking about investing in a La-Z-Boy recliner and calling it a day here. The true objective of workplace ergonomics is twofold: first to maximize the healthiness of the workplace environment to reduce injuries and discomfort. Second, to ensure a smooth flow of productivity.

It’s a comprehensive process that requires multiple angles of consideration. One of the easiest things that an individual or employer can do is to outfit the space with equipment designed to be ergonomic. Specialty engineering is a surefire way to guarantee that the tools being used are appropriate.

There are other ways to ensure ergonomics as well. Office layout, and even office culture can ensure that employees feel empowered to prioritize their health while also remaining productive members of a team.

In addition to just being an ethical way to run an office, ergonomic setups also have a pragmatic bent. Healthy employees are happy. Happy employees are hard workers. Smart, ergonomic designs are a win-win for everyone involved.

Step 2: Understand Ergonomic Injuries

In order to avoid office related injuries or physical strain, it’s important to understand why they happen in the first place.

Office place injuries are usually gradual and silent. They may happen over the course of weeks, months, even years, dormant until all of a sudden the victim notices that they are in tremendous discomfort. However, the injury did not occur overnight. Rather, it was the result of soft tissue strain: pain caused by the frequent repetition of an unnatural motion.

Basically, it is the direct result of a lifestyle that is not designed to suit the human body. It sounds bad, right? Well it is. And while some will experience office place injuries more profoundly than others, no one is immune to them.

Carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, and even nerve damage are all issues that can come up when office furniture is not properly suited to the human body.

Step 3: Recognize the Problems in Your Work Environment:

Naturally, every office setting is going to have its own unique set of problems. Perhaps you or the people of your office spend all day hunched over computer screens at uncomfortable chairs or desks. Maybe they type thousands of words a day, or zip around the computer screen on a poorly designed mouse.

There are many factors that go into a work station, and each one of them has a direct impact on your overall health. In order to start moving towards a healthier work environment, you will need to inventory your setup.

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Make a formal list of challenges that are occurring in your workplace. Proper mitigation strategies cannot be implemented until a thorough risk assessment has taken place, so it is important to take this part of the process seriously.

Step 4: Work to Optimize Your Workstation

Ergonomic professionals can help you to install a formal strategy for your workplace. As mentioned throughout this article, every workstation will have its own unique set of stations, but the points of contact are all effectively the same. Eyes to screen, hands to devices, feet to floor, body to furniture.

These are the basic components of every movement that occurs in the workplace. To truly optimize the workspace, all four of these factors need to be addressed and treated.

Step 5: The right Equipment Makes a Big Difference

Some of the changes that you make can be cultural. Stretch breaks, occasional walks or separation from screen time, etc. These ergonomic strategies certainly all have their place in every office. However, without the proper equipment, they can only be so helpful.

Virtually every piece of office equipment has an ergonomic option available. Some of the time the label is basically superficial while other times it can have an enormous impact.

Here is a short breakdown on some of the things to look for as you outfit your office with ergonomic equipment.

Chair: The ergonomic chair features lumbar support, a back rest, adjustable seat pan height, and the ability to tilt forward and back.

Customizable Workstation: The workstation itself (i.e, the desk) should also be spacious and adjustable. Many of the most effective ergonomic desks can be raised and lowered so that they have a sit/stand feature. Standing desks eliminate back pain, and can keep you at eye level with the computer screen.

Keyboard: Ideally, an ergonomic keyboard will feature a slope profile that can incline up to fifteen degrees.

Monitor: Monitor brightness should be adjustable so as to be easily kept at comfortable levels. Ideally, the monitor will also be able to be mounted at eye level via an arm support so that the user does not need to hunch over to look at it.

Wrist rest: Wrist rests, made of compressible materials make it easier to stay at the keyboard for long periods of time.

Proper Laptop Use: When laptops must be used for long periods of time it is best that the user utilizes an external mouse.


Outfitting your office to be ergonomic is a comprehensive task that takes some time, money, and thoughtfulness. However, it is an endeavor that is well worth while. An ergonomic workplace makes for a healthy, happy hardworking staff.

Author's Bio: 

Ashis Kumar is a passionate blogger.