At a recent Toastmaster meeting, my dear friend, Paula Hesch, office interior designer extraordinaire, gave a speech on “Office Ergonomics”, the applied science of people’s efficiency in their working environment. Paula had some great information on how to make your work space more comfortable that I wanted to share with you.
Paula has a similar situation as many of us office workers. She sits at a desk for long periods, does repetitive tasks (i.e. computer work, drawing) and she was even suffering from neck and shoulder pain. After trying massage, yoga and stretching classes, she realized that her work space was the source of her pain. She followed her own ergonomic findings and alleviated her physical discomfort by simply adjusting her work space using the following principals:
- How is your work area set up, how do you sit and how long do you stay in one position?
- Do you have a repetitive task movement and what is it (i.e. typing, phone)?
- Define your work area lighting (is it enough), noise level (too much or too quiet) and temperature
- What tools do you need to do your job and are they set up correctly?
Paula knows that most of us don’t know how to properly set up our work stations. She also recognizes that the office of today is constantly evolving because sometimes we are working at a standard desk in an office, or at home, a client’s conference room or even at a Starbucks. Paula noted that many people don’t realize that when your workspace is set up correctly, you can prevent injuries as well as physical and mental stress. Your chair needs to support you in certain ways, the desk needs to be a comfortable height, computer monitors need to be less than an arm’s length away with the top of the screen at eye level and the list goes on. Paula provided a great resource guide to help you on this.
Paula also recommends that everyone get out of their chair every 30-40 minutes to stretch and take a break. This helps both physically and mentally. I am a huge proponent of this. She talked about considering an adjustable desk so you can stand for some tasks and sit for others. The possibilities with today’s office furniture are limitless. I have made adjustments to my computer monitors and the results were immediate.
Take a look around your office and if you need help, give Paula a call for remodeling and give me a call when you need to renew or relocate your office.
Contact today’s contributor at:
Paula Hesch Designs
7430 S.W. 48th Street
Miami, Florida 33155