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Office Ergonomics Standards for the Workplace

Office ergonomics is something that most employers don’t think much about. However, if they realized how much of a difference that ergonomics could make to their bottom line, it would become a priority. The better the ergonomics are in an office, the more productive employees can be, the less they suffer from conditions such as eye strain, back pain, and repetitive stress injuries, and the better the morale is in the office. Good ergonomics helps employees to stay healthier and as a result, there is less absenteeism. 

What is Ergonomics Anyway? 

Ergonomics is the scientific study of what makes people most efficient in their work environment.  Numerous studies have been done in order to determine the ideal posture for working at a desk. Supplies such desks, chairs, computer mice, monitors, etc. which are designed to be ergonomic are designed such that there is least chance of an employee sustaining an injury due to prolonged use. 

Since many North American adults sit for up to 70% of their waking hours due to the fact that they have desk jobs, the importance of ergonomics cannot be overstated. 

Does Your Office Meet Ergonomic Standards? 

In 2000, the Canadian Standards Association published A Guideline for Office Ergonomics. To determine if your employees’ work stations meet these standards, have them sit comfortably at their computers with their hands on their keyboards and see if they are meeting the following criteria:

Keyboard Ergonomics

  • Upper arms should be relaxed.
  • Elbows should be bent at approximately 90 degrees.
  • Hands should be in line with forearms when the employee is using the keyboard and/or mouse.
  • Forearm should have support when employee is using the mouse. 

Monitor Ergonomics

  • The top of the computer screen should be at eye level. (The exception to this is if the employee wears bifocal or trifocal lenses).
  • The distance from the employee’s eyes to their screens should be between 40 and 74 cm.
  • The employee’s computer monitor should be centred in front of them.
  • Computer screen should not have glare due to light fixtures or windows.

Chair Ergonomics

  • Office chairs should be adjustable between 42 and 51 cm.
  • The seat pan should tilt should be adjustable to between +3 and -4 degrees. 
  • Lumbar support height should be adjustable between 15 and 25 cm above the seat.
  • Backrest angle should be adjustable between 93 and 113 degrees.
  • Employee should be able to sit with their thighs approximately parallel to the floor with their feet flat on the floor or on a footrest. 

Desk Ergonomics

  • Employee should have a minimum of 43 cm horizontal knee space.
  • Employee should have a minimum of 60 cm horizontal toe space.

Lighting

  • Office lighting levels should be between 300 and 500 lux.
  • Light fixtures should be indirect.
  • Employees should be provided with adjustable task lamps if necessary.

If you would like help with assessing the ergonomics in your workplace, contact TeksMed today.

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