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A Guide to Ergonomic Office Space Design

Updated: Nov 15, 2022

The average office worker will have poor posture, a stomachache, and sore eyes in 20 years, according to recent research. The research also showed that 90% of office workers who suffer from health issues because of their job are performing more poorly at work.


A model has been made to show the future effects of a sedentary lifestyle and uncomfortable working environment. The model, named Emma, is a result of these conditions.



The research indicates the need for ergonomic workspaces to prevent discomfort and increase efficiency.

There are many ways to create an ergonomic office space, from choosing furniture carefully to encouraging employees to be more active.


Our guide to ergonomic office space design can help you create a space that is comfortable and practical for everyone.

No one wants to look like Emma, so read on for some useful ideas. You won’t regret it!


Ergonomic Office Task Chairs

A good task chair is essential for those suffering from back pain. For optimum comfort, look for a chair with the following features:

  • A reclined seat significantly reduces pressure on your back, and seats with a synchronous tilt function are particularly good at keeping your feet on the floor and your gaze straight ahead.

  • The material should be soft and comfortable. Additionally, it should be breathable or mesh to prevent a sweaty back.

  • Look for an adjustable armrest that can turn inwards. This will support your forearm and encourage good posture.

  • If you don't have a height adjustable desk, you need a height adjustable chair. The chair should allow you to work comfortably at your desk with your feet flat on the floor. (as recommended by the NHS).


Ergonomic Office Space Design - Task Chairs


If you don't have a height adjustable desk, you need a height adjustable chair. The chair should have lumbar support, allow you to work comfortably at your desk with your feet flat on the floor and your screen at eye level.


Active Seating

Sitting down for too long has been proven to have negative effects on health, including posture, circulation, breathing, and mental health.


One way to combat sedentary behaviour is to introduce active seating, which helps keep your body moving by encouraging natural posture shifts that occur while standing or walking. Here are a few examples:

  • Self-balancing chairs – This chair or stool helps you to move more than a regular task chair, improving posture, building core strength, and releasing tension in the back, neck and shoulders.

  • Kneeling chairs – A kneeling chair typically has two pads, one for your lower knees and one to sit on. As you kneel, your pelvis opens and spine aligns, improving circulation, alertness, and core/back strength.

  • Balance ball chairs – When you combine an exercise ball and a task chair, you get a balance ball chair. This type of chair lets you change positions often, which improves posture and strengthens your core.


Consider alternating active seating with general task chairs. This will allow your body to benefit from multiple office furniture solutions.



Height Adjustable Desks

When choosing a desk, the most important aspect from an ergonomic point of view is desk height. The height of your desk is important for preventing strain on your arms and shoulders. A desk that is too high will cause you to hunch over while typing, while a desk that is too low will put strain on your forearms. An adjustable desk is essential for preventing these problems.


Standing desks have numerous benefits, including reducing back pain, improving energy levels, and lowering the risk of heart disease. Despite the benefits of standing desks, they can cause aches and pains if you're on your feet all day. Look for a setup that allows you to change the height of your workstation and use a chair when needed.



Ergonomic Office Space Design - height adjustable desks


Activity Areas

To create an ergonomic office space design, encourage employees to move around. Implement dedicated areas for activities if you have enough space. The great thing about activity areas is that you can really get creative with with the design. Here are a few concepts to get you started:

  • Yoga rooms – If you have space for a yoga mat, you can create a yoga area in your office! Yoga is a great way to relieve pain and stiffness caused by sitting at a desk all day. So, for workers who spend hours a day slouching over a desk, a good stretch is the perfect remedy!

  • Game rooms – A game room is a great way to get employees moving and having fun. By introducing snooker tables, ping pong tables and dartboards, you will encourage employees to take part in physical activities while enjoying themselves.

  • Indoor gyms – Introducing a gym area at work can improve employees' physical health and, according to a recent study by Bristol University, make them more productive and motivated. You don't need a lot of space or fancy equipment to get a good workout. Something as simple as a rowing machine or exercise bike can give you a quick cardio workout.



Ergonomic Office Space Design - office activity areas



Environmental Elements

The three key environmental elements in designing an ergonomic office space are light, air and temperature.

  • Introduce natural light – A recent study found that office workers have better health and wellness when they are exposed to natural light. To increase natural light in your office, you can replace solid walls with glass partitions. This will help employees stay alert and reduce eye-strain.

  • Improve air quality – Research shows that employees who work in a clean air environment perform better – particularly in mental tasks. Ways to clean the air include introducing an air purifier and regularly cleaning your ventilation system. For a really drastic solution, consider moving to an office that has less traffic pollution nearby.

  • Offer temperature control – If you allow employees to control the workplace temperature, they will usually be happier. Ensure you have a good air-conditioning unit and let them adjust it as needed.


Ergonomic Office Space Design - modern office design


If you improve the environment of your workspace, you will create a healthier working environment. This will make employees happier and more productive, so it's a win-win situation!


Accessories

While it’s great to introduce things like activity areas and ergonomic furniture solutions, there are plenty of accessories out there that will make a workspace comfortable and efficient. You can buy footrests, laptop stands, ergonomic keyboard and mouse, lumbar pillows, ergonomic mouses and keyboards, and monitor-friendly glasses to improve your sitting experience and reduce eye strain.

Remember that every employee has different needs. Ask your employees if they need any accessories to make their workstation more comfortable.


Activity Based Working

Activity based working means employees can choose from a variety of work areas, depending on what suits them best. This could be a desk, sofa or collaborative workstation.


Activity based working gives employees the option to choose an ergonomic workspace that suits their needs. For example, an employee with back problems may prefer to use a standing desk. An activity-based working office will have areas for employees to do yoga, meditation, or cardio before work or during lunch.


Ultimately, activity based working is all about creating an environment that is comfortable and practical. This is a sure-fire way to make employees happier, healthier and more productive.



Ergonomic Office Space Design - modern office refurbishment


Thank You for Reading Our Ergonomic Office Space Design Guide

This article provides inspiration for making your office space more ergonomic. A few simple changes, like new furniture or accessories, can make a big difference for employees' comfort and well-being.


If you own a business, it's a good idea to talk to your employees before making any changes. Find out what their pain points are and what you can do to make their work environment more efficient. Just be prepared for a lot of requests for a game room!


Spaces Taylored offer free design and space planning as part of our office fit out service and offer an extremely diverse range of office furniture as well as a move management and workplace relocation service. Contact us today if there is anything you require our help with. Call us on 0843 122 9545 or drop us an email at info@spacestaylored.com to find out how we can transform your current working environment into an inspirational place that you’ll love to spend time in. Be proud of your office space with the help of Spaces Taylored.




Call - 0843 122 9545

 

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