Sunday, 8 January 2012

What is ergonomics? What's a workstation assessment?

I've come to a realisation that many people don't really know what I do, or what Get Ergonised stands for. Having conversations with people over Christmas, I noticed that they were doing a lot of nodding but not a lot of understanding.. so here it is:

What is ergonomics? 

Essentially, ergonomics is making products and tasks more comfortable for the user. When applied to office workstations, it means making it more comfortable for people to sit and work at their desk. That's it, nothing more, nothing less. Just something to make your workstation not make you sore. When you think about it, many of us experience that niggling neck and upper back tension that always seems to get worse when working on an intense project or after a long day or week.. and how about that low back pain that can sometimes make it hard to stay seated for hours on end. Even things like forearm pain, wrist pain, headaches, eye strain and leg soreness may be symptoms attributed to sitting at a desk that has not been set up specifically to suit you. Hot-desking seems to be the new thing in workplaces, where you get to sit at a different workstation every day.. do all these people spend 2 minutes each morning setting themselves up for optimal comfort?

So what's a workstation assessment? 

A workstation assessment is an evaluation of you at your workstation. It includes making sure your chair is at the right height, and that the backrest fits the curves of your back; that the monitor, keyboard and mouse are positioned correctly for you; that your phone is accessible without straining yourself; and also as importantly, that your workflow is effective and work areas on your desk are appropriately designated.

January is a great month for having a workstation assessment, as most people will still be relaxed and pain-free after a few days or weeks off from work. Start the year off getting yourself ergonised!

Check out for more information on work and home workstation assessments.

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