Hours of staring at a screen, sitting for long periods in the same posture - all this claims health. "Ergonomically setting up your workplace in the office helps prevent damage to your health, " says Roland Kraemer, expert in workplace health promotion at the AOK Federal Association.
What is ergonomics?
Ergonomics - this is the science of the physical capabilities and limits of the working man. It also examines how people and their working conditions fit together best. An ergonomic workstation in the office includes, for example, a computer monitor with high resolution, perfect lighting without reflection, the right distance from the screen and the right room climate.
But it is also important to adapt the tables and chairs to the users. "An office chair should be adapted to the body proportions of the person sitting on it, " explains Roland Kraemer. "For example, a trainee goes through many stations in a single company. He should always adjust the chair and, if necessary, the worktable to his needs. The same applies to job sharing or job rotation. "
Extensive testing before buying
Whoever sits in the same posture in his chair, burdened the spine one-sided. "Dynamic sitting" can avoid such one-sided stress, which means that the position is constantly being changed. "The design of the right chair ensures that it can be moved over and over again, for example in a forward sitting position or leaning back ", explains AOK expert Roland Kraemer. "There is not one right chair for everyone, so exhaustive testing is what you're looking for when you buy it."
Fixed stand on five wheels
The chair should stand firmly on five wheels, be easily adjustable and not wobble. "Take advantage of the entire seating area, " advises Roland Kraemer. "The backrest is designed to support the natural shape of the spine when sitting - especially the lower and middle area of the spine." The front part of the seat should be rounded and well padded. This avoids that the blood circulation in the legs is disturbed.
But it is also important to ensure sufficient legroom and enough room to move. Workplaces where legroom is limited are unsuitable because they usually force you into a cramped posture. The height of the work table and the seat height should be coordinated.
Proper seat height, which means: The legs should be angled about 90 degrees or slightly more in the knee joint when the feet are completely on the ground. The same angle applies to the elbow joint when the forearms are horizontal on the work surface. If the work surface can not be lowered, a foot rest will help. But knees and thighs should not hit the underside of the table either.
Insert screen pauses
Incorrectly furnished workplaces can also be harmful to the eyes. For them, VDU work means hard work. The eyes can be overworked if the screen is of poor quality, is wrong, and does not take sufficient screen breaks. The screen is best positioned so that the view of the person working is parallel to the window and lighting. The distance of the eyes from the flicker-free monitor should be about 50 to 70 centimeters.
During work, the head should be inclined forward in a natural posture. Long and wrong sitting puts strain on the back, shoulder and neck area and especially damages the intervertebral discs. It can also lead to circulatory disorders or cardiovascular problems. That's why you have to move regularly at work. A tip is not to have all the documents on the table, but to put some files in a cupboard that is a bit removed. So you have to get up every now and then.
"An ergonomic workplace does not replace regular exercise, " explains AOK expert Roland Kraemer. "Anyone who sits in the office all day should work out after work, which compensates for stressful work on the screen and one-sided posture when sitting down." Incidentally, the right (working) climate and the atmosphere in the office rooms are also crucial for well-being. Even a few green plants or a few pictures make every room look friendlier. If the climate is right between colleagues and supervisors, job satisfaction is also higher.