Office Ergonomics 101- Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

Office Ergonomics is the management of your office environment for excellent health, comfort, and productivity. Everything is involved, from the way you sit, the location of equipment, and how you engage with it to your everyday work routine.

In this post, we will look at the most significant ergonomic modifications you should make in your office and work routine just to start working more healthily and productively.

Office Ergonomics 101: What You Need to Know?

It is common for employees to come across neck, back, or joint pain due to prolonged sitting. This leads to excessive blood pressure, increased blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, weight gain, and stress-related disorders like anxiety and depression. 

Sedentary workers, such as bank tellers and telemarketers, experience health issues that are strikingly similar. The difference between the two conditions is that typing disorders are caused by repetitive motion. At the same time, sedentary work is a more severe problem as it causes injuries to the muscles and soft tissues, bones, and joints.

Repetitive hand motions and movements are the most common cause of injuries in a working environment. If a person works at a desk all day, sometimes it may be too long before they get rested enough to switch off and engage in other exercises that can help with their health. This is why they need to take advantage of the time they have at their disposal on the job and start their workout routines as soon as possible.

Ergonomic Workstation

The workplace should also have plenty of light, air circulation, and space for office workers to be away from their screens. A desk with adjustable height and armrests for the user to sit on. It should also have a seat with wheels for the user to move around freely. Standing desks and cubicles standard in contact centers and financial organizations can be used in conjunction.

A wide variety of furniture could be used in an office as an ergonomic workstation, including chairs and special seats intended to support people who have poor balance or muscle strength issues. It is recommended to consider a specially designed seat for people with back problems since it helps them sit taller.

Every Hour, Get Up and Stretch

This is a simple, effective practice that will help employees in the long run. They need to get up from their screens and stand for 30 seconds. It can be done on a chair or in a routine.

Prone postures are also fundamental when working at the computer since they help to stimulate blood flow throughout the body and prevent blood pressure from going out of control at the same time. It is also recommended to avoid looking down at your workstation until after you have finished your work break, which can kill your productivity during that period. During these intervals, you might do some stretching exercises like:

1. Leg Lifting

This exercise is perfect for people who have problems with their hips or knees. It can be done in the morning when they get up and then after lunch or during any other break in their workday. It should be done with a chair at a desk without any keyboard.

Seating should be done with the feet on the front edge of the seat, knees bent, and arms at the sides. Sit with your feet in between your legs on the front edge of the chair. It’s now time for someone to bend from the waist and extend their arms forward till they contact the wall behind them. Before descending to an upright posture, they should repeat this action three times.

This stretch is excellent for increasing blood flow to your lower limbs after a lengthy period of sitting:

  1. Rest your feet on the chair’s edge.
  2. Maintain a ninety-degree angle between your knees and feet on the floor.
  3. As high as you feel comfortable, lift one leg off the floor.
  4. Hold a stretch along the back of your leg for 10 seconds before lowering back down.
  5. Repeat on the opposite side.

2. Overhead Shoulder Stretch

This is another stretch that helps with the pain and discomfort that people suffer from in the muscles of their upper limbs. It may be done in any position, lay your arms on each side of your head, lean forward at the waist, and draw your shoulder blades down.

This is an excellent stretch for releasing tension in many parts of your upper body at once, including your neck, shoulders, and upper back.

  1. Start with relaxing your shoulders.
  2. Raise one arm straight above while bending the elbow.
  3. With your opposite hand, catch the elbow.
  4. Pull the upright arm to the other side for 10 seconds.
  5. Switch sides and repeat.

3. The Wrist Stretch

People can do this stretch on their own after an hour of working at a computer.

The basic wrist stretch is an excellent way to alleviate stiff joints in the wrist, especially after long days of typing and writing:

  1. Hold your right hand out in front of you with the palm facing upwards
  2. Grip all four fingers with your opposing hand
  3. Gently pull the fingers down towards the floor
  4. Hold the stretch for ten seconds, then release the hand back to the starting position
  5. Repeat with the left hand, holding for ten seconds

4. The Inside-Out Stretch

This stretch helps relieve tension from your neck, back, and shoulders. The person in question will need to either push back against the edge of the chair or the seat itself with their head straight. 

Once this is done, they should bend at the waist, allowing their arms to hang down and rest on the floor behind them. They should then take a deep breath and slowly start to inhale as they reach out and stretch their hands forward as far as they can while bending their arms. 

The person should repeat this motion three times before breathing out and returning to an upright position. It is also best done in one of three postures:

  1. Place both knees and feet flat on the floor while laying down.
  2. Place elbows on desks as far away from your body.
  3. Lift both legs so that knees are off the floor, parallel to each other, and hips are now level with your elbows.
  4. Keep your elbows away from your desk for maximum stretch. 

5. The Pelvic Tilt

This stretch helps to release tension in the hamstrings and glute muscles, and the deep abdominal muscles. The person will need to sit down at a desk with no keyboard or mouse and place their feet flat on the floor. They will have to lean back while keeping their knees bent slightly but not enough to touch their backs on either side, making this stretch different from others that require you to tilt your pelvis up towards your head.

It may also be difficult at first since doing it one-handed can be challenging at best and quite painful at worst:

  1. When you bend your right leg, your right knee should be at a ninety-degree angle to the floor.
  2. Keep your left leg straight with your knee pointing towards the ceiling while keeping your left leg in place on the floor with toes and heels together.
  3. Now lift your right arm (elbow should point towards the ceiling) off the floor by bending at the waist.
  4. If feasible, bend at the ankles, stretch up to the ceiling, or place fingertips on the forehead (keep the chin tucked against the chest).

Alternating Between Sitting and Standing is a Good Idea!

In the early stages, try to use your arms to pull yourself up rather than straightening your legs. Keep this movement slow and controlled. Squat slightly if possible. The aim is to build up the strength in your gluteal muscles so you can sit upright, which will take time as they are currently weak from being inactive while sitting. 

Get up from your chair and sit on its edge for around 20 minutes each day.

Have a thirty-second break every fifteen minutes to get up and stretch your legs.

Fitball What?

The Fitball is Another excellent tool for supporting posture and alleviating stress in the back and neck muscles. Once you’ve got your football set up, sit cross-legged with your feet flat on the floor or tucked under you to keep you stable. Roll forward slightly, allowing the torso to hang over the ball while holding onto the sides or keeping hands behind your head.

Adopt the 20- 20-20 Rule for Your Eyes

For every 20 minutes spent using a screen; you should try to look away at something that is 20 feet away from you for a total of 20 seconds. This will help lessen the risk of eye strain, but it can also improve your energy levels and mood. You will need to look up at nothing or perhaps a clock or a light. When looking at the clock, you will be making sure that your head is in a straight line with your spine and not tilted to one side or the other.

Optimise the Location of Your Workstation

If you are having difficulties with your back, neck, or shoulders, it might be because of your workplace. Jobs, where people have to sit in one position in front of a computer all day, may not always be the best option.

For example, one of the most common factors that lead to problems with joints is when they cannot move and are held in one position for too long. Stressed employees may find themselves slouching forward and keeping tension on their neck or shoulders.

One of the most important workplace ergonomic practices is to optimize how you engage with objects in your workplace, particularly computer equipment. Here are some guidelines:

Your Monitor:

The monitor should ideally be placed at eye level. This way, you will be able to look straight at it and avoid tilting or turning your head or neck to one side while looking at it. To achieve this, you'll want to be able to alter the height of your chair.

Your Keyboard and Mouse:

These should both be placed flat on the desk's surface in front of you, not too far back or forward, so that it doesn't make you lean forward or reach for them with your arms bent.

Your Desk:

Your desk height is another factor that can make all the difference when it comes to avoiding back pain and neck strain from office work: Make sure the front of your desk is at eye level (preferably) but not so that you have to put your head down and bend over to see it. Make sure that the height of your desk is appropriate for your size, so you aren't having to lean too far forward or reach for things with bent arms or pulled back shoulders. Your keyboard shouldn't be too far back from you, where you will have to bend forward to see it or reach for it with bent arms.


Keep in mind that the best thing you can do is make changes in your life that will help avoid slouching or putting pressure on your back in any way. Make sure you’re sitting up straight; it is one of the most effective ways to take control of your health and avoid problems with your back and neck that can be so severe by trying to correct them later.

About Us

Knowella AI Inc. offers an industry-leading digital solution to managing EHS&Q. We provide workers, supervisors, EHS&Q professionals, and top-level management the tools they need to improve workplace safety. We use AI-powered data analysis to optimize your approach to EHS&Q, resulting in lower operating costs and quantifiable improvements to your safety performance.

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