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Back Health Blog

How to Improve Productivity with Your Workstation Layout

Monday, September 30, 2013
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Boosting productivity actually has a lot to do with the way you arrange things in your office or workplace. Many people will appreciate how much more time and energy they can save when they learn the proper mechanics. Making minor adjustments to the key elements of the room can lead to big and long term results. Here are some guidelines on how to enhance efficiency in the workplace.  

About Your Chair

  • The lumbar support should be a little above the waist line to better support lower back.
  • Look for a comfortable chair with firm cushioning and arm rests.
  • The height should be just right so you can plant both feet firmly on the floor.
  • Although there are excellent office chairs that provide full back support, allowing you to rest your shoulder blades fully or are equipped with headrests, the most important feature is the back support. It should allow for free adjustment and should stay firm when set at any particular angle.
  • The seat should be wide enough to cover all of your buttocks and part of your thighs.
  • Maintain proper posture at all times, keeping your wrist straight and your back upright.
  • Keep your eyes level and take breaks every 30 to 60 minutes for 1 to 5 minutes.
Desk Ergonomics
  • Aim for a worktable that is wide enough to spread several sheets on together with other essentials like your laptop, books and pens.
  • Glass and other reflective surfaces are not recommended.
  • Look for a table with one or more drawers where you can easily get office tools and supplies.
  • Your thighs should have enough clearance under the table.
Laptop Rules
  • It is recommended that you use a separate keyboard and mouse when working on a desk.
  • Keep your wrists and elbows at the right position to avoid joint and nerve problems like carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Rest your eyes every 30 to 60 minutes.
Monitor Guidelines
  • Maintain the proper viewing angle of 15 to 30 degrees vertically and horizontally to prevent eyestrain.
  • Use glare-reducing materials to protect your eyes especially when working on long periods.
  • Take a 5 to 10-minute break to rest your eyes every hour.
  • The size of the screen or monitor will determine the proper viewing distance. Monitors measuring 15 to 17 inches require you to be around 32 to 40 inches away.
About the Mouse and Keyboard
  • The mouse and keyboard should be directly in front of the person.
  • Check that the height and angle are right to prevent joint and nerve problems especially on the wrists.
  • These should also be of the right distance, not too close to the user.
  • The wrists should be level as you type and the elbows bent at around 90 degrees to maintain a comfortable angle. Avoid hunching the shoulders.
  • Take a couple minutes of break every 60 minutes.
Rules on Posture
  • Sit all the way and rest your back against the chair’s back support.
  • Plant your feet firmly on the floor.
  • Do not overreach or put the computer too close in front of you.
  • Take regular breaks and watch out for signs of pain or discomfort.