Why You Need an Ergonomic Desk Setup Now
1. Increased Manpower Working on Laptops/Desktops:
As recently as a decade back a majority of the employees were not working on laptops and desktops. A normal office day included a significant amount of physical activity as the employees had to move around between different departments in an office. For example, a materials executive had to physically visit the raw materials store for conducting an inventory check or a production executive had to physically visit the human resources department to submit his leave application card. But with the advent of information technology and all departments getting integrated on a single software platform, a significantly higher proportion of the manpower started working on laptops/desktops and rarely leaving their workstations during office hours. This has led to a significant increase in the sedentary lifestyle of employees, even in office.
2. Increased Number of People Working from Home with Poorly Designed Furniture:
Initially “work from home”, a rare phenomenon, was only restricted to freelancers, consultants and select people working in advisory functions across multiple corporations. Thanks to the pandemic-induced nationwide lockdowns, industries have had to migrate to a “work from home” culture for most employees, if not all. Home furniture which is primarily designed to relax and unwind is now being used by executives for doing office work over long hours. The use of non-ergonomic furniture like sofas, recliners, beds, cots, etc. by the employees to conduct official business is taking a heavy toll on their physical and mental well-being. Studies have revealed that the use of such non-ergonomic furniture is a major cause for the increased number of people getting affected with musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) and a rapidly deteriorating vision.
3. Increased Number of People Suffering from Lower Back Pain, Neck and Spinal Injuries, etc.:
Compared to the previous generation’s lifestyle, contemporary urban living is marked by a significantly increased sedentary lifestyle with minimal physical activity. A drastic increase in screen-time, managing multiple mobility devices, reduced usage of public transport vis a vis private conveyance and lesser time devoted to routine physical activity are some of the key factors which have led to a surge in the number of people suffering from lower back pain, neck and spinal injuries, severe headaches and eye strain. Adding sustained use of non-ergonomic furniture only aggravates the situation and the lifestyle ailments rapidly deteriorate into acute chronic diseases.
4. Ergonomic Desk Improves Employee Productivity and Health:
The use of an ergonomic desk wherein an employee sits in the correct work-posture during office hours plays a major role in making the employee healthier and happier. It not only prevents the employee from injuring himself inadvertently but also enhances his productivity significantly. No industry wishes to injure its employees and hence there is increasing awareness amongst enterprises to ensure the mandatory use of ergonomic furniture for office work, regardless of whether the employee is working in a conventional office setup or from home. Some organizations are also helping their work from home employees to setup ergonomic furniture at their homes and reimbursing the cost of the same.
How to Setup an Ergonomic Desk
A perfect yet practical posture during working hours is hard to maintain, considering how most of us are used to slouching and sitting with a bent spine. So how do you inculcate the habit of using a healthy posture? Keep the following tips in mind when you sit on your office chair the next time:
- Is your lower back curve supported? If not, either press against the lumbar back support in your chair or add a towel or two to create a support.
- Be mindful of your head and neck. Are you craning your neck without knowing it?
- Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet rest flat on the footrest or floor, and the armrests such that your arms are relaxed by your side and parallel to the desk.
- Though the ideal backrest recline angle is usually 100-110°, adjust the same as per your comfort and physique.
2. Work Desk
Your work desk design decides the amount of clearance and space your knees, thighs and feet will have. Too low, it becomes a cramming headache or too high and you will find yourself fidgeting with the seat height. Measure the height from your waist to your feet while sitting on your work chair. This is the optimum height of your table. Add a footrest in case you end up purchasing a slightly higher table.
3. Computer Monitor
If your work involves desktop usage, then it is best to start arranging your screen first. Positioning your screen at an arm’s length not only prevents neck-craning but also reduces the hazard of screen glare. Ideally, the top third of your monitor should be positioned at your seated eye level.
4. Placement of Keyboard, Mouse and Other Office Accessories
The placement of common office accessories is naturally dependent on their utility and frequency of use. The position of your keyboard should be such as to keep your wrists straight while typing, and the mouse should be placed at a close distance. The objective is to reduce reaching out as much as possible. If you opt for a raised keyboard, then the height should be adjusted so that the shoulders are relaxed and your elbows are slightly parted, in an open position (100-110°).
For other accessories, like telephone, staplers, post-it, etc., aim for “keep work close” – The higher the frequency of using the object, the closer it should be kept. So chuck that dust-laden pen stand right at the back, and make space for your everyday notes.
5. Ergonomic Office Chair
When it comes to ergonomic comfort, your throne aka your office chair design is paramount. While there are several factors to keep in mind while considering a well-designed chair, listed below are some of the most impactful ones:
Seat Height, Width and Depth:Each attribute of your seat contributes to an overall comfortable and stress-free work experience. While an optimum seat height guarantees a good weight distribution and reduces stress on your feet, an optimum seat depth reduces spinal discomfort and a good seat width optimizes pressure on the thighs and provides good armrest distance. Opt for a chair with a flexible seat depth, as seat height adjustments are normally a compulsory feature in office chairs.
Lumbar Support/Backrest:What is lumbar support and why is this necessary? Lumbar is the name given to the lower portion of the spine, just above the buttocks, which naturally curves inward toward the belly. Lumbar back support is vital as it encourages good posture by filling the gap between the lumbar region and the seat. A chair with a well-designed lumbar back would also help in preventing back pain and any spinal discomfort in the long run.
Fabric:As is the norm in everything around us, the quality of the materials that construct the final product makes or breaks the whole utility of the design. Fabrics used in an office chair, if chosen well, magnify comfort levels to a great extent. Want to get rid of sweaty, slick thighs and that wet feeling when you get up from your chair after long hours of work? Reconsider your chair's upholstery. Look for fabrics that promote breathability and allow the skin on your thighs and legs to breathe. While leather and vinyl are the most popular choices for office chairs nowadays, the lesser-known and still new in the market mesh fabric offers maximum breathability and long term comfort. Woven and knit material, with a poly-cot composition is also a good option, as it allows your skin to breathe freely.
Armrests:Armrests provide support to the upper parts of your forearm, thus reducing stress on your shoulders and back. Despite being crucial to your overall comfort, armrests need to be both long enough to support those lanky forearms, and short enough to allow you to draw close to the desk and allow unrestricted movement. To satisfy these requirements, consider opting for soft, replaceable/removable armrests.
Top-10 Products to Setup Your Ergonomic Desk
1. ConSet Electric Height Adjustable Desk:
From the world-renowned Danish brand ConSet, this sleek, versatile and height-adjustable desk comes with an ergonomically designed single telescopic frame. While its square columns give it a modern edge, its sleek tabletop gives it a light feel. Stylish, modern with an open frame design, the desk features adjustable height from 68 – 115 cm and is suited for all types of office environments. The desk has a load-bearing capacity of 80 kg and the electrically adjustable height enables you to work both in sitting as well as standing position comfortably. Priced at ₹ 36,500.00 you can check it out on Ergo Desks.
2. Innowin High Back Office Chair:
Looking for an all-in-one feature-packed office chair? Innowin's High Back Office Chair might just be the thing for you. Complete with a built-in 2D lumbar back support with adjustable height and depth, the chair features adjustable arms and an optimum ergonomic design. Five 60 mm nylon casters have been used in the chair, which increase its durability almost 5 times. The material used on the seat is mesh, which promotes breathability and offers respite from that slick wet discomfort after long hours of work during summers. Available in black colour, the chair is a perfect solution to all your ergonomic design needs and seamlessly pairs with most office accessories. The chair has a maximum load bearing capacity of 120 kg and is ideal for executives with height less than 5 feet 8 inches. It is available for ₹ 17,200.00 on Amazon.
3. Wakefit Back Support Cushion:
Are incessant back pains forcing you to take too much time off from your work? If your back pains are becoming a major hindrance in giving your best to your work, Wakefit has the perfect solution for you. Sporting a long-lasting specially engineered moulded memory foam, the Wakefit Back Support Cushion offers great lumbar support at an affordable price. Providing medium-firm optimal support, the fabric feels soft, velvety and comfortable to touch. And add to all this, a one-year manufacturer warranty! Priced at ₹ 1,223.00 it is available on the Wake Fit website.
4. Casa Copenhagen High Back Ergonomic Chair:
Leatherette has become the staple when it comes to premium, business class office chairs. Durable and sturdy, they are great for heavier people with higher body mass values. Casa Copenhagen’s High Back Ergonomic Chairs set the standard in this category. With a double decker medium firm back support built into a back shaped like a human spine, the chair features premium quality 200 gsm leatherette, making it one of the most comfortable and durable work chair products in the market. The armrests are suitably cushioned with the same fabric, and the height is adjustable, along with a subtle push back feature for extended back support. The chair has a hydraulic pneumatic height adjustment mechanism for increasing the height by up to 5 inches and its maximum load bearing capacity is 120 kg. This easy-to-assemble high back premium chair is available for ₹ 19,999.00 on Amazon.
5. Purpleark Desktop Sit-Stand Desk Converter:
Craving height but don't want to get rid of your favourite work desk? With Purpleark's Desktop Sit-Stand Desk Converter, you can achieve just that without changing a thing about your desk. Just place it on your desk and shift your laptop and keyboard on to this small space appropriate converter. With this innovation, you can convert your desk from a sitting to a standing active office environment on any day, any time without even half the hassle.
Fitted with a gas-spring-assisted lifting mechanism, the height adjustment is smooth and effortless and is done by squeezing a handle at the side. The high-quality table-top features a spacious design offering you a work area of 95 x 40 cm so that you can place your laptop, keyboard and a couple of other things, while the rear of the workspace accommodates both single and dual monitor mounts. All the devices remain secure, thanks to the intelligently embedded grooves and non-skid silicone pads. Affordable and durable, this converter features a high-quality MDF board, known for its high impact resistance. Go ahead and give your desk a functional makeover today! Available on Pureple Ark the pricing of the converter is available on request.
6. Perixx Ergonomic Split Keyboard:
One of the best-selling keyboards from their ergonomic office accessories category, Perixx's Ergonomic Split Keyboard offers a major relief to people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, shoulder freezes and extreme elbow pain. This design takes an innovative approach to the conventional straight rectangular keyboard design, by splitting it into two parts. Now, your shoulder needn't feel crammed as you struggle to accommodate your hands into a short space to type. With this design, you can easily spread up and let your shoulders relax and employ the most relaxing typing gesture.
The surface of the keyboard is curved and features a 3D design to emulate the curvature of human fingers, while a tactile keystroke design and reduced key travel distance has been used to reduce pressure application while typing. An integrated palm rest further reduces wrist pain. It is available on Amazon for ₹ 19,999.00.
7. Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard:
Another one of the most successful keyboard designs is the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard, which features a generous integrated space for palm and wrist support. One of the most interesting unique features it boasts of is its detachable design, which helps elevate the front part, creating a mild slope at the back. This offers another ergonomic angle to type. The keys are designed to minimize typing noise. An interesting combination of extra keys are included, unique to this product alone, for example a zoom-out slider and a Previous-Next key is available on the extended palm support area. Though the keyboard will take a week or two to get used to, it is definitely worth it. Priced at ₹ 12,999.00 you can check it out on Amazon.
8. The White Willow Foam Footrest:
Scientifically designed for optimum comfort, The White Willow Foam Footrest is just what you need to relieve those aching heels and stretched feet. We've all known the stress of buying a footrest, only to realise that the material is hardly durable. This is where White Willow gets it right. So, while the premium hard grade foam helps relieve extreme pressure points and maintain a comfortable work posture, the anti-skid outer mesh surface is removable/replaceable, and of a premium quality which absorbs better than cotton. Forget worrying about washing your footrest repeatedly, with a fabric finish which is both hypoallergenic and anti-microbial, so no more odours or hyper allergic reactions! The material at the back is also anti-skid, so that you don't keep bumping your heel in the floor and the footrest remains put once installed. This comfortable and stylish footrest having dimensions 17 x 12 x 4 inches is available for ₹ 2,599.00 on Amazon.
9. Striff Patented Riser Laptop Stand:
With work from home becoming a trend of its own, adjustable laptop stands have become the new in-demand work office accessories. If you plan to get more comfy and relaxed in your work environment, try incorporating Striff Patented Riser Laptop Stand to your work desk. With an adjustable angling mechanism going up to 60° and with 7 adjustable height options from 2.7 inches to 6.7 inches, it doubles up to serve as a laptop stand, book stand and a tablet stand too for those binge streaming hours. In order to ensure your laptop's durability, the whole stand features cut-out air vents and it has been drop tested to guarantee a 25 kg load capacity. Despite all the features, it is ridiculously lightweight due to its ultralight hard plastic frame. It is available for ₹ 1,499.00 on Amazon.
10. Microware Ergonomic Vertical Mouse:
Wrist pain making it a major hassle to use your daily work mouse? Microware Vertical Mouse innovation is just the answer to all your wrist pain problems. The mouse is a major shift from the usual horizontally placed mouse in that it is designed to be used in a vertically standing position, so that your hand is placed like you are holding a can. This design has many benefits like providing better support to your forearm and reducing the clicking pressure, apart from minimizing wrist pain arising from twisting. The mouse also features high sensitivity keys which makes it easier to shift between 800/1200/1600 DPI levels while also being less noisy. The product has been tested to endure up to 5 million clicks while also possessing fast recharging capacity. This ergonomic mouse costs ₹ 3,499.00 and is available on Amazon.
Never Take Your Work Ergonomics Lightly
We hope this BP Guide would have helped you to understand that you should not take your ergonomics lightly while doing office work. There are many products and accessories for you to consider which can prevent injuries while doing office work, both at home and in the office. Share your experiences of setting up an ergonomic work desk and stay connected with us.