The Power of Ergonomics: Boosting Productivity the Healthy Way
Updated: Aug 28
*Scroll to the end of the post to see some of our favorite ergonomic tools!*
At Taproot Chiropractic, we believe in the power of the human body and its ability to heal and thrive when provided with the right conditions. While many people may think of ergonomics as just another corporate buzzword, it's much more than that. Currently, 86% of Americans work behind a computer and 12.3% (up from 4.5% before 2020) of Texas children are homeschooled. Office and home office ergonomics are now an essential aspect of our daily lives that impacts our health, well-being, and efficiency.
Understanding Office and Home Ergonomics.
Office ergonomics is about designing workspaces to fit individuals—a science that aspires to create health, comfort, and minimize injury risks. Unfortunately, there's no universal solution; customization is key.
Boosting Productivity with Ergonomics.
Several peer-reviewed studies have shown a direct correlation between office ergonomics and productivity.
A study published in The International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics found that ergonomically optimized workspaces led to significant improvements in productivity. Employees reported reduced discomfort, increased job satisfaction, and improved mental concentration, which contributed to enhanced productivity.
Another study published in The Journal of Safety Research revealed that ergonomic interventions could effectively reduce musculoskeletal disorders, a leading cause of work-related disability and lost productivity.
The Basics of Office Ergonomics.
Use the 90 degree rule!
While sitting, your hip, knee, and ankle joints should all be at 90 degrees. Your chair should support your lower back, and your feet should be flat on the floor.
If you are short, buy a small stool to place under your desk as a footrest. If you’re tall, get a desk with longer legs or place (sturdy) objects under the legs to elevate it. Also, we LOOOVE ball-chairs to retain motion in the hips and low back while working. Can’t fit a ball-chair in your office? Try putting a stability disc in your chair instead!
When you sit at your desk your shoulders should be relaxed. Your elbows should be at 90 degrees and your wrists should be in a neutral position as you type and use your mouse.
Move your keyboard and mouse close enough that you don’t have to reach for them. Also, make sure your desktop is low enough that your shoulders are comfortable.
Your screen should be high enough that your gaze naturally falls in the top ⅓ of the screen. Position your screen an arm’s length away from your body to avoid neck strain.
If you work on a laptop, have a docking station with an external keyboard and mouse at your workstation.
Sit up straight and avoid slouching or leaning on your desk. Your ears should be stacked directly over your shoulders, your shoulders should be relaxed and stacked directly over your hips. Your wrists should be neutral while typing so your hands float over the keyboard. Avoid resting your wrists on your desk in between tasks. Lower your chair armrests to avoid unconsciously leaning on them.
If you feel the need to slouch or lean, it’s time to get up or change positions.
Take Regular Breaks
Stand up, stretch, and walk around every 30 minutes to prevent muscle stiffness and fatigue.
If you have an adjustable desk, changing positions every 30 minutes will prevent fatigue and minimize your chance of office related repetitive stress injuries.
Optimize Your Workspace Layout
Keep commonly used items within easy reach to minimize repetitive movements and strain.
Invest in Ergonomic Accessories
Consider tools like an adjustable monitor stand, adjustable sitting to standing desk, ergonomic keyboard, or a document holder. If you’re working from home, have a dedicated workspace that you can tailor to your body.
Avoid working on the couch, at the kitchen table, or standing at a countertop. It is almost impossible to find a good ergonomic position in these places.
Don’t let Pain Linger
If you’ve injured yourself, get checked by a doctor who specializes in musculoskeletal disorders like a Doctor of Chiropractic. Many studies have shown that choosing drug-free, non-invasive approaches to pain first is more cost-effective, leads to less overall down-time, and can keep injuries from becoming chronic. The traditional medical approach to musculoskeletal injures often masks issues until there is no other option than surgery.
At Taproot Chiropractic, we know the power of a body in balance. Office ergonomics is not just about productivity; it's about creating a healthier, happier work environment that respects and supports our natural biomechanics.
A small investment in ergonomics now can lead to significant returns in productivity, employee well-being, and overall business success. Let's invest in our health and productivity, one ergonomically designed workspace at a time.
If you would like to speak to one of our doctors personally about workplace ergonomics or get care for yourself or your family, give us a call at 830-999-7668 (ROOT) or Schedule Online HERE.
Some of our favorite ergonomic tools: