Hints for workplace design
Just five times of short standing up on a long afternoon and two meters to the next cabinet can leverage the blood circulation. But the comfort of modern offices misleads to just sit at the desk. Here are some hints, how movements can be easily integrated in the work process.
Creating organisatorial and technical requirements
- Printer, fax machine or even the telephone can be arranged not in the actual space within reach.
- Don not place folders or wall depositories directly on the workstation (preferably within a few meters distance).
- Creating opportunities for informal communication close to the workstation.
- Creating opportunities for working in a standing position.
- Equipping of workstations with swivel chairs including a synchronous mechanism, which allow for dynamic sitting.
Integration of movement in work processes
- Making phone calls in a standing position.
- To interchange ideas go to the desk of a colleague for a personal conversation or have a chat when meeting on the hallway. This even saves oneself of inefficient mail correspondence.
- Just allow oneself the luxury of doing some work in a standing position, e.g. the screening of documents or the scratching of first creative approaches.
The correct adjustment of the workstation
Step 1: Adjustment of office chair
- Adjust seat height, so that thigh and shank form a 90° angle.
- Adjust back rest, so that the lower back part (lumbar zone) is optimally supported when sitting in an upright position.
- If possible, adjust seat depth and inclination. When adjusting the seat depth make sure that there is a minimal gap of half a hand’s width between the hollow of the knee and front edge of the seat.
- Adjust armrest height and width, respectively the angle of the armrests. With a loose shoulder posture a soft bracing with the elbow should be possible. Thereby arm and forearm should almost form a right angle.
- If available, adjust height and inclination of head rest, so that the head is optimally supported.
- Adjust back pressure of the synchronous mechanism to your body weight.
Step 2: Adjustment of desk and screen
- First, place the keyboard on the worktop. There should be a gap of 10 to 15cm to the desk front edge. Ergonomic keyboards can be lightly inclined. This opportunity should be used. (Optimal is an inclination between 5° and 12°. The inclination angle should not be more than 15°.)
- If the desk is equipped with an inclinable work disc, the whole worktop can be inclined, too. This makes comfortable handwriting and reading of documents much easier. The inclination angle should not be more than 8°.
- Adjust height of the desk, so when using the keyboard arm and forearm still form a right angle. Forearm and back of the hand should form a straight line.
- Place the screen, so that the sight-distance between eye and screen is at least 50cm. On screens with a bigger size than 17'' a higher distance is necessary (detailed information can be found in BGI 650). When positioning the screen, make sure that no part of the screen protrudes the rear edge of the worktop because of safety guidelines.
- Incline screen to a maximum of 35°.
- Adjust height of screen, so that upper character line is at eye level.
Step 3: Verification of sight condition
Finally check if you are not dazzled directly from artificial or daylight when working at the screen and that there are no reflections or light irradiations. Further information can be found under the menu item “light” and lighting for workstations.
If your desk is not height adjustable, start with step 2 to adjust your work station. The height of the chair is then fitted to the height of the desk. The initial point is the right angle between arm and forearm.
If the optimal height might be too high to stand with both feet easily on the floor, you might need a foot rest.