In our digitally dominated work environments, the importance of an ‘ergonomic assessment for DSE’ cannot be overstated. Whether it’s a desktop in the office or a laptop at the kitchen table, our daily engagement with display screen equipment (DSE) has profound implications for our posture and overall health. Recognising this, our Health, Safety, and Wellbeing manager, Noora Mättö, emphasises proper ergonomic evaluation to prevent the discomfort and strain associated with prolonged DSE use. This blog serves as a guide for both employers and employees to establish and maintain good posture while using any DSE, supporting wellbeing and productivity.
A correctly arranged workstation is the cornerstone of good posture. Let’s break down what this should look like:
- Screen Height and Distance: The top of your monitor should be at eye level and about an arm’s length away. This prevents you from bending your neck up or down as you look at the screen, reducing strain.
- Shoulder Position: Keep your shoulders relaxed. Your chair height should be such that you don’t hunch or shrug to use your keyboard.
- Keyboard and Mouse Placement: Your keyboard should be placed just below elbow height, allowing your arms to rest comfortably. Align your mouse with your elbow to avoid reaching or straining.
- Seating: The height of your seat should evenly support both the front and back of your thighs. If necessary, use a cushion to raise your seated position. There should be a small gap (2-3 cm) between the front of the seat and the back of your knees.
- Back Support: The back of the seat should support your lower back adequately. If not, use a cushion to prevent slouching and encourage a natural spine curve.
- Workstation Layout: Ensure the computer and screen are directly in front of you to prevent twisting your back. The screen and keyboard should be central on the desk.
Despite their portability and convenience, laptops often present ergonomic challenges due to their compact and fixed design. To transform your laptop into an ergonomically efficient workstation, consider these adjustments:
- Peripheral Integration: Attach a separate keyboard and mouse. This allows you to position the laptop on a stand or riser, elevating the screen to an optimal viewing height without affecting your ability to type and navigate comfortably.
- Elevated Viewing: When prolonged use is expected, connect your laptop to an external monitor. This setup enables you to maintain the top of the display at eye level, a key factor in preserving good posture without sacrificing the utility of your laptop’s own keyboard and trackpad.
Making these manageable adjustments can lead to major improvements in your posture and comfort, ensuring that even the most mobile workspaces promote a healthy, ergonomic setup.
But it’s not just about the initial setup. Employers have a duty to engage in continuous education and regular evaluations to ensure these setups remain optimal. It’s about creating a culture where adjustments and breaks are as natural as the tasks, and employees feel empowered to take ownership of their workspace comfort.
To encapsulate, embracing the correct posture and ergonomics is synonymous with nurturing a productive and healthy work environment. The effort to understand and implement these ergonomic guidelines is a testament to a collective commitment to workplace health — an intelligent move for employers looking to minimise health risks and for employees aiming to preserve their comfort and well-being.
As the boundaries between work and home blur, taking the initiative to fine-tune your workspace can mean the difference between enduring the day and enjoying it.
Are you prepared to prioritise the health of your team and optimise your workplace ergonomics? Contact us on 01387 248811 or drop us an email at email@example.com for further details. Your journey towards a healthier, more efficient workspace begins here!