Key Office Design Tips to Avoid Computer-related Illness

by Sudarsan

With the rise of the fourth industrial revolution also came the rise of a host of new diseases that humanity never had to contend with before: Computer back, tennis elbow, mouse shoulder, lumbar sprains, computer vision syndrome, and carpal tunnel syndrome. 

If your work requires you to look at a computer screen all day, you can maximize your office design to protect your body. Here are some ways you can avoid computer-related illnesses through good office design.

Follow office ergonomics

Ergonomics is simply the science, art, and discipline of improving people’s efficiency and health through their working environment. This means that everything in your office—from your chair to your screen to your lighting and how everything is laid out—should serve you so that you are not straining any part of your body to do your work properly and efficiently.

Here are some key office ergonomics that you need to incorporate into your desk and office:

By making sure that everything in your office is ergonomic, you help protect your body from back pains, eye strain, and other computer-related problems. 

  • When it comes to having an ergonomic desk, remember that your priority is proper posture. Make sure that the top of your computer monitor or laptop screen is at eye level or only slightly below. The screen should be at least 20 to 28 inches away from your face.
  • Your upper back should be straight, and your shoulders should be relaxed on both sides.
  • Your arms must be relaxed on both sides, with your lower arm and upper arm forming a 90-degree angle. Your wrists should also be straight, and your fingers should be relaxed as well.
  • Your backrest needs to be supported by your chair. There are plenty of ergonomic chairs in the market. Your hips should be as far back from the chair as possible.
  • Your lower legs must be at a 90 or 110-degree angle to your thighs, with enough legroom above.
  • Your chair should also be adjustable so you can set it to your optimal height. Your feet must be flat on the ground or resting on a footrest.

Check your devices’ brightness setting

Computer vision syndrome, also known in some parts as digital eye strain, is a real condition that can cause the following symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain
  • Dry eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Shoulder and neck pain

Here are some rules to ensure that your devices’ brightness settings are optimized for your productivity and the health of your eyes:

  • The general rule of thumb is that the brightness of your device should be set in a way that won’t cause you to strain or squint your eyes just for you to be able to see properly.
  • Hold a blank sheet of paper next to the screen and try to copy the brightness of it.
  • Generally, the brighter the room, the brighter your screen needs to be. Too much brightness and too much darkness can both be harmful to your eyes.
  • If your devices no longer allow you to adjust the brightness, have it checked by Samsung screen repair specialists to ensure that the problem is fixed before you look at the device the whole day.

Mind your office’s lighting

Here are some tips you need to know to find the perfect and most optimal lighting for your office:

  • There is a standard set by the United States General Services Administration (GSA) which specifies what a normal American workstation requires for good lighting. It’s 500 lumens per square meter. The rule is not all that complicated: It simply means that every six by six (or 36 square-foot) space should have at least a 35-watt incandescent bulb. If you need more perspective on it, most desk lamps use a 60-watt bulb that generates 800 lumens.
  • The GSA also sets lighting standards that specify which fixtures are best for working and how to adjust certain lighting settings and placements to minimize shadows. 
  • They also recommend the use of LED lights because they are cheaper, don’t use as much energy as traditional bulbs, have a longer life span than their older counterparts, don’t generate infrared radiation, don’t cause headaches in people who are prone to migraines and can be dimmed to match the season or the time of day.

The Bottom Line

We may think that the way our workstation is set up doesn’t matter, but this is a grave mistake since it can cause long-term pains in our bodies. Take time out of your day to spruce up your office to boost your productivity and keep yourself healthy, too.

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