An ergonomic workplace, cites OSHA.gov, “lessens muscle fatigue, increases productivity..."

Designers work tirelessly to come up with innovations for work spaces, with technology dictating form and function. One major factor is ergonomics — efficiency and physicality in a work environment.

An ergonomic workplace, cites OSHA.gov, “lessens muscle fatigue, increases productivity, and reduces the number and severity of work-related MSDs,” or muscular skeletal disorders, which include carpel tunnel syndrome and muscle strains, especially in the lower back.

Three important ergonomic office trends are:  

Adjustable-height desks

Patricia Bowling, vice president of communications for American Home Furnishings Alliance, sees this as the “biggest trend” because, as ergoexperts.com points
out, the human body is designed to be in motion.

“When you sit all day, even in a healthy ergonomic sitting posture, your overall health goes into decline. Alternating between sitting and standing positions is critical,” she said.

More than just an elevated work station, motorized desks like those from Twin Star International, a Florida-based manufacturer, can have a timer built in as a reminder to stand, and some designs can be preset for sitting and standing heights.

Ergonomic chairs


Health experts contribute to design and construction with a focus on posture, neck and shoulders, back and hips. Quality office chairs adjust to address these issues, as well as offer comfort.

Bradington-Young has a new office chair with a heated back, while the “Best Overall Office Chair” for 2018 is Herman Miller’s Embody, with a flexible exoskeleton back that provides a “floating” experience, according to ergonomictrends.com.

Users need to test-sit many chairs and read product reviews before purchasing.

Expect to pay a premium for a true, ergonomically correct chair, which often may cost more than the desk. The Embody, for instance, retails for about $1,300.

Anti-fatigue mats

The purpose is to take the strain off legs and back that may occur if standing on a hard surface. Popular materials are rubber, gel and memory foam. 

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