With the body as the most important tool

Ergonomics is at its best when we can customise our working environment so that it yields optimal results both for us and for the tasks we are to carry out. In order to do this, we need to understand something about our incomparable body. Lena Lehmann, ergonomist and qualified physiotherapist, tells us what.

The anatomical configuration of the backbone has an S-like shape, which we should try to maintain as far as possible when we sit. We can do this, for example, with the aid of ergonomically-shaped chairs, and by varying our working position between sitting and standing.

Movement

Human beings are in every respect created for movement, and our functions – from the nervous system to digestion – depend on the fact that we move. We therefore need to create ergonomic environments with flexible and customisable work tools and furniture which provide scope for physical activity.

Recuperation

Recuperation is as important as activity. It is not enough to take a few weeks off per year – we need to regularly consider active rest from tension comes relaxation, and vice versa. A good working environment creates the necessary conditions for recuperation during work shifts.

The back

The anatomical configuration of the backbone has an s-like shape, which we should try to maintain as far as possible when we sit. We can do this, for example, with the aid of ergonomically-shaped chairs, and by varying our working position between sitting and standing.

Neck and shoulders

Good ergonomics for the neck and shoulders means creating environments where we can work with relaxed neck and shoulders, take regular breaks and vary our working posture to stimulate the flow of blood, as well as offering a good indoor environment with adequate lighting. The design of the furniture and individual customisation make a beneficial distribution of weight possible.

Hands and arms

Office work is generally not heavy work, but it involves the frequent repetition of the same small movements in the hands and forearms during the working day. This kind of excessive strain can be prevented with the aid of good work tools and by changing our working posture from time to time.