Ergonomic Lighting Tips for the Office and Home

By Ryan Fogel,

When you hear the term “office ergonomic,” the first things you will think about are chairs, desks and keyboards. While all of these are crucial to proper office ergonomics, ergonomic lighting is also crucial, as it is able to prevent the development of a condition known as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) that presents with symptoms such as blurred vision, neck pain, headaches, itchy eyes, insomnia among others. Furthermore, poor lighting can contribute to general discomfort, drop in productivity, an increased propensity for errors, plummeting morale and a sharp reduction in mental alertness.

Many workers do not take ergonomic lighting seriously and it’s common to see someone hunched over their keyboard in a dim lighted room or typing away under harsh, fluorescent lighting. For sensible ergonomic lighting interventions that can keep your eyes healthy and help to avoid neck pain, here are a few tips:

1. Work Under Lights Not Too High or Too Low

When office lights are too dim, this will cause employees to squint or strain their eyes to see what’s on the screen. Not only does it reduce efficiency, it can cause vision to deteriorate over time. The problems are similar with bright lights, especially as they make images on computer screens appear washed out. The ideal scenario is to have employees able to read what’s on their screen without having to strain. For a dim room, put in a little brightness with supplemental table lighting. For bright rooms, consider taking one or two bulbs out to reduce the brightness.

2. Go for a Soft Yellow Light

Lights that are yellow toned are much easier on the eyes and have a pleasing effect on mood. Although many workplaces go fluorescent because of the numerous benefits it offers, chief of which is energy savings. This issue can be addressed by using the newest generation of incandescents. While they will not be as efficient as fluorescents, they are not as detrimental to your vision.

3. Watch the Placement of Your Lighting

Regardless of the light you settle for, one area of concern you may deal with is glare, especially when it comes to computer screens. That’s why indirect lighting is the best. Never position lights to bounce off the screen. Also, try out glare filters for computer screens, and glare shields for immovable lights that shine too brightly.

4. Keep Monitors Away from Windows

Screens near windows pose a high risk of glare. What’s more, if a window is placed directly behind a screen, it can create a situation where there is too high of a contrast between the screen brightness and that of the window, making it hard for employees to see what’s on the screen. If screens cannot be placed in another position, a mitigation strategy is to use blinds and drapes, and window tinting.

5. Adjust Lighting with the Time of Day

Staring at bright screens throughout the day has the capacity to influence circadian rhythms and interrupt sleep. To prevent this, you can download an automatic screen brightening detection app to either brighten or dim screens throughout the day.

To have a Specialist examine your lighting situation and to achieve an optimal ergonomic workstation, it is important to hire a Specialist to examine your current workplace.  At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we can evaluate your current workspace, find ways to make it more ergonomic, and then provide and install the necessary equipment to do so. To learn more, contact us today!

  Filed under: Ergonomics at Home, Ergonomics Office Design, Ergonomics Risk Management
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Improving Work Posture While Sitting

By Ryan Fogel,

On average, most of us spend up to 12-13 hours daily sitting in front of the computer. What we may not be aware of is just how much our poor posture is affecting our health. There are many negative impacts of poor posture on our bodies, including: rounded shoulders, potbelly, muscle fatigue in the neck and back, headaches, and other bodily pains.

Failure to sit properly can cause these ailments to become worse and potentially have life-altering side effects, such as a permanent change to your spinal cord. Poor sitting posture doesn’t just cause a temporary strain or discomfort, but long-term negative effects.

Tips for Better Ergonomics

To prevent chronic neck and back pain and other health issues that affect productivity, it is essential to practice better ergonomics. The term ergonomics refers to tailoring sitting and work tools to fit your body and improve health conditions. Here are some helpful tips that can improve posture and reduce pain in the body.

1. Practice Neutral Posture

The neutral posture is the natural alignment position of your back when sitting. If the natural alignment of the spine is compromised due to slouching, hunching, or injury, this can lead to spinal compression, nerve pinching, and muscle tension. To achieve a neutral position sitting at your work desk or at home, do the following:

  • Position your monitor at eye level, so you don’t have to tilt the head
  • Pull your shoulders back and let your back rest flat against the chair
  • Ensure your feet are rested on the ground without the legs or ankles crossed
  • Keep your upper back straight, use a lumbar support tool if necessary. This also prevents slouching.

2. Watch for Back and Neck Pain

Watch out for symptoms such as stiffness and soreness in you back, shoulders and neck. If you observe symptoms, ensure you make daily or regular notes to track any habit or routine that may be causing or contributing to your pain. Using this information, you can begin to make the necessary adjustments to your posture to effectively prevent any stiffness or soreness in your muscles while seated.

3. Give Yourself Movement Breaks

One of the major reasons why the work desk causes back pain and chronic diseases is because it limits your movement. Research has found that taking regular movement breaks every 30 minutes helps reduce the health risks posed by sitting for extended periods of time. It is vital to make time for scheduled breaks and good posture exercises during sedentary work.

4. Use Ergonomic Supports

It can be tough to maintain a neutral posture when sitting at a desk. It is difficult to remain in alignment due to years of poor posture habits. Thankfully, excellent support products make it possible to attain a neutral seated posture and build healthy ergonomic habits.

Some of these kinds of products include adjustable ergonomic chairs with headrests and lumbar supports, footrests, and workstation components like monitor arms, keyboard trays, and ergonomic mouse. A popular option today is the “sit-stand” desk, which allows switching between sitting and standing easily.

5. Create an Ergonomic Workstation

Set up an ergonomic workstation if you want to achieve complete body wellness. A properly set up ergonomic workstation will:

  • Allow for full range of motion
  • Have items placed at the correct distance to prevent reaching
  • Provide adequate leg room and foot placement
  • Alleviate hunched posture

To achieve an optimal ergonomic workstation, it is important to hire a Specialist to examine your current workplace. At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we can evaluate your current workspace, find ways to make it more ergonomic, and then provide and install the necessary equipment to do so. To learn more, contact us today!

  Filed under: Ergonomic Injury Prevention, Ergonomics Risk Management, Ergonomics Training, Workplace Injury Reduction
  Comments: None