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Healthy workplace: This is important!

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 337 views

healthy workplace is worth its weight in gold. Because working on the computer is physically demanding: Constant sitting and one-sided and cramped postures lead to muscle tension, postural damage and pain. An ergonomically designed workplace counteracts this. With this checklist you can check whether your office workplace is beneficial to your health and how you can set up a healthy workplace in the office and home office.

What is important for a healthy workplace?

More than 20 million workers work at the computer and mostly sitting down. This one-sided load can cause tension and poor posture. Complaints are even more likely if you don’t have a healthy workspace in place.

In this checklist you can find out what this looks like and what you need to pay attention to when setting up your office or home office .

1. Ergonomic setup of a healthy workplace

Is your office chair individually adjustable and optimally adapted to your height? Do you have the opportunity to change the sitting position on the chair more often? The backrest should move with you so that you can sometimes lean back and sometimes sit upright.

  • Is your desk height-adjustable and does it offer enough space for your work equipment? Your legroom should not be restricted under the desk either. Ideally, your desk will allow you to work both sitting and standing. Its surface should not mirror or reflect.
  • Storage furniture such as containers or cupboards should be safe, functional and easy to use.
  • Are all the cables well stowed away so that there are no tripping hazards, but the cables are also not crushed or kinked? Are there reliably fixed sockets that are easy to reach? This is especially useful if you alternately work with the laptop in the home office and in the office and have to plug it in and out regularly.

2. Computer, mouse and keyboard

  • The screen does not dazzle and meets current standards? Have you positioned the computer at right angles to the window so that daylight does not interfere with the view of the screen? Make sure that the computer screen is large enough and that the height and inclination are optimal for you.
  • As for the keyboard, your hands dictate the perfect position and tilt. The wrists should not be twisted, the overall posture should be relaxed. Do your fingers rest comfortably on the keyboard? Can you read the captions well?
  • If you work in the home office with a laptop, think about a separate keyboard and holder to type more ergonomically and to set the screen higher
  • The computer mouse should also fit snugly in the hand; This means that it is rounded towards the ball of the hand and flattened towards the front, where the fingers are located. It is adapted to your hand size and you can easily operate the switching elements.
  • If you are working on a laptop, a mouse is also helpful because you can vary your arm angle more often by changing your grip, the shape of ergonomic mice supports a natural hand position and you can use the cursor arrow more precisely.
  • Possibly forearm supports and palm rests should be available.
  • If you use a laptop stationary: Ask your employer for an additional, external monitor. It can be adjusted ergonomically.

Tip: Get yourself a non-slip pad (mousepad) so that the mouse works properly.

3. Work organization in a healthy workplace

  • Take regular, short breaks from your computer work.
  • As a rule of thumb, you should take a five-minute screen break for every hour you work.
  • Movement breaks can also be promoted through the organization of work: Place your phone on a standing desk or set up the printer a few meters away from the desk. Going over to your colleagues when you need something from them instead of calling or writing an email also keeps things moving in between.
  • In the home office, it is best to set a timer that reminds you at regular intervals to get up and walk a few steps.
  • There are also apps for Android and iOS specially designed for this reminder function, which sometimes also suggest gymnastics exercises for the short break. Ideal: Also do a lap around the block during the lunch break.

4. Lighting

  • Is there harmonious, flicker-free and glare-free basic lighting in your office?
  • In addition, you should have an individually adjustable light at your workplace.
  • The proportion of daylight should be as high as possible, but can be regulated by blinds if, for example, the sun is dazzling.
  • Are the computer screens set up in such a way that there are as few light reflections as possible?

5. Indoor climate

  • Are you comfortable with temperature and humidity? Ideally, the office should be 21 degrees Celsius and 40 to 60 percent humidity.
  • You should air your office or your home office area at home several times a day . Brief airing is most effective for air exchange. Rooms with windows are definitely preferable to air-conditioned offices.
  • Bring fresh green to the workplace. Plants improve the indoor climate significantly and can even break down air pollutants. You can read more about this in this text about indoor plants .

6. Reduce noise for a healthy workplace

  • Can you concentrate well? If not, it might be because of the ambient noise. Constantly used printers and other noisy devices should best be banished to an adjoining room. This also has the advantage that you have to get up to reach them and thus get some exercise in between.
  • In an open-plan office, noise barriers between individual workstations can help to reduce noise exposure for individuals.
  • If you hear every peep from the neighbors in your home office, if you live on a busy street or if your partner or children are also in the apartment, headphones with a noise-cancelling function block out the noise at the push of a button.

In addition, the internet connection should be stable and fast. If you regularly work from home, switching providers can be worthwhile to save time and nerves. After all, being able to work as stress-free as possible is also an important factor when setting up a healthy workplace .

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