Last updated on January 7, 2022

The concept of ergonomic design in India serves to facilitate people at their workplace or home. Rather than expecting the worker to adapt to uncomfortable designs, home office ergonomics try to suit the needs of people who are going to use them. It mainly aims to improvise the workspace environment and reduces the chances of any harm or injury.

What is ergonomic design
and Why Should
You Know About It?

What is Ergonomic Design?

Ergonomics in product design is defined as the science of fitting a workplace to the user’s requirements to increase productivity and reduce discomfort. This discipline brings together the knowledge of psychology, engineering, statistics, anatomy, and physiology to ensure that the designs complement the abilities and strength of people and minimize the effects of their limitations.

Moreover, ergonomics in product design ensures you to maintain the best sitting position for lower back pain and upper back pain. You can sit straight without back strain and look at the computer without hurting your eyes and neck. Also, it reduces the strain on the eyes and on the neck as well.

Indian studies and statistics about workplace ergonomics

Occupational safety is prime, especially, today than ever before. But employees and entrepreneurs in India are having trouble to continue working from home. And the reason is their wrong choice of furniture. Take a look at the following statistics on workstation ergonomics.

  • According to an Indian study, a majority of the workers feel uncomfortable in their sitting posture.
  • Around 68% of the employees are not comfortable performing work for a long duration in India.
  • About 30% of the employees perform the workspace activities by raising their hands above shoulder level.
  • Approximately 32% of the employees find it difficult to achieve the goals with the present ergonomic design of their workspace.
  • An IJAR study investigated occupational ergonomics and concluded that organizations need to minimize the repetitive motion tasks that lead to an awkward posture.

Indian law on ergonomics

The Indian Society of Ergonomics, established in 1983, is the only professional body that represents ergonomics in the country. There are various occupational hygiene and safety laws added in the legislation to ease the workers. These laws ensure occupational safety at the workplace.

Now, that you have an understanding of what is ergonomic design, let’s take a deeper look at office ergonomics further.

Elements of ergonomics:
Why is ergonomics crucial
& necessary?

There are ample benefits of ergonomics in product design. The built is to support the areas of your body that suffers from the most strain. Also, this design knows your purpose and gives care likewise! A few few benefits of ergonomics are that they help relieve back pain, neck pain, knee and calf pain. They help relax the muscles and allow you to work even for long.

Let’s start with what generally happens when people buy workstation setup without ergonomic understanding: the symptoms.

What are the common symptoms of not incorporating ergonomics in your daily routine? (ergonomic stressors)

There are three workplace ergonomic stressors that employees need to consider when evaluating a job. These are,

  • The force needed to complete a task
  • The repetitiveness of the task
  • Awkward or static working posture while completing the task

The common symptoms of not incorporating the ergonomic design in daily routine are,

Lower back pain

Discomfort

Low productivity

Eye strains

Difficulty in knee movement

Musculoskeletal disorder symptoms and why ergonomics matter

Musculoskeletal disorders affect joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and bones. The pain can be acute or chronic, depending on the severity. The common symptoms of musculoskeletal disorder symptoms may vary according to the cause of the pain. These are,

Fatigue

Sleep disturbances

Pain that worsens with movement

Aching and stiffness

Muscle twitches

Burning sensations in the muscles

Features of Ergonomics

Let’s take a deeper dive into understanding the features of workplace ergonomics. This will help you understand the reason behind taking care of occupational hygiene.

1. Anthropometry in ergonomics

Anthropometry is the systematic measurement of the physical properties of the human body. These include eye height, hip breadth, knuckle height, distance from the floor to a person’s eyes, overall stature, popliteal height, and distance from the floor
to the back of the knee.

These measurements are done to optimize the fit and functions of the product during design and evaluation. To apply the anthropometric data, there are three basic choices.

  • Design for the average
  • Design for extremes
  • Design for adjustability

Each principle has its own application within a workspace. Designers can go for any of these approaches while using anthropometric data that best suit the given situation.

2. Biomechanics of ergonomics

To enjoy the benefits of ergonomic design, it is mandatory to consider ergonomics and biomechanics as a whole. Biomechanics is the science of movement of the living body. It includes the study of how bones, tendons, ligaments, and joints work together to move.

These models comprise mathematical predictive equations that can be used to estimate loads on the human body. In the case of workstation ergonomics, the body is viewed as a system of levers. Biomechanics in knee joints is complex because it includes the weight of the body and various orientations of the joints in question.

Thus, a comfortable home chair office built ergonomically has all these features that understand your needs.

3. Environmental physics of ergonomics

This branch of ergonomics studies the concepts related to the interaction of people with their physical environment, whether indoor, outdoor, operational, or free-time. These interaction studies may vary from comfortable to traumatic experiences.

The models used in environmental physics are mainly derived from the effects of heat and cold, vibration, noise, and light on the health, comfort, and performance of the people. Keep in mind that it is an integral part of workplace ergonomics and should always be viewed and practiced effectively.

Humans never respond to environmental physics in a way related to direct measures of the physical environment. Certain human characteristics are used to evaluate human responses and sensitivities.

4. Applied psychology aspects

Applied psychology analyzes and derives solutions that allow workers to adapt to their external factors and the company’s internal factors to avoid psychological burdens. Working in a non-ergonomic environment can lead to several dysfunctions, such as stress, anxiety, and phobia. These can limit workers’ abilities and influence their performances directly.

Moreover, it prioritizes examining the workers’ characteristics, social interaction opportunities, habits, culture, and how they are affected by unfavorable working conditions. This aspect presents the importance of ergonomics in product design and how it increases the working ability of an employee on the go.

5. Social psychology aspects

Poor work conditions not only affect the workers physically but also mentally and socially. A non-ergonomic workstation design leads to increased cycle times, awkward posture, low quality of work, and exposure to high forces, which, in turn, increases the mental stress on an individual.

Social psychology effects are a little more discreet but expensive. A bad and uncomfortable ergonomic design, whether in the workplace or at home, breaks their connection from their social life by keeping them engaged in the work for a longer time. The added stress can directly influence a workers’ behavior and decrease human performance.

Now you know the science behind work from home ergonomics and its features that make comfort accessible.

How can you ensure
ergonomics at your
place of work?

Dangers of sitting in a non-ergonomic manner

There is no denying the fact that sitting in a non-ergonomic manner is not healthy in the long run. It not only affects the person physically but also creates mental stress in India. It increases the risk of chronic health problems, such as diabetes, cholesterol, and certain cancers.

The more you sit in a workstation with an ergonomic chair design, the better your chances are for living a healthy life. Hence, the need for ergonomics in product design!

Further, humans are meant for an active lifestyle as their bodily system is built that way. However, nowadays, office culture in India has taken precedence. People need to sit down in the same place for long hours, which affects their body posture and makes them inactive and lazy.

The health diseases that might affect you if your work desk design is not ergonomic include,

Musculoskeletal disorder

Heart and vascular disease

Depression and anxiety

Diabetes

Bad body posture

Changing your workstation to be more ergonomic

Since you are now aware of the dangers of not using an ergonomic design for your workstation, it’s time to modify your workstation according to your physical needs. A safe and healthy workspace is the key to a healthy and productive workforce in India.

Therefore, enterprises and employees need to ensure that the work desk design meets the ergonomic requirements. Keep in mind that all those fancy chairs and desks make no sense for an employee who slouches or slumps awkwardly at their desk.

Let’s check out some of the important aspects related to workspace ergonomics so that organizations can make changes accordingly.

How to Choose an Ergonomic Chair Design?

Here are some things to consider when choosing an ergonomic chair design:

  • Height

The seat height is the first and foremost thing to consider while looking for an ergonomic chair design. The optimal height allows you to keep your feet flat on the floor in India. Therefore, it is always advised to go for chairs with adjustable height.
While everyone has a different height, chairs with lengths that range from 16 to 21 inches work for most people.

  • Lumbar support

Lumbar support refers to the support that is given to your lower back. This is an essential feature and must not be overlooked while looking for an ergonomic design. Good chairs support the natural S shape of the spine to reduce slumping and stress from the lower back and pelvis. One can also use a lumbar support pillow to ease lower back pain. An adjustable backrest allows the users to align the curve in the chair to their spine and enjoy optimal support while working.

  • Cushioning

Cushioning is provided in an ergonomic chair to relieve pressure by distributing weight across the cushion. It encourages occupational safety, better seating posture, and softens an uncomfortable hard seat.

best sitting posture for back pain

  • Movement

While choosing an ergonomically designed chair for a workspace, it is important to select a movable option. Moreover, the choice should be made according to the flooring on which the chair will be placed.
If your chair will be used on a hard surface, find one with soft rubber wheels. However, if it has to be kept on a carpeted surface, select hard wheels with better traction.

  • Armrest

Armrests play an important role while choosing an ergonomic chair design. They reduce the pressure from the upper body and allow the shoulders to relax. The armrest must not be used while typing as it decreases the overall arm movement and affects the work performance. Also, it forces wrist movements that lead to strain on the forearm muscles.

Wakefit’s Chairs and their Ergonomic Design Features

We understand what an ergonomically-built office setup can do. Our work from home furniture take care of your back with lumbar support pillow to knowing the biomechanics of knee joints. Needless to day, we incorporate ergonomics in product design tactically.

Hence, at Wakefit, we offer three types of ergonomically designed office chairs.

ergonomic chair design

1. Virgo High Back Office Chair

The Virgo High Back Office chair has the following features that ensure proper office ergonomics:

  • Synchro-tilt mechanism
  • Reinforced nylon base
  • Adjustable armrest, backrest, headrest, and height
  • Lumbar support
  • Smooth wheels

 

ergonomic chair design

2. Aries Medium Back Office Chair

This is a common ergonomic chair design that helps you keep comfort prime. Take a look at the following features:

  • Push back tilt mechanism
  • Adjustable height
  • Backrest
  • Reinforced nylon base

ergonomic chair design

3. Albus Medium Back Office Chair

There’s a lot of special features in the Albus Back office chair. of course, you can adjust it to your own will and see for yourself. Here are the following feature:

  • Reinforced nylon base
  • Tilt tension control knob
  • Synchro-tilt mechanism
  • Smooth wheels
  • Adjustable backrest, armrest, headrest, and height

Ergonomic Design of the Home Office Desk

An ergonomic work desk design is one that keeps the position of your neck, back, and knees safe. It prevents your eyes from hurting and allows your hands to rest. And adjustable desk with storage also keep clutter away so your subconscious mind focuses on what’s important.

work desk design

  • Height

While the average desk height varies a bit, most work surfaces are designed at the standard height of 28” to 30” from the floor to the tabletop. This is a good height for most people between 5’8” and 5’10” tall. If you are taller or shorter, you may have to make some more adjustments.

work desk design

  • Arm length

The arm length of the desk should be long enough to support the employee’s elbows when seated. It should be 4” shorter in length than full-length arms for the ideal arm length. The major advantage of adding desk-length arms is to be closer to the desk or table without bumping into it.

best sitting posture

  • Space for knees, feet, and movement

An appropriate work desk design ensures that a user will have enough space for feet, knees, and thigh movement. Hence, ergonomic design is so important. Always select a desk that is adjustable so that you can modify it according to your height and body needs. However, if it is not adjustable, raise your chair to accommodate the extra height of the table.

  • Hard edges: Wrist rest and padding

Have you ever experienced discomfort while using your work desk design and thought about the reason? It is because of its hard and sharp edges. If your desk has a hard edge, either pad it or use wrist rests.
Wrist rests are intended to support the straight wrist and reduce the pressure from the wrist by providing a soft surface to relax. However, one should keep in mind that these are wrist “rests” and not wrist “supports.” Therefore, they should only be used to take a break while typing. Always choose a gel wrist-rest as foam wrist rests cannot take adequate pressure.
Padding is an important part of an workstation ergonomics and is used to cover the hard edges of the table. It gives proper arm support to the worker and simply distributes the pressure. Thus, its ergonomic design provides a good alternative on which to rest.

  • Footrest

Footrests are ideally designed to shift postures and offer support to the feet if the chair cannot be lowered. A footrest should be adjustable according to the height so that you can adjust the same until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
While using footrests, ensure to change positions frequently. This increases blood circulation and helps in avoiding static positions.

work from home setup

  • Monitor and mouse pad height and spacing

Place the monitor right in front of you, about an arm’s length away. The top of the screen should be slightly below or at eye level. Also, the monitor should be kept just behind the keyboard. If any of the employees wear a bifocal lens, lower the height of the monitor by up to 1 or 2 inches for comfortable viewing. Also, the monitor should be tilted backward.

The mousepads with an ergonomic design have one or two feature that make them more usable. They are generally curved or raised on the thumb side to support the hand in a handshake position.

What’s stopping you from making your health a priority?

Ergonomics at home

Ergonomics in India is not only limited to your study room or home office setup. You bed should also be ergonomically designed. It’s where you sleep. Your body and muscle health also depends upon your sleeping postures. And if you lack the support, you suffer from pain that hints you to prepare for an approaching chronic condition.

Ergonomic Design of your Bedroom

Keeping the right ergonomics of your bed is important to enjoy comfort while working from home. Everything has its own significance. The pillow must be the perfect height and the mattress must provide the right support.

bed ergonomics

  • Headboard

Go for an upholstered modern headboard design as it not only improves the aesthetics of the bedroom but also provides cushioned support to the back when sitting. Alternatively, you can select a curved wooden headboard to enjoy excellent back support.

mattress ergonomics

  • Mattress

Mattress and pillows are important to consider while looking at ergonomics in product design in India. Several factors should be taken into account at the time of designing your bed, such as the infill material, support system, and durability.

bed ergonomics

  • Pillows

Consider buying Wakefit’s Lumbar Support Pillow as it releases muscle tension and eases chronic back pain. Moreover, it also helps in correcting your body posture.

Office ergonomics

Workstation at home: Planning out your space

It’s not that tough to plan out your home office with ergonomically designed furniture. The names and terms related to working from home can overwhelm you. But they only need you to continue working but from a smarter spot: one that understands you.

Follow the recommended guidelines while planning out your space and ensure work from home ergonomics.

  • Adjust your desk height according to your body requirements. Add enough space for knee movement.
  • Choose the best chairs for work from home that are adjustable and ensure your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Protect your eyes and your neck by placing the monitor at an arm’s length from you. Keep your screen straight to avoid unnecessary torsion.
  • Surround yourself with the right tools, such as a keyboard and mouse that provide adequate wrist support to ensure work from home ergonomics.
  • Get moving and take breaks to walk around the house.

Work lights

Consider the lighting

Lighting is one of the elements we tend to ignore the most when it comes to office ergonomics. Let’s bring it to light!

You must consider the position of your workstation at home. In most cases, people tend to allow light to fall on their monitor screen. But it already has screen light! You would then need to place it against the light. Find out more about work light as it contributes heavily to your ergonomically designed workspace.

  • Importance

In addition to comfortable furniture, lighting is another crucial factor that cannot be overlooked. Exposure to natural light helps employees to get vitamin D and improves their circadian rhythm and sleep patterns.
Moreover, it helps them improve focus so that they can get more work done with ease.

  • Studies on benefits of natural lighting

Numerous studies have shown that natural lighting improves employee satisfaction and work productivity. According to Forbes, the Future Workplace Wellness Study states that workers who are exposed to natural light have improved sleep-wake schedules.
Benefits of including natural lighting to office ergonomics are,

Improved mood

Reduced eye strains

Home office setup reduce stress

Fewer headaches

ergonomics reduce fatigue

Less drowsiness

Workspace Ergonomics

High productivity

How to plan your workstation to include natural lighting?

While setting up a home office along with adding a comfortable home office chair & desk, it is also important to take measures to include natural lighting in your workstation to foster productivity.

  • Consider changing the windows and doors
  • Reorganize all your comfortable furniture
  • Create a break zone in an airy and light-rich location
  • Add mirrors to reflect light from outside

 

Ergonomic features of Wakefit furniture: What’s so special

Now that you already have a deeper idea about what is ergonomic design, let’s take a look at some choices! Paying attention to all the mandatory physical health elements, our ergonomically designed products aim to make comfort and occupational safety accessible to all.

At Wakefit, we offer a variety of work-from-home products to ensure an ergonomic workplace. These are,

Each of these ergonomically designed products help in increasing productivity. First, it allows comfort even after working for long hours at a stretch. And back and neck pains are huge distractions as well that stop you from reaching your goal.

Eventually, office ergonomics help you cut down physical discomfort to focus on work. Their key features are,

  • An adjustable height as per the body requirements
  • Lumbar back support to maintain the sitting posture
  • Sufficient leg space in tables
  • Adjustable backrests, armest, and headrests in chairs
  • Deep drawer space
  • Appropriate footrest

You should consider an ergonomic chair design at the earliest to avoid back muscle strain. Or else, it might be too late before you even know. Similarly, also consider bringing the science of ergonomics into your work desk design to cater to your neck and eyes’ health.

Workplace items that are comfortable and cool? Unbelievable!

Exercises to try at
your desk and at home

6 Exercises to try at home to avoid discomfort while working from home

There are various exercises to reduce lower back pain and ease eye strain in India. Add them to your routine and improve overall well-being. However, it is advised to always be careful while implementing a new exercise into your schedule. If you feel pain or discomfort, connect with a doctor without delay.

1. Back exercises

Upper back stretches might be the best thing to try at your desk and home to reduce the pressure in your spine and improve flexibility. There are various sitting and standing stretching exercises to reduce lower back pain that you can add to your daily routine. These include,

  • Lateral trunk stretch

  • Hamstring stretch

  • Knee to chest stretch

  • The figure 4 stretch

  • Hip flexor stretch

2. Eye rotations

In India, a lot of employees complained of eye strain. However, you must start exercises to take care of that. Eye strain exercises may help ease and relieve eye strain.

  • Rotate your eyes while breathing in a rhythmic pattern that restores balance in your eye muscles.
  • You can also try focus changes to relax your eye muscles. Just hold your pointer finger a few inches away from your eye and start focusing on it.
  • The 20-20-20 rule is yet another effective eye strain exercise. Look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds after every 20 minutes.

3. Leg and knee exercises

While adding leg and knee exercises, keep the biomechanics of knee joints in mind. Gentle knee stretching and strengthening exercises may help in easing the pain while improving flexibility and range of motion.
Stretches for knee pain include,

  • Knee and calf stretch

  • Quadriceps stretch

  • Hamstring stretch

  • Hamstring curl

  • Calf raises

4. Foot stretches

In addition to performing the stretches for knee pain, stretching your feet can help in reducing ankle pain, ease muscle soreness, and improve overall foot health.

  • Spread your toes apart as far as comfortable and hold for five seconds to ease the pain
  • Toe extensions
  • Toe curls
  • Tennis ball rolls

 

5. Arm and wrist exercises

Arm and wrist exercises increase flexibility and lower the risk of injury.

  • Extend your arm with your palm facing toward the ceiling and gently press the fingers down toward the floor.
  • Place your palm face up under the desk and press upward against the bottom of the desk.
  • Squeeze a tennis or stress ball firmly for 10 seconds.
  • Close your hands slowly into a fist. Make sure your forearms are touching your legs while raising your fist off of your legs and back toward your body. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.
  • Turn your fist, pointing your thumb up. Now, create resistance with your thumb and hand muscles to keep the thumb from moving. Gently pull back on your thumb and hold the position.

6. Shoulder exercises

Shoulder exercises only help in soothing pain and discomfort but also promote the best sitting posture.

  • Keep your back straight and roll your shoulder forward, up, back, and down in a circular motion.
  • Sit with your back straight and tilt your head toward the shoulder. Drop your shoulder blade on the opposite side toward the floor and hold for 10 seconds.


Frequently Asked Questions on Ergonomic Design

Ergonomics is an applied science related to designing and arranging things. An ergonomic design aims to reduce physical stress and the resulting injuries. One of the benefits of ergonomics is that it also enhances occupational hygiene to enhance productivity and better work culture.

An ergonomic workplace is a workspace designed to keep workers’ capabilities and limitations in mind. The ideal design promotes the best sitting posture and removes the risk of musculoskeletal injuries.

The best example of an ergonomic design is comfortable furniture like an office chair, an ideally designed desk, improved footrests, comfortable wrist rests, an adjustable monitor, an ergonomic keyboard, and a well-positioned mouse.

Here are some tips for you to have a smart work from home space:

  • Create a dedicated workspace and do not work while sitting on the bed or couch.
  • Use a cushioned chair to achieve the best sitting position for lower back pain.
  • Use ample natural lighting to keep the body active.
  • Move around after every 20 minutes and do upper back stretches to improve flexibility.

A well-designed ergonomic chair has an adjustable option to provide the best sitting option. It also has an adjustable backrest, and gives a great lumbar support. Here are more features of the chair with proper ergonomics:

  • An appropriate seat height
  • An adjustable chair to provide the best sitting position for lower back pain
  • An adjustable backrest
  • A chair with a five-point base
  • An adequately long armrest
  • Excellent lumbar support

There are a lot of benefits of ergonomics. Not only are they good for your occupational hygiene but also look after your overall health. There are five principles of Ergonomics:

  • Safety
  • Comfort
  • Ease of use
  • Productivity/Performance
  • Aesthetics

Having this kind of furniture at your workplace and home can help avoid injuries/issues like bad posture or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, muscle pulls, cramps etc. Hence it is imperative that you have ergonomic designs implemented both at your workplace and homes.

The science of ergonomics is not only related to the study room. It is for all the rooms in your house. Just as you need to function actively while working from home, the other rooms crave for something similar.

Workplace:

  • Adjustable chairs
  • Standing or adjustable desks
  • Portable workstation
  • Keyboard and mouse

Home:

  • Expandable couches
  • Kitchen extendable pips
  • Cabinets
  • Elongated bowls in toilets
  • Ergonomic garden tools

Ergonomic shoes help keep your feet in the correct position for the best functioning. The shoe soles absorb shock as they reduce the pressure on the heels. Here is more on how ergonomic shoes are helpful:

  • Ergonomically designed shoes are an extremely useful accessory for those who have experienced foot/leg pains their entire lives.
  • These have been designed with an anatomical arch support which keeps the feet in the correct position for proper functioning.
  • The soles absorb shock and pain by reducing the pressure on the heels and the entire body.
  • These ergonomic shoes are a great investment for alleviating back, knee and foot pain in the long run.

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