Active ergonomics - The value of flexible workspaces

Traditional ergonomics have served its purpose in workplace design and have given the structure needed to understand what can be done better. People no longer sit at desks for 8 hours with their heads down and work in little cubicles or long banks of repetitive workstations.

The link between health risk and productivity is very evident so the need to more flexible spaces with the integration of technology have become essential to a progressive environment. That’s where active ergonomics comes into play. What this says is that work can happen anywhere provided that good ergonomic principles are applied to elements of the workspace which are group or individual workspaces, furnishings and technology.

Legibility is key to an active ergonomics environment. Legibility puts peoples needs first and is intended to create a positive work experience. The 5 design elements that can improve a space are:

Image courtesy of Hamworth

Active ergonomics principles can be applied to the design of group and social spaces and their furnishings. Here are some tips for specifying ergonomic furniture in group spaces:

  • Lounge spaces and their furnishings are not intended to be and “all day” work environment

  • Use furniture elements that provide access to power and data

  • Use height adjustable tables whenever possible in collaborative meeting spaces

  • Lounge furniture (couch, casual seating) can support safe ergonomic postures.

This is a great tool to to drive people to work in a variety of places and use a variety of postures. Organizations that fail to apply “big picture” approach to office spaces are missing the opportunity to provide safe and high performing workplaces for their employees.

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