My first time using ergonomic products

My first experience using ergonomics - BLOG

Written by Nafiesha Hendricks (Digital intern and Sales Executive at Ergonomicsdirect)

I started working at Ergonomicsdirect in March 2022 as the new Digital Intern and Sales Executive. Before I started working at Ergonomicsdirect, I didn’t know much about ergonomic principles, products, or the benefits that come with them.

Today, I’d like to share with you my experience using some ergonomic products for the first time, and hopefully encourage some of you to invest in them for yourself.  

I was never exposed to correct ergonomics in my previous working environments and honestly, it felt weird at first. The biggest changes for me were;

  1. Using a laptop stand (Ergo Anywhere Laptop Stand)
  2. Sitting in an ergonomic office chair and, (Ergo Exec Ergonomic Chair with Headrest)
  3. Using an external keyboard and mouse.

Usually, I would work off my laptop and use a wireless mouse and external monitor. Optimising my workstation with ergonomics has benefitted me a lot over the last month since starting here. What stood out to me the most was the decrease in pain, especially in my lower back area since I started using my ergonomic chair.  

The laptop stand allowed me to position my laptop to the correct height and distance, which has immensely reduced strain and fatigue in my neck, shoulders, and upper back. With my laptop elevated, I no longer need to slouch or look down to view my screen. This allows me to sit up straight, and thereby utilise the backrest of the chair. I have felt significantly more comfortable and more productive throughout the day with my new ergonomic setup.

If you work in an office and you’re sitting at a desk for long periods of time, it’s important for you to consider investing in the correct setup. If your workstation isn’t set up correctly, you will develop workspace strain and fatigue.

We can assist you to also improve the way you work. We understand that every individual is different. Here at Ergonomicsdirect, we’re ready to assist you with your ergonomic office needs. Please feel free to contact us on 021 426 2378. We’ll gladly assist. 

We look forward to assisting you with your ergonomic needs soon!

Yours in ergonomics,

Nafiesha Hendricks (Digital intern and Sales Executive)

5 basic steps on how to set up your ergonomic chair

5 basic steps on how to set up your ergonomic chair

A good chair lets you customise the height, seat depth, armrests, and recline to your body so you’re comfortable no matter what your task is. However, it isn’t always obvious how to adjust these options for comfort and correct ergonomics. A good ergonomic chair should be one of the cornerstones of your workstation. Once you’ve selected your chair, it’s important to learn how to properly adjust it to best fit your body. 

A good chair lets you customise the height, seat depth, armrests, and recline to your body so you’re comfortable no matter what your task is. However, it isn’t always obvious how to adjust these options for comfort and correct ergonomics. A good ergonomic chair should be one of the cornerstones of your workstation. Once you’ve selected your chair, it’s important to learn how to properly adjust it to best fit your body. 

Your first step should be following the instruction manual for your chair or looking for an adjustment diagram online. Once you have that, follow the 5 steps in our video to find the maximum health benefits from your office chair.

Also, remember to incorporate movement breaks into our day and to not sit for more than 20-30 minutes at a time.

Happy seating!

Yours in ergonomics,

The Ergonomicsdirect Team

Thank you, Essential Services

Blog image - Thank you essential services

A lesson that COVID-19 has taught us is the importance of essential services and its staff. It is important for us to acknowledge the efforts made by essential services workers, even after this pandemic is behind us. They deserve so much respect and appreciation for assisting our country through this tough time, as our lives would be even more challenging if these services and resources weren’t available to us at present. From the Ergonomicsdirect team, we’d like to start by saying thank you to all currently working in essential services.

A great way to show appreciation to them and everyone else who is working during this time is by investing in their wellbeing. Ergonomics can offer many positive benefits in the wellbeing, productivity, and comfort of staff working in Essential Services, as well as for those working at home. Something as simple as investing in anti-fatigue mats for those who are required to stand for most of the day can have a significant impact on their comfort and performance. Monitor arms, step-stools, and operators chairs are just a few other products that would be beneficial in some working environments during this time.

Investing in ergonomics can also show staff that they are valued and that you care about their overall health. The value of ergonomic intervention is becoming more and more evident in retail, office, industrial, and other working environments. It enables individuals to work more productively while providing their body with the support it needs.

On the topic of wellbeing, another lesson COVID-19 has taught us is the importance of maintaining good health. COVID-19 has not only shown us that good hygiene is important, but it has also made us more aware of our productivity when we’re unable to work at the office. We believe that once this pandemic has passed, the working environment as we know it (or used to know it) will be transformed. There will be more individuals that will continue to work from home, either full day or portions of the day. Companies will identify departments that can work remotely, and more flexible hours will be put in place to reduce both travel time and the need for desk space in the office. Whether you’ll be working remotely or at the office, better ergonomics will equip you to work more comfortably and productively.

Individuals in essential services are operational at present to cater for our needs. Investing in ergonomics for their working environments is a good way of showing gratitude for their effort while also improving their ability to be comfortable during long hours of work.

At Ergonomicsdirect, we can assist with products for various working environments. If you are interested in optimizing your current workplace or workstation and investing in ergonomics, contact us at info@ergodirect.co.za.

From everyone at the Ergonomicsdirect team – stay at home and stay safe!

Work from home essentials

Blog - Work from home essentials

Are you required to spend more time working from home as a result of COVID-19? Although working from home can be safer, it can also be difficult if you don’t have a proper working setup in place. Your working environment can have a major impact on your productivity and it will be worthwhile investing in your comfort and productivity while working from home.

Due to the series of unfortunate Corona Virus events, we have created a category that contains products that can assist you in working more comfortably and effectively at home. 

Here at 6 products that we have recommended for home-office use.

Standing desks (On-desk or freestanding) – Working on a standing desk at home can reduce fatigue and strains while increasing productivity as well as promoting physical activity. Alternating between sitting and standing while working has many health benefits such as burning of calories while standing and improving blood circulation throughout your body. A freestanding sit-stand desk would be an ideal option if you don’t already have a home working desk (and you have the required space).

Laptop stands – Investing in a laptop stand (if you’re working at home on a laptop) is an inexpensive way to better your posture. Having your laptop elevated to the correct height can significantly reduce neck strain and improve your sitting and standing posture. Just remember to always use an external keyboard and mouse with your laptop stand!

Footrest – If you would like to change your seating experience, a height-adjustable footrest can assist you in positioning yourself better on your chair. By pushing yourself back against the backrest of your chair, a footrest can help you utilise the complete lumbar support that your chair/backrest offers. This will also have a positive impact on your seated posture and comfort.

Ergonomic chair – An Ergonomic chair is an essential piece of office and home equipment.  If you find yourself spending most of your time seated while working from home, it is important for you to have sufficient, adjustable lumbar support that will support your body’s specific needs. A chair that does not offer you correct lumbar support can contribute to an unproductive working day and can leave you with fatigue and discomfort while also negatively affecting your posture.

Adjustable mobile “gadgets” – As this is a digital age, many people find it more convenient working off mobile digital devices such as phones and tablets. Some people spend up to 8 hours a day or more on these devices. This isn’t only working professionals, but also kids in school and young adults at varsity. When using these devices for long periods, many users experience discomfort, especially in their neck region. Investing in a height-adjustable mobile holder can substantially improve your posture and comfort.

On a side note, we encourage everyone to exercise good hygiene when working at home or at the office. While these product recommendations will improve your productivity and enable you to be more comfortable while you work, it is up to us to help prevent the spread of the virus. Use hand-sanitisers with the correct alcohol content, wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face and stay clear from areas with large groups of people.

Be Ergonomics & Be safe.

A New Year, and New YOU!

Do you want to start your 2020 off by investing more in your health and well-being? Are you taking the “New Year, New Me” approach seriously this year? Well, this change might be as easy as optimizing your current working environment.

To start 2020 off, our team of ergonomic product experts have recommended 2 products that can make a difference to your lower back discomforts, as well as 2 products that can support your upper back and shoulders. When recommending these products, we will focus mainly on how it can benefit the targeted back discomforts. Any additional features or benefits will be excluded on this article. Let’s get into it.

For your lower back

  1. Ergo Saddle Chair with Seat Tilt

The seat tilt feature on our Ergo Saddle Chair promotes pelvic moment and enables the user to decide at which angle they want to be positioned, which has a significant impact on the user’s comfort and seating posture (by encouraging the user to always be seated in an upright position).

Although you might think that you will not be getting back support (as the saddle doesn’t have a “backrest” like a normal office chair), adjusting the pelvic tilt and improving your seating posture can be beneficial to those who suffer from lower back problems.

  1. SOHO Back Support

The Soho Back Support is designed to encourage a more ergonomic spinal posture and improve seated comfort. It is lightweight, portable, and provides dynamic support for the spine and surrounding joints.

It can fit on most office chairs and can also be used on most car seats. The unique design allows the 2 flexible plates to conform to the shape of your spine and encourage movement whilst in the seated position. The Soho back contours seamlessly to the spine. It ensures no pressure is placed on the vertebrae.

For your upper back and shoulders

How does one reduce discomfort in the upper back/shoulder region? Over the last couple of months, we’ve discussed how you can improve your posture by daily implementation of ergonomic principles at your workstation and by investing in the correct ergonomic products for your specific needs. With improved posture, you can relieve your upper back and shoulders from tension and strain which can if left untreated, lead to short-term or long-term discomforts.

Here are 2 products that can assist you to better your posture and relieve upper back and shoulder discomforts:

  1. The Ergo Anywhere Laptop Stand (or any of our other laptop stands)

This slim, portable, height-adjustable, lightweight laptop stand is perfect for adjusting the position of your laptop screen, tablet or books to help promote better posture.

If your laptop is at a correct angle, it will reduce slouching which is a common cause for back and shoulder pain.

  1. Flexispot F7B Single Screen Height Adjustable Monitor Arm Mount or Flexispot F7DB Dual Screen Height Adjustable Monitor Arm Mount

Just like laptop stands, the Flexispot F7B and F7DB single and dual monitor arms enables you to easily adjust the angle, height and distance of your monitor.

When your monitor is at the correct height, angle and distance, you will be able to achieve and maintain better posture easier, which can then lead to reduced back and shoulder discomforts.

If you would like more information on the above products, click the product headings.

On behalf of the Ergonomicsdirect team, we would like to welcome you into 2020 and wish you all a prosperous, ergonomic New Year.

4 Ergonomic product gift ideas

It’s that time of the year again and the search for festive gifts has started! Are you finding it difficult to find the perfect gift for your loved ones? Have you considered investing in their well-being by getting them a small, affordable ergonomic product? Here are a few new ergonomic gift ideas for you to consider.

  1. The Ergo Anywhere Laptop Stand.

This slim, portable, height-adjustable, lightweight laptop stand is perfect for adjusting the position of your laptop screen, tablet, or books to help promote better posture. It is a perfect gift for both adults and kids and can be used on almost any flat surface. You can purchase this laptop stand for only R369.00.

  1. Mouse Pad And Keyboard Wrist Rest Combo

Many of us have experienced the benefits of using the correct wrist rests at our workstations. Mousepads and keyboard wrist rests can reduce wrist strain and other related Muscular Skeletal Disorders (MSDs). These devices can also assist with better positioning of your hands, shoulders, and elbows. These two wrist rests are new to our Ergonomicsdirect range. They offer the perfect balance between quality, comfort and affordability. Both support pads offer a non-slip base and are designed specifically to reduce fatigue. You can purchase the Mouse Pad And Keyboard Wrist Rest Combo for only R369.00.

  1. Ergo Height Adjustable Footrest

If you have a loved one whose feet cannot rest easily on the ground while seated or has bad seating posture, a height-adjustable footrest would be the perfect gift for him/her. A footrest can assist with pushing the user back into the chair’s backrest, ensuring improved lower back support and better utilisation of the features of the chair. The Ergo Height Adjustable Footrest has 3 different height adjustments and is dynamic – moves/tilts as you move your feet and legs. This promotes active sitting while also assisting with better blood circulation. A small gift with a big impact. You can purchase the Ergo Height Adjustable Footrest for only R949.00

  1. NEW: Ergo Flex mobile phone and tablet holder

The Ergo flex is a new and exciting product in our range. The first shipment of stock is on its way and will hopefully be unpacked in time for the Festive Season.

With a spring-loaded clamping system, the unit can hold a smartphone or tablet up to 225mm wide. The anchoring clamp can be fixed onto the edge of a table or other piece of furniture up to 75mm thick.

The flexible “gooseneck” allows you to position your device while sitting on the couch, working at your desk, sitting or lying in bed, or even cooking in the kitchen! It is the ideal product if you watch movies or videos on your device or need easy access to your phone or tablet screen while at work.

Especially for children, screen time can be a sensitive subject. With the use of the Ergo Flex, you can at least ensure that you reduce the postural strain caused by the time spent on mobile devices. Pre-order yours today!

At Ergonomicsdirect we have several affordable products waiting to become Festive gifts. Give a gift this year that can improve your loved ones’ health, comfort, and productivity! Besides the abovementioned recommendations, we have many other quality, affordable products in our ergonomic product range. If you are interested in viewing our complete range, click here. If you have any queries on the products above or any of our other products, feel free to contact us on 021 426 2378 or email us at info@ergodirect.co.za.

Happy festive shopping!

Yours in ergonomics,

The Ergonomicsdirect Team

Why ergonomics is important in the office

When many people think of ergonomics in the office, they picture one of those large inflatable balls with someone struggling to balance and sit on it. However, ergonomics is much more than that and in some cases, the inflatable ball is not the most ergonomic solution at all.  So why is ergonomics important in the office?

An office needs to be productive and comfortable. For many employers comfort, especially ergonomic comfort is not really a priority. Comfort alone is not enough as comfort itself does not lead to an optimally productive office. Ever since office work began, when monks reproduced biblical texts ways to improve comfort in the office have been created.

It was in the 1940s when the use of office machinery started to take off and the science of ergonomics was properly formed. Growing levels of backache, and what we now know as repetitive strain disorders began to appear.  With this, studies into optimised use of office equipment and ways of sitting for extended periods of time were looked at and introduced. Today, these studies are more advanced than ever before, and the importance of ergonomics in the workplace is more recognised.

Ergonomics considers the workspace of an employee and the ability to perform their jobs well. Creating a workplace where workers are comfortable and more productive is part of the objective of ergonomics.

Healthy Staff Healthy Productivity

Ergonomics improves and increases the productivity of employees in the workplace. In an ergonomically designed office environment, good posture is promoted and less exertion is required along with reduced levels of motion thanks to keeping things in easy reach. This promotes good health, and while lowering sick days due to backache and other ailments, it also keeps employees more alert due to less or optimised exertion.

Happy Staff Happy Office

Comfortable staff not only become more productive they are also happier. Ergonomics plays a key role in office politics in its own way. When employees work in an uncomfortable office, they become tired and irritable, and thus the entire atmosphere in the office begins to deteriorate. Likewise, grumpy, frustrated people engage poorly with customers and other service providers. When ergonomics is taken seriously, for all staff, not just those higher up, morale is boosted as it becomes clear that the health and safety (and comfort) of everyone is a priority.

Safe Staff Safe Surroundings

When ergonomics becomes more of a priority in office health, staff welfare and safety become a priority also.  Ergonomics in the office is a foundation stone for creating a culture of health and safety awareness in the office and this, in turn, leads to further improvement in human performance

Benefits of an Ergonomic Office

There are some proven benefits of ergonomics in the office. Three of these measurables are:

Reduced Costs

With many workplace health and safety risks mitigated, Musco-Skeletal disorders are reduced and can even be prevented. These disorders are costly both to the individual and the employer; it should not be forgotten that there are many indirect costs that result from these injuries too. Sick days cost companies money; ergonomics reduces these. Prevention is always better and, in this case, cheaper, than cure.

Improved or increased productivity

In an ergonomically designed office with ergonomic workspaces – seating, desk layout – improved productivity is the automatic result. Greater efficiency is created at any workstation through less exertion, reduced motion, and less stretching thanks to ensuring things are within easy reach at all times.

Increased levels of quality

When employees are uncomfortable, they become tired and frustrated easier and faster. Tired, frustrated workers do not perform at their best. An ergonomic office reduces fatigue and thus frustration resulting in fewer errors and improved work. This saves time and money too, the cost of redoing or rewriting something is higher than many imagine and a tired mind could easily result in the wrong price being quoted.

With these in mind, the importance of ergonomics in the office is soon realised. Many stop at this point and look at the cost of ergonomics and believe they cannot afford it. However, a good manager who cares about his department, the company, or employees will add things together. The final result is that ergonomics is not a quick fix investment but a long-term investment that yields substantial results meaning that the cost is worth it and ergonomics in the office cannot be ignored. 

Standing or Sitting? 7 things you need to know

Sitting at a desk and working is something we all know about, but the modern man sits far too much. The human body was not designed to sit around all day; we have two legs and the ability to stand for a reason. Humans have become sedentary and even lazy.

Science has proven that sitting around all day is not healthy for us and more people realise that standing up is better, more comfortable even, than sitting when working. But what is the truth behind this, what do you need to know?

Here are 7 things you need to understand as to why standing at your desk is better for you than sitting at your desk.

  • Less Weight Gain

The Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research is well-known for its research into modern-day health and lifestyle matters. A recent study completed proves that standing for around 6 hours a day reduces the risk of obesity and weight gain is significantly lowered by up to 59% in men and 35% in women. This does not mean that standing is good for weight loss but if you are endeavouring to lose weight, standing can help reduce the kilos you might otherwise gain by sitting.

  • Reduced Heart Disease

Australian studies further confirmed the weight gain facts but furthermore concluded that the risk of heart disease was reduced. The study concluded “More time spent standing rather than sitting could improve your blood sugar, fats in the blood and cholesterol levels”

  • Reduced Risk of Diabetes

Diabetes is a growing concern in modern living and standing to work rather than sitting has been proven to reduce blood sugar levels. In a similar way to walking, standing rather than sitting can reduce blood sugar levels by upwards of 30% according to the American Diabetes Association. The study concluded that the risk of Type 2 Diabetes is significantly reduced if long periods of sitting are broken up by standing or walking. Breaking up periods of sitting with periods of standing also reduced blood glucose and insulin levels in women.

  • Reduced Risk of Some Cancers

The link between a sedentary lifestyle and certain cancers, especially Breast and Colon Cancer has been known for some time.  A number of international studies have confirmed that prolonged periods of sitting increases the risk of cancer. Standing up improves blood circulation and reduces the potential of internal inflammation both of which are known to reduce cancer risks.  Long periods of sitting are well known to be a significant trigger and cause of many cancers.

  • Reduced Chronic Back Pain

It sounds crazy, but chronic back pain is reduced by standing rather than sitting. Stanford University conducted a study to see if sit-stand workstations helped alleviate chronic and long-term back pain. Over a 3-month period, participants in the study who received a sit-stand workstation demonstrated significant reductions in back pain. Furthermore, it was noted that fatigue was reduced considerably.

  • Higher Energy, More Happiness, More Productivity

There are many cases where sit-stand desks and having employees standing as opposed to sitting have seen energy levels in people increase. Because people have more energy they engage better with those around them, their creativity is boosted, and happiness flows in the office space. Standing up keeps the mind more alert and functioning better. All this leads to increased productivity all around.

  • Good Workout

Finally, one of the biggest benefits you need to understand about standing as opposed to sitting is that standing is a superb, low-impact workout that everybody needs. Whether you are looking to get the six-pack or just stay in shape, standing rather than sitting will help you.

At Ergonomicsdirect we stock an extensive range of sit-stand desk options and accessories for your workplace. Our experts can advise on the best solution for your individual or staff’s requirements. We can also assist with redesigning or refining your workplace from an ergonomic viewpoint to fit your individual needs and improve your health, comfort, and productivity. Contact us today.

The Science of Ergonomics

Did you know there is a science to your workplace and its design?  This science is called Ergonomics and centres on creating a space of work based on your limitations and capabilities. Everything from your reach, posture, view of your PC monitor, and those small repetitive actions are taken into consideration to make the ideal working environment for you.

We all know that tired feeling we get from work. For some, this is pure long hours and overdoing things but for the majority (yes, the majority) it is all about ergonomics and how you spend the majority of your time seated at your desk, simply sedentary in the office, how you hammer in nails or stand at a conveyor belt. The tired feeling is fatigue and ergonomics plays a huge part in this and what is showing itself as mere tiredness may well be affecting other parts of your body. It may not just be a mental problem but a physical, skeletal problem that is occurring.

During the course of a year poor ergonomics can account for many lost man-hours in the South African economy and this impacts the GDP as well as the pocket of the worker who may have to foot medical bills, many of which can be prevented. The value in understanding ergonomics soon becomes clear once Rand values are applied and an investment in a more ergonomically better workplace soon makes sense.

As an employer and an employee, understanding a little about ergonomics is important and is about making the workplace fit the people rather than the more common approach of making people fit the environment. It is about making a round hole for a round pin. Ergonomics is more than just about a comfy or odd-looking chair it is about the design and use of anything that people use or do. The science of ergonomics is about improving or enhancing the interaction between people and things and spaces. It is about minimising or ideally removing the risks of injury or harm for an overall better experience or better work performance in many cases.

Ergonomics is a constantly evolving science. As technology changes or improves and how tasks are done or even where new tasks or ways of doing things are created, ergonomics keeps up with the pace of change.  Considering the human factors in the changes and developments, solutions are designed to mitigate injury, stress, and fatigue through improved tooling and furniture as well as training and information sessions.

As many may assume, ergonomics does not just focus on the office environment. Many people are very aware of ergonomic furniture but the science of ergonomics is practiced in nearly every form of work from gentle, sedentary desk jobs to heavy labour on construction sights and factory jobs.  The science also goes beyond the workplace and into lifestyle as people become more aware of its importance as part of healthier living.

Ergonomics can be applied to any individual or business from simply best practice instruction to the development of a better, ergonomically designed workplace and the supply of ergonomic furniture, exercise equipment, laptop and screen supports, keyboards and neck support pillows. There is much more to ergonomics than meets the eye, and understanding how it affects you and your health can lead to a better lifestyle and a more productive life in general at work and at play.