The Importance of Ergonomıcs In Schools

the importance of ergonomics in schools

Written by Registered Biokineticist, Wendy van Wyk.

Ergonomics in the classroom is an important component of students’ learning environment. It can influence students’ physical health, level of comfort and productivity. That’s why it is highly recommended to select appropriate furniture when classrooms are designed. During their early school years, children’s spines are still developing; it is at this young age that sitting habits are formed. It is imperative that children are taught about postural health and are provided with the correct furniture to support them in practicing good seating habits.

Children spend most of their school day seated. Research on classroom furniture has found that the chairs and tables that children are required to use are mostly inadequate, with some studies concluding that almost none of the students were able to find an appropriate seat and desk height combination. The introduction of ergonomic furniture that promotes good posture is arguably even more important to children than to adults. Several factors affect the postural health of children, including their use of classroom furniture, heavy backpacks, the use of electronic devices, underlying health conditions, and sitting habits at home.

School chairs are pivotal in giving the pupils a healthy ergonomic posture; and above all, we should consider that children and young people grow constantly and that they have different heights and sizes. Improved ergonomic positioning can improve their comfort and may even assist with reducing anxiety. Proper ergonomics suggests that students should sit having their feet firmly on the floor and their backs supported against the chair’s backrest.

Educational facilities should regularly update their planning studies and pedagogies to meet the new standards of education. Equally important is that school furniture also needs to keep up with trends and be able to adjust to pupils’ needs, allowing them movement, and helping them to have a good posture when seated. Three main reasons why schools do not use ergonomic furniture are: price, investment, and durability. Many schools look for hardy furniture at a low price because pupils don’t always take care of it. When this happens, durability is chosen over functionality – to the detriment of the pupils.

One way of improving awareness of the issue is to incorporate postural health education into schools – training courses and awareness days, not only within schools but also for parents. We believe that once enough awareness is raised, and the importance of the issue is highlighted, it could act as a driver, possibly helping to make it a greater priority. This can encourage schools to consider purchasing more ergonomically correct furniture when they are looking to replace their existing furniture.

This process is unfortunately not going to happen overnight, and schools do not have to immediately throw away their existing furniture. By introducing postural health education and raising awareness of its importance, the nation’s schools may be able to start to transition from cost-driven purchasing to investing in children’s future, postural health, and in doing so also positively affecting their comfort and productivity.

One of Ergonomicsdirect’s projects for 2023 is to introduce our Ergo-learner School Initiative, where we aim to partner with schools around the country to offer ergonomic products at a discounted rate.

We are beyond excited to make a difference in the postural health of South Africa’s youth – so watch this space!


Choudhary, M. S., Choudary, A. B., Jamal, S., Kumar, R., & Jamal, S. (2020). The Impact of Ergonomics on Children Studying Online During COVID‐19 Lockdown.

Journal of Advances in Sports and Physical Education, 3(8), 117‐120. doi:10.36348/jaspe.2020.v03i08.001

Page AS, Cooper AR, Griew P, Jago R. Children’s screen viewing is related to psychological difficulties irrespective of physical activity. Pediatrics. 2010.

Computer Vision Syndrome and the Importance of Task Lighting

By Wendy van Wyk, Registered Biokineticist

National Eye Care Awareness Month is commemorated from 21 September to 18 October 2022 by our Department of Health to raise awareness about the importance of eye health.

Prolonged use of computers, smartphones, tablets or e-readers can cause computer vision syndrome (CVS). Symptoms may include eye strain, dry eyes, double vision and more. These computer-related eye problems have become widespread.

Up to 70 million workers are globally at risk of suffering from the condition, according to a report published in Medical Practice and Reviews, and that number is expected to continue growing.

A key component of an ergonomic workplace often forgotten is lighting. Ergonomic lighting is essential for workplace well-being, and it plays a crucial role in preventing Computer Vision Syndrome.

Improper lighting, whether it’s too little or too much lighting, contributes significantly to digital eye strain. Appropriate lighting, without shadows or glare, can reduce eye fatigue and headaches.

Many people work on their computers in a relatively dark room with just a bright desk light. This causes illumination imbalance, forcing your eye muscles to contract and expand constantly to adapt.

The different aspects of providing adequate lighting include light intensity, light temperature, glare control, and flicker. Lighting ergonomics not only helps in mitigating physical health issues, but it can also improve your mood and productivity.

Using ergonomic task lights with adjustable brightness and variable colour temperatures are beneficial because they allow you to reduce the light to the perfect level of ambiance. Lighting should be pleasant and make you feel comfortable.

Ergonomic lighting affects physiological and psychological factors which influence productivity. Lighting design should provide people with the proper visual conditions to enhance task efficiency. Make full use of natural lighting; use blinds to diffuse the natural light to avoid glare when needed.

The following is a checklist of how to optimise the lighting conditions of your workstation.

  • Position the workstation in relation to the light source to avoid shadows or glare.
  • Monitors shouldn’t be surrounded by bright lights or placed in front of the window to avoid glare.
  • Balance overhead and ambient lighting to avoid a strong contrast between lighter and darker areas.
  • Use a damp cloth to clean light fixtures regularly – the dust on the bulbs can reduce the amount of light.
  • Increase the number of light fixtures in the right places.
  • Use light-coloured paints for walls and ceiling for reflection.
  • Use task lighting and reflected light to get rid of shadows.

At Ergonomicsdirect we care about our clients’ eye health, and in support of National Eye Care Awareness Month.

If you are experiencing eye strain while you work, feel free to contact us – we’re happy to assist you.

Till next time, please stay safe out there.

Yours in Ergonomics,


3 Ways that Ergonomics can improve your health

Written by Registered Biokineticist, Wendy van Wyk

Desk workers have started to suffer the aches that come from having a poor workspace setup. Incorrect setups have become a literal pain in the neck (and shoulders, and back, and everywhere!). Having poor or a lack of ergonomics can lead to repetitive stress, which causes huge workplace risk for many office workers.

An ergonomic workstation can reduce the risk of discomfort or pain that these stressors cause to our bodies. Designing a workspace that promotes good posture encourages efficiency which will lead to improved productivity.

Correct desk ergonomics will not only help you sit comfortably at a computer, but also improve your general health.

Minimized Back and Neck Pain

Many desk workers sit at their desks with improper posture. In turn, this can cause pain, especially in the back and neck. To minimize this risk, the CDC found that sit/stand desks can reduce back and neck pain. By reducing sitting time by 66 minutes a day, 54% of participants experienced reduced back and neck pain.

Better Heart Health

Prolonged periods of sitting can be harmful to the heart. By incorporating ergonomic tools that encourage movement, you can sit and stand as you please and move more in general. This will keep you healthier inside and out.

Improved Mood and Energy Levels

Employees who have low energy are less likely to be productive. Too much sedentary time has been linked to heightened risks of anxiety and depression.

Studies have found that employees who move routinely were less stressed and fatigued. The same participants also reported that they have more energy throughout the work day. Healthier employees are happier and more productive.

Are you ready to introduce a healthier workplace? Contact us today to get started towards a healthier working environment!

Yours in Ergonomics



Pronk NP, Katz AS, Lowry M, Payfer JR. Reducing Occupational Sitting Time and Improving Worker Health: The Take-a-Stand Project, 2011. Prev Chronic Dis 2012; 9:110323

5 Things We’re Grateful for in 2022 – Birthday Edition

It’s our birthday month at Ergonomicsdirect and we are celebrating all the amazing things we can currently be grateful for as a company. It really has been a tough last 2 years for most people, with a global pandemic that changed our world and working environment immensely.

There are of course way more than 5 things to be thankful for, but today, I thought I would stick to just the five things that came to mind as I wrote it.

Here they are:

  • The overall growth of the company – With the shift in focus to accommodate working from home/home offices due to covid, we were lucky enough to continue our business, but in a very different way than before. Remote working made ergonomics more relevant and helped us to continue assisting people to improve their health, comfort and productivity.
  • Growth of our product range – We take pride in stocking only the best quality ergonomic products and have added some wonderful new additions to our product range for 2022. We provide quality ergonomic equipment, and our passion is to help people improve their workspace in a practical and affordable manner.
Ergonomicsdirect Team - 2021
  • Growth of our team – We have been able to create full time job opportunities for three new team members since the end of last year. We’re excited to have Gene, Ralton and Nafiesha join our full-time team, and we know that they will be an integral part of our work family. We may be a small team, but we’ve always been fiercely proud of our work ethic and always ensure that our customers get only the best service.
  • New premises – In December 2021, we moved premises to Paarden Eiland, providing a bigger showroom, more office space, and an equipped warehouse to keep all our stock under one roof. We are still settling in, but feel beyond excited to be in our new home.
  • Impacting people’s lives – Not a day goes by that we don’t get clients thanking us for reducing their pain and fatigue, and for improving their everyday functioning. We feel so blessed to be able to make a difference every day. This is why we do what we do.

Different people define “gratitude” in their own way, but it’s officially defined as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”

We would like to thank our loyal customers for their ongoing support, we appreciate each and every person who has been a part of the Ergonomicsdirect journey.

Please stay safe out there.

Yours in Ergonomics
The Ergonomicsdirect Team (Piet, Jayson, Wendy, Denvor, Austin, Nafiesha, Gene & Ralton)

Benefits of Using Standing Desk Mats at Work

By Wendy van Wyk, Registered Biokineticist

Standing while working has become a popular work approach. Many offices are adopting the use of ergonomic standing desks for their employees to adopt a healthy lifestyle, encouraging them to move as they work. They have equally become a popular home office fixture, now that working from home has become the new norm for many.

Equipping the standing workstations with complementary accessories further enhances a comfortable, safe, and active work environment. Anti-fatigue mats for standing desks allow users to stand for longer with fewer aches and pains.

As the name suggests, the purpose of anti-fatigue mats is to reduce fatigue on the legs and body, which can occur when standing for a long time on a hard surface. They are placed directly underneath your desk and should be readily available to move into position when you move from seated to standing.

Anti-fatigue mats come in many different versions but have the same benefits, here are some of the benefits that standing on an anti-fatigue mat can offer.

  1. Reduce Stress on the body. Rather than standing on a hard, solid surface like tile or concrete, if a worker stands on a standing mat, extra flexibility is added, much of the stress is relieved, resulting in a less exhausting working environment.
  2. Promote Better Blood Circulation. Anti-fatigue mats reduce stress on a person’s joints and muscles which makes the blood flow more evenly and regularly throughout the feet and legs.
  3. Prevents Joint Stiffness. Stiffness can be avoided as anti-fatigue mats allow you to make minor changes to your standing position.
  4. Reduced Lower Back Pain. Anti-fatigue mats can also alleviate pressure on the spine and alleviate the strain on the muscles, thus reducing lower back pain.
  5. Reduced Foot Pressure. Anti-fatigue mats prevent foot and leg pain by softening the floor surface, making it ergonomic.
  6. Increased Productivity. Removing pain and discomfort from the workplace makes good business sense since employees will perform more productively and with greater accuracy.

Our Ergonomicsdirect team can assist in doing an ergonomic assessment of your workstation, and can then advise which solutions and products will meet your specific requirements to reduce/prevent fatigue.

We stock a selection of standing mat options, which you can find on our online store. To view/shop our range of anti-fatigue standing mats, click here

Till next time, please stay safe out there.

Yours in Ergonomics


3 Ways Ergonomics Can Improve Your Productivity

3 Ways Ergonomics Can Improve Your Productivity

Written by: Wendy van Wyk, Registered Biokineticist

Hello Ergonomic Enthusiasts, 

In these trying times, especially when working remotely, we all want to be more productive. How can ergonomics improve productivity?

The ergonomics improvement process reduces ergonomic risk factors and improves the interaction between the workplace and the worker. Done well, this process removes barriers to productivity and makes tasks easier and faster to accomplish.

Here are 3 ways that ergonomics can increase productivity:

Ergonomic Workstations Help Reduce the Risk of Injury

One of the biggest threats to productivity at the workplace is an increase in injuries, resulting in an increase in the number of employees who are absent at the workplace. A solution companies can consider is offering comfortable workstations that promote healthy postures, which in turn, help cut down strain and make work easier.

Employees Who Have Ergonomic Workstations Make Fewer Errors

Workers who work in ergonomic workstations concentrate better at what they are doing. In contrast, uncomfortable employees tend to get distracted from their work by the discomfort and end up making errors that they would have otherwise not made. 

Comfortable Workers Have More Energy, Therefore Work Better

Office ergonomics can boost employee mood and energy. Poor posture can lead to fatigue, stress, and discomfort, ultimately affecting one’s mood. By creating an environment that allows employees to succeed, they will feel more confident in their ability to perform and feel less overwhelmed. This environment can also enable employees to focus better and can motivate them to get their work done effectively and efficiently. 

ConclusionErgonomics can have a dramatic and far-reaching impact, including improving productivity. In today’s competitive business environment, it’s impossible to ignore ergonomics as a valuable and necessary process.

At Ergonomicsdirect we can assist to improve your health, comfort, and productivity in your workplace- contact us today!

Please stay safe out there.

Yours in Ergonomics 



Ergonomics and the Evolution of Office Spaces

Blog - Ergonomics and the Evolution of Office Spaces

By Wendy van Wyk, Registered Biokineticist.

I did an ergonomic assessment and workplace set up for a client this week- he purchased all the recommended products for his new home office. At the end of the install, I made sure that everything was positioned properly, and he was in the best possible posture.

The next minute his phone alerted him of a notification, and to my dismay, he picked it up and immediately went into a hunched over, forward head posture to answer the message. 

It made me realise once again that our digital world has changed the way we work and the way we set up workspaces. I easily solved his problem by adding one of our amazing Ergo flex device holders to his workstation, which will position his phone better and reduce postural strain. 

Office spaces of today are much different from what they used to be. Since the dawn of the 20th century, workplaces were a lot less tech orientated – most business communication took place over landlines and in-person and documents were all hard copies. Offices have evolved from crowded spaces to shared workstations, from cubicle farms to remote and networked locations.

The way we work is constantly changing as are the tools used to carry out work. The explosion of technology in the past decades has not only provided us with new tools but has also changed the way offices look, how businesses organize themselves, and much more.


The coronavirus pandemic has increased our collective screen time, and that’s particularly true on mobile devices. According to a new report from mobile data and analytics firm App Annie, global consumers are now spending an average of 4.2 hours per day using apps on their smartphones, an increase of 30% from just two years prior. 

Smartphones, laptops, and 5G wireless connections mean that work is more and more something you do, and less a place you go to. As we continue to do more and more with less tech, the physical appearance of the office will be less tied to the hardware needed to carry out work.

In today’s digital world, smartphones are used for just about everything. It’s not uncommon to spend hours on social media, texting, or watching videos on your phone or tablet. 

Too much screen time affects your health in more ways than one. A condition called tech neck is a growing concern among healthcare professionals. All that time spent on digital devices is bad for your posture, your eyes, your heart, and your mood. Chronically having your neck in a forward, downward position results in headaches, neck and shoulder pain, stiffness, soreness, and more.

Mobile devices aren’t going away. If anything, they are going to continue to change the way we work, study and connect with others. At Ergonomicsdirect we can assist in setting up your workstation correctly and providing products that can position mobile devices and computers better.

Our passion is to help people improve workplace health, comfort & productivity in a practical and affordable manner. Contact me today on 066 170 0324 or to do an ergonomics assessment, so I can advise on improving your workspace.

Till next time, stay safe out there.

Yours in Ergonomics




Wrist Pain and Your Desk Set-Up

Wrist Pain and Your Desk Set-Up

By Wendy van Wyk, Registered Biokineticist

I have recently had several clients coming to me with complaints regarding wrist pain whilst working at their desks. If you work in an office job, repetitive hand and wrist movements involved in various tasks, such as typing, or mouse use can make you susceptible to wrist pain.

Office workers typically develop wrist pain after performing repetitive movements day after day in ergonomically incorrect environments.

While wrist pain can interfere with your ability to perform your responsibilities comfortably, it can also affect your productivity. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common source of wrist pain, and also a very common reason for lost days due to illnesses and injuries.

What is Carpal tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome, also called median nerve compression, is a condition that causes pain, numbness, or weakness in your hands. It happens because of pressure on your median nerve, which runs the length of your arm. Anything that irritates the nerves that run down into the wrist can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome.

This is particularly relevant to workstation ergonomics due to the fact that poor seated posture is a significant risk factor for increased stress to the median nerve.

Risk Factors in the office environment:

  • Having your chair too low in relation to the desk.
  • The wrists are cocked into extension because the keyboard is too high.
  • The wrists digging into the edge of the desk.

How Can Office Ergonomics Help To Prevent Wrist Pain?

Arranging your activity and workspace using ergonomic guidelines can help prevent wrist pain.

There are quite a few ergonomic solutions that can prevent/reduce wrist discomfort and pain. These include:

  • Ensuring correct work surface and chair height
  • Correct keyboard height
  • Adequate monitor placement
  • A wrist rest for a more neutral wrist angle (that does not put extra pressure on the wrist)
  • A mousepad to decrease “mouse drifting” and misalignment
  • Footrest to support feet (if required) which will, in turn reduce lower back strain and improve your posture
  • Sometimes, in severe cases bracing might be required

Our Ergonomicsdirect team can assist in doing an ergonomic assessment of your workstation, and can then advise which solutions and products will meet your specific requirements to reduce/prevent your wrist pain.

Till next time, please stay safe out there.

Yours in Ergonomics



Decrease Fatigue And Increase Productivity With Office Ergonomics

Decrease Fatigue And Increase Productivity With Office Ergonomics - Blog Image

By Wendy van Wyk, Registered Biokineticist

Easter is here and the first quarter of the year has flown by terribly quickly. Something I hear people say every day is how exhausted and fatigued they already are in 2021.

Sitting in bad posture at a poorly designed workstation for hours-on-end could be hugely contributing to this fatigue. An ergonomically correct office space will help you reduce fatigue and discomfort – who doesn’t want that?

Office ergonomics is the study and modification of the office workplace to best fit it to the needs and requirements of the workers. The basic posture of each employee is considered in relation to his workstation, as well as other factors that increase fatigue (such as glare, noise and poor temperature control).

Workstations can be designed to maximize performance and reduce costs by considering both ergonomics and productivity together.

Ergonomics Increases Productivity

A well-designed workspace allows for good posture, fewer repetitive motions, better heights and reaches, less exertion, reduced awkward postures and high-force requirements, and more efficiency. Companies that invest in ergonomic equipment in their workspaces find that employees can work at a faster pace, make fewer errors, are more positive, and have higher energy levels.

Ergonomics Decreases Costs

Happier, safer, healthier employees save companies money. Production stays up because absenteeism is lower. If an employee experiences less or no discomfort or fatigue during the workday, it can reduce turnover and MSD costs, improve morale, and increase staff involvement.

Ergonomics Improves Quality

Happy, comfortable, healthy employees work harder. They aren’t as fatigued or frustrated, so they tend to do their best work. A job that is less physically taxing allows employees to work to the best of their ability as they were trained.  It’s important to be aware of one’s level of fatigue, and just as important to know that most workplace fatigue is avoidable.

At Ergonomicsdirect, we can assist in doing a proper workstation assessment for you, and then suggest modifications and products to make your workstation fit your needs.This enables maximum performance through reduction of wasted motion and unnecessary stresses.

Let’s create a safe, ergonomic space for you today, and improve your health, comfort and productivity!

Hope everyone had a great easter and I wish you all a happy and healthy April – stay safe out there.

Yours in Ergonomics



Ergonomics For Kids During Virtual Learning

Ergonomics For Kids During Virtual Learning- New Blog

By Wendy Van WykBiokineticist & Ergonomic Assessor

Remote learning can be a pain for kids in more ways than one. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many students remain in a distance learning arrangement or a hybrid model with at least some schooling taking place from home. An ergonomically correct remote learning setup is important because it can help prevent long-term problems with their posture and help avoid discomfort.

To help parents ensure their children have the proper setup – and that their growing bodies don’t suffer unintended consequences of an at-home workstation, Ergonomicsdirect is offering their services to assist with workstation assessments and discounted ergonomic products.

If kids are sitting in a hunched-over posture, with their feet off the ground, staring at their screens without breaks, they can get neck strain, back strain, and eye strain. Poor attention or participation, becoming easily distracted, headaches or body aches are also potential side effects.

Here’s how you can help your child stay safe – ensure that they have a correct ergonomic workstation setup:
  • Ensure that they sit in a chair with back support at the dining table or a desk instead of on the couch, in bed, or on the floor which promotes poor posture.
  • Children and adults alike should maintain a neutral posture while sitting at a computer, with the spine not twisted or bent, the lower back supported and the neck straight.
  • Place the computer or tablet on a table in front of your child, instead of letting them hold the screen in their lap. The top of the screen should be at eye level.
  • Forearms and thighs should be roughly parallel to the floor, and feet should be flat and supported, not dangling.
  • Arms should rest comfortably at the sides, with wrists straight and relaxed. The work area should be well-lit with the monitor positioned at approximately arm’s length and the top part of the screen comfortably at eye level.

Children working on laptops need to raise it up to a comfortable level. Another option for achieving a neutral posture is to get a laptop stand, and an external keyboard and mouse so they can keep their wrists straight.

An adjustable ergonomic chair can help a child achieve proper positioning at a desk or table, or an alternative is to equip a regular chair to make it more comfortable for kids by using pillows to raise up the child or rolling up towels for lower-back support. Kids may also need to put their feet on a box or footrest.

Breaks are built into the normal school day as students do things like play at break time, switch classes and walk to lunch. But remote learning can be one long sedentary grind with eyes glued to the screen unless you actively plan to break up the day. Try to make sure that your kids stand up, and move around at least every 30 minutes.

For a home workstation assessment and advice on how to correct your ergonomic setup, please contact me at or 066 170 0324.