Ergonomics is more than the human interaction with products – it’s also about considerations like lighting, acoustics and air quality. Each of these factors affects our wellbeing. Well-designed spaces not only make people feel better, but they increase effectiveness at work, too. The cost of making your working space a place of wellness is then clearly seen as an investment, not an expense.
Well-designed spaces not only make people feel better, but they promote at work, too. Right workplace environment can help create a positive sense of the world for the people who use it. The ergonomic factors of each space – furniture lay-out, acoustics, indoor air, lightning - can make it more than just a place to work.
The reason is clear. This serious issue of wellness, which every business should consider, can improve effectiveness and increase profits. Developments in information and communication technology are changing the way of working in offices and the usage of office spaces. Technology allows people to move location frequently, be mobile, work together or alone. Ergonomics should be considered as a challenge in activity based working as all spaces including meeting rooms, unofficial meeting areas, lobbies and cafeterias are places for working. Besides all the benefits flexible working sets also requirements for the whole office environment, for acoustics and lightning as well. Martela has been actively participating studies, were target is, for example, to improve workplace environment for knowledge workers. Improved information of ergonomics facilitates information processing, allows time to be used more efficiently and decreases the number of interruptions fragmenting our working days. The manual ‘Monitilatoimisto, ohjeita käyttöön ja suunnitteluun’, produced as part of the study ‘User-friendly office premises’(TOTI) of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. You can download the full manual at www.ttl.fi/toti (the document is in Finnish).
A typical office worker will spend up to eight years of his life sitting at a workstation. This means that it is extremely important to be positioned correctly and to move regularly in order to reduce the risk of long term health problems. People also come in all shapes and sizes and have individual ergonomic needs Therefore, to avoid developing health problems, it's important to find office furniture with easy and quick ergonomic adjustments. Good office chair can be chosen from various models depending on work type, user and surrounding space. Decent chair supports the lower back and promotes good posture. Electrically height adjustable desks are not only easy to use but allows you to work on a standing position. Better posture, reduced neck and shoulder problems and improve levels of alertness are just some of the benefits you can enjoy by switching to standing. Correct lightning and visual ergonomic settings reduces neck and head pain. Although we spend a lot of our time at our workstation, we are also spending more and more time in meeting rooms. The same rules apply here. With these tips you can easily improve your working position and overall well-being and you will be able to concentrate better on your work – Work station ergonomics.
Flexibility is a crucial issue also regarding schools. Modern learning environments increasingly take into account various learning situations, and the requirements for learning and ways to teach vary from subject to another. Also, the expanding use of ICT technology generates new thinking on how learning takes place. Teamwork is a growing trend in education, whereby learning no longer is connected to a certain space, and areas outside the classroom are utilized. School premises are being used outside school hours for courses and adult education, which emphasizes the importance of flexibility of the environment.
In the care sector, ergonomics should be seen from different perspectives. People needing care have a lower ability to get through daily tasks independently, so they require solutions to support their everyday activities. Homely interior and quality of life are the result of successful design. On the other hand, those working in welfare environment need ergonomics perhaps even more, since the tasks performed are physically demanding and time-consuming. Cautious interior planning and furniture design can significantly improve both customer wellbeing and carrying out work tasks.