An obvious side effect of the digital revolution is actually often overlooked: More people are spending more time in front of a screen. But the human body isn’t really built for that. We’ll tell you how you can avoid health problems while simultaneously improving employee satisfaction and productivity.
The computer workstation – A widespread disease.
The German Federal Statistical Office estimates that two thirds of employees between the ages of 25 and 54 work at a computer workstation, and as the industrial age progressively transitions into the age of information, this will only increase. However, the human body is not built to cope well with sedentary jobs. Muscle tension in the shoulders and neck plus headaches are more often than not the result of a non-ergonomic posture when sitting or outdated hardware and a growing number of employees have reported back and eye problems in recent years Bad posture or a flickering screen can lead to long-term and painful effects on health, but there are simple and well-thought through solutions to avoid these issues.
The first step is to understand the parameters. If only the individual health problems of single employees are taken into account, the extent of corporate responsibility remains unclear. However, the consequences of one employee missing a day of work could quickly outweigh the costs of an ergonomic workplace. A workstation optimised for health is, therefore, not a luxury, but an economically astute investment that will soon pay off. Economic benefits become even more tangible when a holistic view is taken: Employees with well-optimised workplaces are happier and work more productively than those whose workstations literally make them sick. By implementing well-thought through, preventative measures, you don’t just reduce time off, but also improve employee satisfaction and productivity.
The correct posture.
In order to get a handle on health problems, there are three factors to consider. We first have to take a look at the workstations. German occupational health regulations (ArbStättV) provide a meaningful legal framework. According to them, selecting the right desk and positioning it correctly are extremely important. The work surface should be freely adjustable between 68 and 76 centimetres. There may be a gap of about 10 centimetres between the user’s thigh and the bottom edge of the desk. The desk chair needs to have been designed for intensive use of over 8 hours. The perfect sitting position has a 45° angle between the upper and lower legs and between the upper and lower arms. Feet should be flat on the ground, the lower arms resting on the work surface. The sitting position does, however, need to be adjusted throughout the course of the day to prevent the stress on the skeletal system and intervertebral discs. Sitting balls or standing desks can be used temporarily to minimise stress.
The perfect set-up.
To ensure unimpeded working, a workstation should be placed at a right-angle to a window. If the window is behind the monitor, the difference in brightness can strain the eyes with headaches and fatigue the result. If the window is behind the employee, this can cause reflections on the screen, meaning people often automatically change the way they sit to try and avoid them resulting in muscle tension and bad posture. And there’s something a lot of workstation users don’t know: they should look down on their monitor, not up. The top edge of the screen should be well below the user’s horizontal line of vision, with the centre of the screen 35° below that. The correct distance is dependent on the screen size, but is mostly between 50 and 80 centimetres. To reduce muscle pain in the shoulders and neck, the user should sit directly in front of the monitor. To ensure optimum set up, screens that have large height and width adjustment options are recommended.
The perfect monitor.
The third factor is the monitor itself. If you have to sit in front of a screen for 8 hours a day, you don't want to be faced with constant flickering or reflections that stop you doing your job. Outdated CRT monitors are thankfully a thing of the past, but that doesn’t mean that every flat screen monitor is ideal for professional use. Manufacturers of screens with highly reflective surfaces (glare-type displays) may promote their high contrast capabilities, but due to the disruptive reflections, these monitors do not usually comply with workstation regulations. Flickering displays are also counter-productive for health and efficiency.
The flickering on flat screen monitors is usually down to brightness controls. A lot of monitors make use of pulse width modulation (PWM)—a technology that causes no issues for the majority of users, but sensitive people may see clear flickering. Other providers rely on DC dimming which adjusts brightness by regulating current, but colour rendering in low brightness tends to be less than optimal. EIZO monitors bring together both technologies in one device: Pulse width modulation in low brightness control and DC dimming in high brightness control. This dual approach reduces eye strain when working in all conditions.
Ergonomic features for professional users.
In addition to alleviating eye and back strain, EIZO’S innovative, professional high-end monitors can also be easily adjusted to meet your unique requirements. Thanks to innovative features, long hours of working in front of a screen become a pleasure not a pain. You don’t have to adjust to your workplace any more—let your workplace adjust to you.
The ambient brightness around a monitor changes throughout the day and—with the unique Auto EcoView—the screen brightness adjusts to suit it. This means you won’t be dazzled and it will stop the screen becoming too dark in direct sunlight. This doesn’t only protect your eyes, but also the environment and your budget as automatic adjustment saves 50% energy.
Automatic colour mode.
Nicht jede Anwendung benötigt dieselben Farbwerte. Mit der automatischen Farbeinstellung wechselt der Bildschirm beispielsweise beim Bearbeiten von Word-Dateien in den Paper-Modus. Dabei werden Kontrast, Helligkeit und Farbe automatisch an die Anwendung angepasst. Durch die Reduktion des Anteils von blauem Licht wird das Lesen auf echtem Papier simuliert. Ihre Augen werden es Ihnen danken.
To prevent back problems, it’s essential to be able to make fine adjustments to the monitor’s position. Thanks to their flexible stand, EIZO monitors can be freely adjusted in height, tilt and rotation. Depending on the model, they can even be lowered to the level of the stand’s base plate, meaning it is always easy to find the optimum setting for comfortable working, depending on your height and sitting position.
EIZO FlexScan monitors for ergonomic working.
The office monitors with a screen diagonal of 22" to 31.5" fulfil all the requirements for a modern and ergonomic workstation. Their attractive, nearly bezelless design and anti-glare design prevents annoying reflections. Auto EcoView ensures a brightness setting that works with the ambient lighting. Automatic colour mode selects the correct settings for the application, preventing additional eye strain. And thanks to the flexible stand, the monitor can be turned, swivelled and tilted so that back and neck muscles are not placed under too much stress.