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Ergonomic DSE workstation

In an ideal world, every workstation would be equipped with the right materials to create a good, ergonomic workstation. A good workstation does not aggravate or cause physical discomfort. The mental side is taken care of too. Timely breaks to get away from the screen briefly. To then continue working feeling more refreshed, concentrated and creative. All this makes people more productive. So what does a good workstation consist of? What needs to be taken into account? We can help you.

1. Desk

Working height: preferably adjustable from at least 60 to 82 cm and 60 to 125 cm (at least 62 to 120 cm) for sit-stand desks. The desk should preferably allow you to work with a neutral posture (that means without hunched shoulders). A sit-stand desk is preferable to a normal desk.
A worktop that is adjustable from 60-82 cm is sufficient in 90% of all work situations. People who use a sit-stand desk need take less frequent (47% less) and shorter breaks (56% shorter), because physical fatigue is managed more effectively by alternating between sitting and standing (Dainoff). They can therefore work for longer and under better conditions.
There are also additional points of focus for a work desk. For example, the dimensions will need to be at least 120 x 80 cm and the worktop should be anti-reflective so as not to put extra strain on the eyes. If it is adjustable, that is a plus, this works best if electrical and silent.
An easily adjustable electric sit-stand desk and training are recommended to ensure employees actually use sit-stand desks effectively (Wilks, 2006). Training and reminders to stand and then sit again can be given effectively via software programs. We also recommend ‘WORK & MOVE’ in collaboration with our partner BakkerElkhuizen. This is a program that gives training and reminders during the working day. Optional central reporting provides an insight into the use of the sit-stand desks and informs optimal use of sit-stand desks.

2. Chair

Looking at the NEN EN 1335-1 standard and preferably the NPR 1813:2003 too, a chair should be able to tilt backwards by at least 15° degrees. A chair should be comfortable to sit on and match the dimensions of the person sitting on it. Office chairs are adjustable because people have a wide variety of builds and preferences. The NEN standards serve as a guide for this. You should be able to adjust a good office chair according to the parameters below. Another equally important point is the fact that sitting in the same position for a long time can be a strain, we therefore like to see chairs that can be used in different ways and in different positions. Given the large number of hotdesks, the ability to adjust a chair easily is a must in this environment.
Arm support: it is important for the arms to be well supported by comfortable, height-adjustable armrests, or by the worktop if necessary when doing computer work. Good arm support reduces neck strain (Aaras, 2001, Cook, 1998, Karlqvist, 1998), partly because it facilitates better circulation (Hagberg M, 1984). In addition, there is less fatigue with the use of arm support(Arndt, 1983).

NBN-EN 1335 NPR 1813
Height < 40 – 51 >
adjustable by > 12 cm
41 – 55
Width 40 > 40 >
Depth < 40 – 42 >
adjustable by > 5 cm
38 – 48
Inclination adjustable from < -2° to -7°
> 6° tilt
-7° to +3°
NBN-EN 1335 NPR 1813
Height 36 > 37 >
Width 36 > 36 – 46
Lower back support < 17 – 22 > 17 – 12
Inclination > 15° tilt
NBN-EN 1335 NPR 1813
Height Fixed: 20 – 25
Adjustable < 20 – 25 >
20 – 30
Width > 4 > 5
Distance apart 46 – 51 36 – 51
Length > 20 > 20
Distance to edge of seat > 10 > 20

3. Document holder

Positioning of documents: the advice is that documents should be in line with the monitor and keyboard and placed on a surface with a slight incline. The same aspects for viewing the angle and viewing distance should be taken into account for reading or inputting data. A inclined work surface reduces bending and turning (or rotation) of the neck (Dul 1992) and therefore contributes to a better position of the neck, which reduces the risk of problems.
A document holder brings order to the workstation and provides a comfortable viewing distance, so the eyes benefit from this too. The disadvantage is that a document holder takes up space, so you sometimes need to move it out of the way for tasks dominated by writing.

4. Footrest

Support of the feet: a footrest must comply with DIN 4556. A footrest is required if the height of the worktop cannot be adjusted or cannot be adjusted sufficiently. This footrest should be at least 45 cm wide, 35 cm deep, and have an adjustment range of at least 11 cm. The inclination angle of the support surface should be adjustable from at leat 5 to 15 degrees (DIN 4556). It is important that the footrests at hotdesks can be adjusted quickly and easily.
A less well-known effect of a footrest is that it influences working posture. By moving the legs forward and being supported via the feet, you push the trunk back as it were. A footrest can provide support for lower back problems and instability, literally and figuratively. Finally, the surface of the footrest is anti-slip.

5. Screen

Resolution, size and number of screens: When using multiple applications at the same time, it is advisable to use two screens or one widescreen.

The resolution of a screen indicates how many pixels the screen is made up of, the higher the resolution (number of pixels), the sharper the image. However, there is a downside, a high resolution at the same screen size means smaller characters on the screen. The size of the pixels on the screen, also expressed in pixelpitch, should ideally not be smaller than 0.25mm. and preferably larger than 0.28mm.

Furthermore, the most important specifications are:

  • Good readability (contrast enhancement: at least 1.000:1)
  • A clear image (brightness: min. 250 cd/m2, higher if there is a high incidence of light)
  • Easy to adjust according to personal preference

Dual screen?

Using multiple screens provides better oversight and requires ‘less clicking’. Scientific research shows 10-15% more productivity and 33% fewer errors when using two or three screens (Research Productivity and Multiscreen Computer Displays – Janet Colvin ea). If desired, one widescreen can also be used instead of two screens.

6. Positioning of screen

Viewing distance: A flatscreen arm allows every hotdesk to be adjusted to the correct viewing height and distance for every user. The viewing distance should be at least 50 cm, but preferably over 50 cm. The height of the characters determines the viewing distance. The viewing distance should be at least 200, but preferably 150 times the character height (a character height of 4 mm therefore corresponds to a viewing distance of 60 cm).
A relatively larger viewing distance puts less strain on the eyes, because they need not compensate so much, however a condition is that the characters on the screen become proportionately larger (Owens and Wold Kelly 1987). The characters on the screen can sometimes be enlarged, for example, Word has a zoom in-zoom out function that enlarges or reduces the display of the active document. Larger characters are easier to read than smaller ones (Tullis et al, 1995). Smaller characters on the screen therefore lower productivity (Jaschinski-Kurza, 1988).
Viewing angle: Ensure the viewing angle facilitates a neutral position of the neck (so no obvious bending or straining of the neck). The viewing distance should preferably be as far as possible, but should create the tendency to “dive” into the computer. When using multiple screens, the angle between the outside of both screens and the center of the eyes should be a maximum of 60 degrees.

7. Laptop holder

A compact keyboard, mouse, laptop stand and external screen enable comfortable working on a laptop. A laptop stand has a positive effect on posture and contributes to a higher level of comfort (Boersma 2003, Lindblad 2003). To create an optimal workstation, it is necessary to connect a 19″ external monitor to the laptop. This should be considered when working on a laptop for extended periods (over 4-5 hours a day).

8. Mouse

Clicking and scrolling. A computer mouse is used intensively during the working day. It is important to avoid a static, unnatural postures(stretching/twisting the wrists inwards or sideways) when using a mouse. In addition, it is better for the mouse to be as close to the trunk as possible.
Excessive use of a mouse and using a mouse too far from the body causes wrist and lower arm problems (Jensen 1998, Fernstorm 1997, Burgess-Limmerick 1999, Armstrom 1994). When the mouse is closer to the body, it reduces strain on the neck and shoulders (Armstrom 1995, Cook 1998, Harvey 1997). Trackballs and trackpoints may put extra strain on the thumb.
When using a mouse, it is important to take short breaks, so-called pit stops. To do this, remove your hand from the mouse and rest your hand for about 10 seconds to reduce the tension.

9. Keyboard

The keyboard is an important piece of equipment. Good readability, logical functions and a pleasant keystroke enable effective use. What applies to the mouse also applies to the keyboard: rest the hands regularly (every 10 minutes).
The keyboard: The horizontal and vertical spacing of the keys should be at least 19 mm. There should be obvious tangible and/or audible feedback when striking the keys. A compact keyboard reduces the reach distance to the mouse.
In the absence of insufficient feedback, users tend to press the keys 3.9 times harder than actually necessary. This is a risk factor for developing lower arm and hand problems (Feuerstein, 1997, Gerard, 1996, 1999). In addition, it causes the user to make more mistakes, as a result of which productivity declines (Feuerstein, 1997, Yoshitake, 1995).
Compact keyboards (keyboards without a number pad, but with similar spacing between the keys to a normal keyboard) reduce the reach distance to the mouse (Cook, 1998), reduce strain on the lower arms, and are perceived as more comfortable than standard keyboards (Van Lingen, 2003). A compact keyboard is a fully-fledged alternative to a full size keyboard. If numerical data needs to be entered frequently, a separate number pad or compact keyboard with a number pad can be used.
A well-shaped keyboard can contribute to the prevention of problems (Moore and Swanson, 2003), because of better positioning of the lower arms and wrists (Riezebos, 1997).

Source: BakkerElkhuizen

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