Workplace Ergonomics for Landscape Architects: The Best Equipment for Your Office. Are you worried about the time you spend sitting and working? Have you started to complain of backaches? Are you already wearing glasses? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, keep on reading. This article is dedicated to all of you landscape architects out there who are putting in a lot of hours at the office and risking your health while doing so. But don’t worry: You can stay healthy by choosing the right ergonomic equipment for your office.
First of all, you need to understand that technology has made us sedentary. We are no longer forced to hunt for food, and that has changed our bodies. It has made them less resistant and more prone to adopting postures that are quite harmful. People who spend a lot of time at the office usually suffer from neck and back pain. Due to the constant looking at the computer screen, they have headaches that can range from mild to severe, and their eyesight is no longer as good as it should be (thus wearing glasses becomes imperative). The repetitive tasks that we perform on the computer lead to strain injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. WATCH: If you sit at an office, you should watch this video
The Design Solutions By changing the equipment of your office and choosing ergonomic elements, you can be comfortable at work while reducing the risk of adopting inadequate postures or one of the strain injuries. Fortunately, there is an entire industry revolving around the concept of workplace ergonomics – there are hundreds, if not thousands of products to choose from in redesigning your office. Keep in mind, the primary purpose should be your correct posture and not how good your office will look in the end. Let’s talk about some of the most useful ergonomic office equipment for a landscape architect. Because you spend a lot of time sitting, you will require an ergonomic chair – this will help you adopt a correct posture, providing the necessary comfort and movement at the same time. WATCH: A few tips on the Posture of your body – Part 1
Ergonomic office chairs Ergonomic office chairs, such as the one from Posturite, have specific characteristics to offer, with each element being carefully chosen so as to prevent and remedy any back problems that might occur or exist. It will allow you to keep an upright posture, with a generous amount of support in the lower back area. The armrests are placed at a straight angle while the headrest allows you the necessary time off from the computer. You can even choose different types of seats, such as the coccyx cut-out or the memory foam one. Choosing a Good Desk
Image credit: Angus McIntyre and Mattthew – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
Once you have settled on a chair, you will also need a desk that suits your needs and protects your health. An interesting proposition that I would like to make is the sit/stand desk with adjustable height. In case you are wondering why you should be interested in such a product, just think about how bad sitting is for your health. With this desk, you can stand and sit whenever you feel like it. The switch control is easy to operate, and you will certainly enjoy the generous desk space it has to offer. The desk can be easily customized, by choosing the desired width, depth, and finish. If you like working from a standing position, you will certain love the standing platform that comes as an accessory for the above-mentioned desk. This platform allows you to maintain a correct posture, with the weight being equally distributed on both legs. The Corner Desk Dilemma For those with a corner desk, a very useful accessory is represented by the corner keyboard adjuster. It is well known that having the computer in a corner places a lot of strain on your back, leading especially to problems in the neck and shoulder area. With the corner keyboard adjuster, the keyboard is maintained in a comfortable position and you can forget about the previously experienced pain or discomfort. Do you have an ergonomic mouse? Any physiotherapist will tell you that working at the computer all the time puts you at risk for repetitive strain injuries, such as the commonly encountered carpal tunnel syndrome. This is why it is recommended that you exchange your regular mouse for an ergonomic one. The vertical mouse is a good choice, as it protects against repetitive strain injuries. With this type of mouse, you will see that the workload on the hand is reduced and the exaggerated movements at the wrist are avoided. Thus, you can reduce the chances of developing carpal tunnel syndrome and continue working just as efficiently as before. With an ergonomic mouse, you will also need an ergonomic keyboard. This will reduce the discomfort associated with typing and the constant straining of the fingers in reaching certain parts of the keyboard. Ergonomic keyboards come with specific support for the wrist area, contributing to the prevention of problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome. The ergonomic keyboard allows for a more natural manner of typing, reducing the excessive pronation of the wrist and the amount of pain generated through such movements.
Delux M618 vertical mouse. Photo credit: Ilya Plekhanov. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
Having the Correct Document Holder You might not give too much importance to the exact place where you keep your documents on your desk, but this also contributes to different health problems. The majority of landscape architects have their documents on the lateral side of the computer, causing them to constantly twist their neck and back to read the information written there. With the document holder, you can keep the documents right in front of your eyes, between the keyboard and the computer screen. This solution will help you adopt the right posture, reducing the risk for damaging movements in the neck and back area. How to Make Your Laptop More Comfortable The truth is that each element you use around the office should be ergonomic. If you have a laptop instead of a PC, you will require a laptop working station that is ergonomic.
Screen filters will reduce the eye damage that occurs with constantly looking at that monitor. They will reduce the risk of you bringing your head closer and closer to the monitor screen, experiencing not only problems with your eyes but also with your neck. Be Posture Perfect Posture supports, such as the lumbar support, will ensure that you keep your spine straight throughout the entire time you are working at the desk. You will no longer suffer from back pain or other upsetting symptoms. Feet and Wrist Support And if you really want to be comfortable while working at your desk, you can also use the support for the feet and the one for the wrist. These will add value to your workplace, reducing the risk for venous insufficiency in the feet or carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist. – WATCH: A few tips on the Posture of your body – Part 2
You can shine as a landscape architect while adopting a correct posture at work and looking after your health. No one says that you cannot work intensively and with active interest in your projects, but you should never forget that you, too, are important. Choose ergonomic solutions for your workplace and you will be able to enjoy a long and beautiful career as a landscape architect. Recommended Reading: