good office ergonomics

The Benefits of Good Office Ergonomics

The importance of maintaining a healthy and comfortable workspace cannot be overstated. Good office ergonomics, encompassing the design of furniture, equipment and the overall work environment, plays a pivotal role in enhancing employee wellbeing and productivity.

In this article, Assist Group, an occupational health service provider, explores the key elements of good office ergonomics, as well as the benefits of a professional ergonomic assessment.

What is ergonomics?

At its heart, ergonomics is simply the process of designing or arranging workplaces, products and systems so that they fit the people who use them. This helps to maximise the efficiency, quality and quantity of work while minimising work-related pain, injury and fatigue.

Key elements of good office ergonomics

Creating an ergonomic office environment involves thoughtful consideration of various elements to ensure the wellbeing and productivity of workers – and that includes yourself if you work from home.

Choose chairs that provide adequate lumbar support to maintain the natural curve of the spine. Ensure adjustable seat height to allow feet to rest flat on the floor, promoting good circulation. Armrests, when present, should support the arms without causing shoulder strain.

If you can, opt for sit-stand desks to encourage movement during the work day, and ensure sufficient legroom and space for leg movement under the desk when seated. Position computer monitors at eye level to reduce strain on the neck and eyes.

Place the keyboard and mouse at a height that allows the wrists to remain straight and relaxed. Adjust monitor distance and angle to minimise glare and reduce the need for excessive head movement. Use ergonomic accessories, such as a mouse pad with wrist support, to enhance comfort.

Good lighting will help to reduce eye strain; a combination of natural and artificial lighting is ideal. Position light sources to avoid glare on screens and reflective surfaces, and allow for adjustable task lighting for individual workstations.

It’s important to maintain good posture throughout the workday (and beyond). Regular breaks and stretching exercises help to reduce stiffness and muscle fatigue.

Design workspaces with easy access to frequently used items, to minimise reaching and twisting. A clutter-free environment will also go a long way towards reducing stress and improving concentration.

Ergonomic accessories such as footrests, document holders, laptop stands, split keyboards and vertical mice will enhance comfort.

If you’re a business owner or work in HR, consider a professional ergonomic assessment for new employees. Ergonomic assessments are widely becoming another step in the induction process of new team members, and the first line of defence against repetitive strain injuries.

What are ergonomic assessments?

An ergonomic assessment is an assessment of a worker at their workstation to ensure correct working postures and workstation set-up. Guided by industry leading ergonomic practices, allied health professionals use their comprehensive knowledge of anatomy and biomechanical principles to perform effective and functional ergonomic assessments.

These assessments can be carried out on a per-person basis following reports of injury or symptoms, or a full workforce screening to ensure all staff are working in an ergonomically sound environment. These experts can then recommend a complete workplace redesign or audit and procurement of new workstation environments.

Assist Group offers these assessments at locations around Australia and New Zealand. Our allied health professionals have designed a range of assessments to provide the greatest amount of benefit, from the basic 20-minute assessment all the way through to strategic planning and design of new offices.

Benefits of good office ergonomics

Good ergonomic set-ups offer lots of benefits, which is why regular ergonomic assessments are highly recommended for all workplaces, including home offices.

Boosted productivity

A well-thought-out ergonomic workspace aims to improve productivity by ensuring that employees can work efficiently and comfortably. When chairs, desks, and computer setups are designed to support the natural body posture, you may be more comfortable working.

Better posture habits

Physical discomfort and bad posture habits resulting from poor ergonomics may contribute to a range of musculoskeletal problems. Some common issues that may be helped through improved ergonomics include:

  • Lower back pain
  • Tendon inflammation
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Neck strain
  • Forward head posture.

Implementing good office ergonomics through proper chair and desk height, keyboard placement, and monitor positioning, may help to address these issues.

Enhanced focus and concentration

An ergonomic environment contributes to enhanced focus and concentration by eliminating distractions caused by discomfort.

When employees are not constantly adjusting their seating or struggling with awkwardly positioned equipment, they can direct their attention and energy towards the task at hand. This is particularly crucial in roles that demand sustained concentration, such as data analysis or software development.

Increased employee satisfaction

Investing in office ergonomics is a tangible way for employers to demonstrate their commitment to employee wellbeing. When staff members feel that their comfort and health are prioritised, it fosters a positive work culture. This, in turn, can lead to increased job satisfaction and higher retention rates.

Employees who are content with their work environment are more likely to stay with their current employer, reducing turnover costs.

In fact, studies1 show that organisational and physical factors have positive impacts on job satisfaction.

Prevention of work-related injuries

Work-related injuries resulting from poor ergonomics can have significant financial implications for both employers and employees. The costs associated with medical treatment, absenteeism, and potential workers’ compensation claims can be mitigated by proactively addressing ergonomic issues.

An ergonomic assessment identifies potential risks and provides solutions to prevent injuries, saving both time and money in the long run.

According to a study2 looking at ergonomic interventions in the workplace: “the sitting position…and remaining seated for prolonged periods can overload musculoskeletal structures and lead to development of symptoms such as pain and discomfort, since no posture is healthy if maintained for long periods.”

Therefore, ergonomic interventions aim to improve workplace situations, while making offices more appropriate for the workers who use them.

Cost savings in the long run

While investing in ergonomic furniture and conducting assessments may seem like an upfront cost, it often leads to substantial savings long term. The prevention of work-related injuries, reduced absenteeism and increased productivity contribute to a positive return on investment.

Employers who prioritise office ergonomics understand that the initial investment is a strategic one that pays off over time.

In fact, Assist Group cites a meta-evaluation3 looking at economic return of worksite health promotion which found that, on average, these programs:

  • reduce sick leave absenteeism by 25.3%
  • decrease workers compensation costs by 40.7%
  • decrease disability management costs by 24.2%
  • save $5.81 for every $1 invested in employee health and wellbeing.

All of this is to say that the benefits of good office ergonomics and ergonomic assessments extend beyond mere comfort. They contribute to enhanced productivity, improved employee wellbeing and long-term cost savings.


Recognising the importance of these factors, organisations are increasingly incorporating ergonomic principles into their workspace design and practices.

If you’ve got questions about how better workplace ergonomics can help improve your posture, and what else you can do to improve your spinal health, get in touch with Sydney Spinal Care today.

Get in Touch

Contact Dr. Matthew Alch (Chiropractor) from Sydney Spinal Care today.


    • Ramos-García VM, López-Leyva JA, Ramos-García RI, García-Ochoa JJ, Ochoa-Vázquez I, Guerrero-Ortega P, Verdugo-Miranda R, Verdugo-Miranda S. Ergonomic Factors That Impact Job Satisfaction and Occupational Health during the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic Based on a Structural Equation Model: A Cross-Sectional Exploratory Analysis of University Workers. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Aug 28;19(17):10714. doi: 10.3390/ijerph191710714. PMID: 36078429; PMCID: PMC9518517.
    • Soares C, Shimano SGN, Marcacine PR, Fernandes LFRM, de Castro LLPT, de Walsh IAP. Ergonomic interventions for work in a sitting position: an integrative review. Rev Bras Med Trab. 2023 Apr 18;21(1):e2023770. doi: 10.47626/1679-4435-2023-770. PMID: 37197350; PMCID: PMC10185389.
    • Chapman, L.S 2007, Proof Positive. An Analysis of the Cost Effectiveness of Worksite Wellness, Seattle: Chapman Institute, cited in
    • HAPIA, Best-Practice Guidelines: Workplace Health in Australia, 15 July 2011,

    Disclaimer: This article is created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice.