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Unlocking Comfort and Productivity: The Power of Ergonomic Certification Standards

15 August 2023

Your employees spend the majority of their day sitting at a desk, using a computer and going to meetings. To ensure your employees feel valued, you must create a workspace that supports their more sedentary lifestyles. This is where ergonomic certification standards come into play. These standards can help you to unlock a world of comfort and productivity for your employees.

If you aren't sure what ergonomic certification standards are, or how they can help you then fear not because today we will be examining the effectiveness of these standards. We will explore the accepted certification standards for height adjustable desks, and ergonomic chairs and emphasise the benefits they offer your employees.

You can transform your workplace into a haven of comfort and productivity by realising the potential of ergonomic certification standards, improving the general well-being of your employees and fostering success in their endeavours. Let's jump in!

What are Ergonomic Certification Standards?

The goal of ergonomics is to ensure that the performance, safety, and well-being of users are optimised when designing products, processes, and environments. It so follows, that ergonomic certification standards aim to promote ergonomic design principles to create safe and comfortable work environments. There are a number of recognised organisations that establish and enforce ergonomic certification standards such as the British Standards Institution. These organisations work with subject-matter specialists to develop standards and requirements that manufacturers must satisfy in order to be certified for their goods.

Benefits of Adhering to Ergonomic Certification Standards

There are a number of benefits associated with adhering to ergonomic certification standards, these include:

- The products are guaranteed to have undergone thorough testing and evaluation, ensuring their quality and safety.

- Purchasing products that adhere to ergonomic certification standards will also improve the well-being of your employees. This is because the user experience is the main focus of ergonomic certification standards, which means comfort and support are top priorities. Products that have been certified are designed to accommodate various body types and encourage good posture, which lowers the risk of musculoskeletal disorders and discomfort.

- If your employees are comfortable, they are usually more efficient and productive. By addressing elements like adjustability, range of motion, and ergonomic design principles, ergonomic certification standards enable people to personalise their workstations to meet their unique requirements. You can foster a work environment that encourages productivity, minimises distractions, and lowers the likelihood of fatigue and discomfort by providing employees with ergonomic products that have undergone certification.

Ergonomic Certification Standards for Height Adjustable Desks

Height adjustable desks give your employees the power to switch between sitting and standing throughout the day. This flexibility encourages good posture, lessens the adverse effects of prolonged sitting, and reduces musculoskeletal problems. There are a number of certification standards that focus specifically on height adjustable desks. These include:

- ANSI/BIFMA X5.5-2021: This standard was developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in collaboration with the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA). It sets the standards for conventional tables and desks, keyboard tables, monitor arms, tilt-top tables and height adjustable desks.

- EN 527-1: This European standard focuses on office furnishings, such as height adjustable desks. It ensures that desks are stable, safe and durable.

Height adjustable desks are typically subjected to stringent testing and evaluation to ensure they comply with these standards. This testing involves:

1) Testing the height range: The desk should have a broad range of height adjustments available, enabling users of different heights to find their perfect sitting and standing positions.

2) Testing the stability: The desk should be balanced and stable at a variety of heights to avoid wobbling or tipping over during use.

3) Testing the adjustability mechanism: Users should be able to easily and smoothly switch between standing and sitting positions thanks to the height adjustment mechanism.

4) Testing the weight capacity: The desk should be able to support the weight of computer hardware, paperwork and other office supplies.

5) Testing the durability: High-quality materials should be used during construction to ensure the desk's long-term dependability and durability.

If all of the above standards are reached through testing the height adjustable desk or standing desk will pass the ergonomic certification standard! By choosing desks that adhere to these standards, you will ensure that your employees have access to quality products that promote optimal ergonomics.

Ergonomic Certification Standards for Ergonomic Chairs

Ergonomic chairs are specifically designed to support the spine's natural curves and encourage good posture whilst seated. This is because they allow users to customise their seating positions for the utmost comfort and spinal alignment. There are a number of different ergonomic certification standards to ensure that office chairs meet the necessary requirements. These include:

- ANSI/BIFMA X5.1-2017(R2022): This is another standard developed by ANSI and BIFMA which focuses on standard office and institutional chairs, stools, stacking chairs, side/guest chairs and ergonomic chairs. Generally, those chairs covered by this certification have a single seat and adjustment features.

- BS 1335: The standards for office chairs, including ergonomic chairs, are laid out in this European standard. For determining the stability, strength, and durability of office work chairs, BS EN 1335 specifies mechanical test methods.

Numerous criteria are typically included in certification standards for ergonomic chairs in order to assess their ergonomic effectiveness. These include:

- A variety of adjustable features like seat height, backrest angle and lumbar support. Users can alter their seating arrangements to suit their body types and preferences thanks to these adjustments.

- The chair should support the lower back's natural curve. This support lessens the possibility of your employee developing lower back pain and discomfort.

- To evenly distribute body weight, reduce pressure points, and prevent numbness or discomfort from prolonged sitting, the seat should be contoured and padded.

Concluding Thoughts

In conclusion, ergonomic certification standards play a significant role in ensuring the quality, efficacy, and ergonomic advantages of ergonomic chairs and height adjustable desks. You can improve the health and productivity of your staff by providing them with products that encourage good posture, support, and comfort by adhering to these standards. So, what are you waiting for? Invest in a standing desk or an ergonomic chair today!