With many employees spending long hours at a computer, providing a healthy environment is crucial for well-being and productivity. Some architecture, engineering and construction firms invest in ergonomic office chairs and larger displays to help mitigate common health risks like back pain and eye strain. However, there are other factors that can contribute to improved well-being.
5 Ways to Improve User Comfort
1. Publish advice on the best placement of monitor or laptop screen: according to ergonomics expert Dr. Alan Hedge, “If the monitor is too low, you will crane your neck forwards, if it’s too high you will tilt your head backwards and end up with neck or shoulder pain." To find the right position, sit back with your chair slightly reclined and hold your right arm out horizontally - your middle finger should almost touch the centre of the screen. At this position you can see the screen more clearly because humans have a greater visual field below the horizon, rather than above. Look down a corridor and you will always see more of the floor than the ceiling.
2. Increase display position flexibility: for desk-based employees, consider mounting displays on adjustable arms. These greatly increase the height, angle and depth at which a display can be positioned in relation to the user. Most monitors and all-in-one computers can be mounted onto an adjustable arm, which itself can be clamped to a desk without drilling holes. The Lenovo Adjustable Height Arm, for example, is suitable for any VESA-compatible monitor, ThinkCentre M Series or Lenovo V Series all-in-one.
3. Convertible devices are ergonomically better for mobile users who frequently work on tablets or laptops. For example, if reading emails and reports or web conferencing, folding the ThinkPad Yoga laptop into an alternative mode like 'Tent' or 'Stand' will bring the screen much closer to the user, improving posture. Such flexibility also enables more control over the angle of the screen - so the user can precisely adjust the screen angle whether they are sitting, standing or even laying on a sofa or bed.
4. Look for devices with anti-glare screens and high-contrast ratio. Anti-glare screens significantly reduce reflective light from indoor lighting or sunlight from outside, which in turn prevents users from leaning into the screen to try to see it more clearly. Similarly, screens with a higher contrast ratio appear clearer, whatever the surrounding light conditions.
5. Resolution and scaling are equally important: although a higher resolution screen enables greater detail and a larger area for multitasking, it also means objects and words get smaller. Ensure that users know how to adjust resolution and scale independently - boosting the size of menus, buttons and text without changing the resolution.