Chances are, anyone occupying London office space uses computers in most, if not all areas of productivity. We feel that there is an information deficit in the way that many choose to address this. Ergonomic considerations should be made when considering IT infrastructure and the way your office is fitted out.

You’ve probably come across some guidelines but many of them are full of jargon:

VDU, VDT, DSE or Monitor?
Actually, all of these things are exactly the same, the screen that sits on your desk.

People blame all manner of health problems on their monitors, such as short sightedness and eyestrain. The reality is that monitors do not affect your level of vision in terms of short or long sightedness. With the demise of CRT (Cathode Ray Tube – those old boxy things) monitors, eyestrain has been near eliminated, LCD (TFT or flatscreen) panels are a lot more friendly on the eyes. This is because on the old style monitors, the picture was constantly changing, even if nothing was changing on screen. With LCD monitors, the image is static until something changes. This means your eyes have to do a lot less work to keep up.

Real problems of computer use
The real issues with computer use mostly lie in terms of aches, pain and disorders such as repetitive strain injury. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, good ergonomics in the workplace are absolutely vital in terms of productivity, motivation, and even from a legal perspective.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no legal limit on how long you can work with a monitor, but you and your employees or colleagues do need to take regular breaks. This does not mean take time to stay seated, get your secretary to bring you a tea and check your Facebook. It means resurfacing for air, at the very least walking around to restart your circulation!

What you need to do

  • Analyse your workstations, including all equipment and units.
  • Work out system that makes breaks more realistic, use software to remind staff to move every so often if you have to!
  • Communicate with your staff to work out any individual needs, particularly medical issues such as epilepsy or RSI sufferers.