What are the 3 ergonomic working zones and why you should use them

Having an ergonomic workspace isn’t just having an ergonomic chair or desk, it’s also having your desk equipment set up ergonomically. The three ergonomic work zones divide your desk into three sections, this helps to keep your workspace organised, makes working at a desk easier and can help to improve posture.

Creating ergonomic working zones is simply just organising your computer accessories and equipment in a way that makes working at a desk smoother. The items you reach for or use more frequently should be placed the closest to you in zone one, zone two includes items you use often but not as frequently, and lastly the items you reach for the least or very rarely should be placed in the third zone.

Why you should consider using ergonomic work zones:

  • Helps to keep good posture
  • Keeps workspace organised
  • Makes work life at the desk simple

The way you arrange your items on your desk has a bigger impact on your posture than you might think. If you place the items you use most frequently on the opposite side of the desk, you will have to reach and stretch to be able to use them. Doing this will cause strain on the body over time and can cause injury and poor posture. Injuries like this can easily be avoided with ergonomic working zones.

Check out our YouTube video below where Jo, our expert workstation assessor, demonstrates how to set up your desk using the work zones.

Zone 1

When working in this zone you should be able to relax your shoulders and have your elbows close to your side. You can use the sweep method to work out where zone one is on your desk. The sweep method is where you sweep your hands across the desk whilst your elbows are still close to your side, the area your hands sweep across is zone one. You shouldn’t have to extend your arms at all if you’re working in this zone.

What items do you use most often on your desk?

The items you should have closest to you are:

  • Mouse
  • Keyboard
  • Notepad/pen

Zone 2

The second zone should be an arm’s length away.

The second working zone should include items that you still use throughout the day but not as often.

Here are some examples of what to include in the secondary zone:

  • Headphones/headset
  • Drink
  • Paperwork
  • Telephone

Zone 3

Zone three is the area that you must lean forward and stretch to reach but its best to avoid doing this, it’s better to stand up or move the item closer.

It might include:

  • Document folders
  • Rarely used stationary
  • Picture frame or plant

Now you know how to ergonomically set up your workspace, you could look at how to correctly set up your monitor screen. Having your monitor positioned right is just as important as having your desk and chair set up correctly. Is your screen at the right height for you? If you’re unsure, we have a YouTube video that will help. Jo explains how to adjust your monitor screen to suit you.

If you would like any advice on how to set up your workstation please contact us. We are more than happy to help.

Do you need some advice about your workplace?

Get in touch and one of our team would be happy to help answer your questions.

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