Introduction: The Rise of Ergonomic Workspaces
Singapore is a city-state in Southeast Asia, with about 5.5 million residents. Given its scarce natural resources, its economy places a premium on its human capital. As a result, Singapore has always prioritized training its employees to create a prosperous and stable economy. A total of 3.5 million people work in the economy, with 62% being native-born residents.
As a result, the health and happiness of the nation's workforce is becoming increasingly important to national production. Employees who are sick or injured sometimes miss work or are less productive. According to a local survey, the average annual cost of missed production due to health is SGD$2263 (USD 1600).
The Health Promotion Board (HPB), a statutory body under the Ministry of Health that oversees health promotion at the national level, initiated a two-pronged strategy to increase workplace health promotion (WHP) in Singapore.
This signified a major shift in Singapore's work culture towards worker safety, health, and ergonomics.
But what exactly is ergonomics in the Singaporean workplace, and what does it mean for standing desks?
Understanding Ergonomics: More Than Just Comfort
According to the Workplace Safety and Health of Singapore, the field of study known as "ergonomics" investigates and optimizes the following:
person-to-machine (or tool) interactions;
interaction between working colleagues;
interaction between people and their workspace.
It recognizes and maximizes elements that impact a worker's productivity, including workspace layouts, physical labor demands, and working positions.
Ergonomics best practices increase productivity, well-being, and satisfaction at work. Ergonomics also has the following economic advantages:
Decreased incidence of illness and injury
Cost savings due to fewer injuries and illness
Enhanced workplace efficiency
How regularly do you notice how you stand or sit during the day?
If the response is "not very often," you and your staff may benefit from learning more about the link between improper sitting posture, extended sitting, and musculoskeletal conditions.
Harvard University and other research centers have found poor posture may lead to several health problems, from tiredness to heartburn. Furthermore, it may cause chronic discomfort in the back and neck.
The intervertebral distance in the vertebrae is affected by your seated position. When opposed to standing or walking, the pressure on the intervertebral discs in the lower back increases dramatically when seated. It has long been recognized that intervertebral disc pressure can differ with posture. The strain on the discs in your spine is increased by 140% when you sit up straight without lumbar support compared to a standing posture. Even worse, the pressure on your lower back's intervertebral discs is 190% higher when seated with a forward trunk lean than when standing.
Regulations and Guidelines for Specific Industries
If you have employees in Singapore, you must follow the country's WSH regulations. You must pay close attention to:
WSH (Risk Management) Regulations
WSH (Incident Reporting) Regulations
Work Injury Compensation Act
Additionally, you must adhere to applicable industry standards like:
SS 514: Code of Practice for office ergonomics
Code of Practice on WSH Risk Management
SS 569: Code of Practice for Manual Handling
You may find the complete list of accepted Codes of Practice in the WSH (Approved Codes of Practice) Notification.
The Anatomy of an Ergonomic Table
Having the right furniture and tools can help you set up your workplace better, making it more ergonomic and lowering possible hazards.
This distinguishes a standard desk from an ergonomic workstation (more later).
What Makes a Desk Ergonomic?
The desk's height will be adjusted to be comfortable for the user. The keyboard and mouse, among other workplace items, should be at a reasonable distance and within easy reach.
The elements to consider when assembling an ergonomic desk are listed below.
Ensure Your Table Is at the Appropriate Height
You've found the correct height for your table if:
If you put both feet firmly on the floor while sitting at your desk, your legs will fit nicely under it. You need to stretch out your legs comfortably. If more support is necessary, a footrest will do.
Your upper arm and forearm rest at an angle ranging from 90 to 110 degrees.
Your upper limbs are parallel to your midsection. If your desk is the proper height, you should be able to rest your hands naturally on the surface.
Due to their respective designs, There are several significant distinctions between ergonomic standing workstations and traditional study desks. Ergonomic standing workstations are more than simply a desk with a few extra features—they are also adjustable, built of higher-quality materials, and engineered to encourage good posture and alignment as you work. They cost more than regular reading desks as well. Typical desks for studying are not adjustable in height and are usually built of cheap, low-quality wood. Compared to ergonomic standing workstations, they do not provide the same health benefits.
Sit-Stand Desks: Revolutionizing Workspaces
Incorporating sit-stand desks into the workplace has many positive effects on workers' health and happiness and businesses' success. When companies prioritize their workers' health and happiness, they foster a more positive and productive work environment.
Here are seven scientifically-backed advantages of working at a standing desk.
Reduces Your Chances of Gaining Weight and Becoming Obese
Overeating is the primary cause of excessive weight gain. On the contrary, weight loss occurs when more calories are burned than are consumed.
The best approach to rapidly burn calories is through exercise, but standing up instead of sitting can also help.
Studies have shown that standing for the same time burns more than 170 calories than sitting down all afternoon at work.
Reduce Blood Glucose Levels
When blood sugar rises too high after meals, it might adversely affect health.
This is especially true for people with type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance.
A study with 23 office workers found that, on average, blood sugar spikes were 11.1% less common when workers switched between standing and sitting every 30 minutes.
Reduce Your Chance of Heart Disease
It was first suggested in 1953 that standing was beneficial for heart health.
Researchers showed that bus drivers had twice the risk of dying from heart disease as their standing counterparts.
Relief From Back Ache
Office workers who sit for long periods frequently report experiencing back pain.
Several reviews have been conducted on workers with chronic back pain to see if standing desks can help.
People who used standing desks for a few weeks said their lower back pain improved by up to 32%.
What to Look for When Buying a Height Adjustable Desk?
Here are ten factors to consider when selecting an adjustable-height desk.
Height Range: The ideal range, according to BIFMA, is 22.6 to 48.7 inches, which will vary according to the user's height.
Functionality: The practicality of a desk depends on several factors, including whether or not the aesthetic fits in with the rest of the office and whether or not it supports privacy screens, lights, or tool rails.
Noise: The system shouldn't be loud or frustrating and mustn't get in the way.
Depth: Given that people want space to spread out while working, a 30′′ depth is recommended.
Speed: Find out how fast it goes up and down.
Comfortable Mobility: There are many options for raising and lowering desks, including manual cranks, electric lifts, and pneumatic lifts.
Weight: Every desk has a weight limit; ensure the workstation you are eyeing can support the weight of your gadgets.
Programmability: Some desks are readily programmable to various settings, making setting the correct ergonomic height incredibly simple.
Ergonomic Desk Shapes and Their Benefits
Once you've decided to purchase an ergonomically designed sit-stand desk, you'll need to find the ideal shape.
Your body type, profession, and office layout will all play a role in determining which sit-to-stand desk design is ideal for you. While there are general guidelines for ergonomic furniture, you have the most intimate knowledge of how you will set up and work with this desk and the space constraints you will face. Now that nearly every facet of desk design is malleable, you may choose the features that best suit your needs. Nonetheless, a rectangular or curved sit-stand desk is the most basic ergonomic design that meets the ideal reach zone.
Other shapes of electric desks you might explore include:
Perfecting the Height: Finding the Optimal Desk Height
The typical height of a desk is between 70 and 80 centimeters (27 and 31 inches). The majority of manufacturers target heights within this range. Those not of average height may struggle to work at a table at least 70 inches tall.
You can get a general sense of the ideal desk height by using a standing desk calculator, but it is much more efficient to apply the guidelines that follow.
You can detect if your desk is at the proper height by looking at your feet, arms, elbows, and knees. The ideal or conventional desk height depends on several variables, but let us start with the fundamentals.
It is too low if your knees are in contact with the desk. They should form a right angle with the floor when seated, but if your feet are squished under the rug, that angle will be off. There should be at least two or three inches of space between the tops of your knees and the disk's surface.
When using a computer or laptop, ensure that the top of the screen is at eye level.
The height is incorrect if you must tense your shoulders to keep your arms at a 90-degree angle.
Lastly, your back should always be completely flat against the back of the chair.
Additional Features to Enhance Your Ergonomic Experience
Check the Positioning of the Keyboard and Mouse
The ideal mouse position prevents your arms from forming an angle greater than 90 degrees. The keyboard's perfect location is at your elbow's level. It should lie flat on your desk or tilting backward, not forward.
It is easy to forget the importance of an ergonomic keyboard tray in an ergonomic setup. However, it helps when you have difficulty adjusting your keyboard to the proper height. A tray eliminates the need to modify the keyboard regularly.
Wrist rests are designed to alleviate strain on wrists during typing or mouse use. This can protect the hand from injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome by keeping the hand from lying at an awkward angle. We suggest seeing a doctor if you are suffering from carpal tunnel symptoms.
Think About the Lighting
When setting up a comfortable desk, you need to think about the lighting of your space. The lighting in the workplace is often too bright and uncomfortable for workers. This can result in migraines and exhaustion. Ensure that the desk is situated in an adequate yet pleasant light area.
What Elements Make an Office Chair Suitable for Ergonomic Use?
The attributes below are essential for an ergonomic office chair:
The Ideal Seat Depth
Ideally, a fixed seat should be 16.5 inches deep, while an adjustable seat should be 14.18.5 inches deep.
A lower back-supporting backrest. Your backrest should have a natural curvature supporting your lower back.
Backrest Tilt and Recline
You should easily adjust the tension of your office chair so that it reclines and tilts to accommodate your body's natural shape and posture.
Seats With Movable Armrests
Armrests that are not customizable and do not pivot inward to accommodate your forearm's length are not doing their job.
Material that supports and cushions, with soft and firm padding to prevent back pain.
Height is Changeable with Standing Desk Converters
A height-adjustable chair is ideal for achieving the ideal sitting position.
Similarly, a person's perfect office chair would cater to their unique requirements in terms of:
Their body type and dimensions, as well as their workplace.
The duties performed on the job
The more the range of motion a chair provides, the greater the chance it will be suitable for various users.
Personal Experiences: Real Stories from Singaporeans
According to research conducted by the Workplace Safety and Health Institute in Singapore, which surveyed local businesses, workers employed by companies that took a holistic approach to workplace safety and ergonomics had a 7.4 times higher chance of better satisfaction. Their chances of being proud of their job were also 4.4 times higher.
Making the Right Choice: Ergonomic Table Buying Guide for Singaporeans
Next, we'll discuss the top 6 considerations for purchasing a height-adjustable standing desk. Once you know these necessities, you can start planning your ideal home office.
One of the most important considerations when purchasing a sit-standing desk is how much you can adjust it. Your sit-stand table wouldn't be nearly as functional if it didn't have those adjustment options.
Your physical space should be your first determining factor. It influences the size of the office desk and chair you can purchase.
Motor & Standing Desk Converter
You should know the number of electric motors your height-adjustable desk has. Search for desks featuring dual motors to ensure effortless transitions between sitting and standing positions.
Think about the desk's material. You shouldn't risk damaging your expensive electronics by setting them on a tabletop made of cheap wood. Look for solid, durable wooden tabletops or comparable composites.
Make sure the desk can be easily adjusted and operated. Also, look out for presets on the keypad.
Warranty and Delivery
Be sure to find out when your standing desk will be delivered if you need it quickly. Finally, the warranty is the last thing you should verify before you pay with a credit card or click "buy now."
Considering these six factors, some of Singapore's best ergonomic office desks are as follows.
Rex Stone Collection
The Rex Stone Collection Standing Desk combines exquisite craftsmanship with unrivaled affordability, making it one of Singapore's best height-adjustable electric Office desks. This Levodesk was developed for the modern office, and its setup is simple and quick. Its precision construction assures that it will withstand rigorous long-term use. Even better, it enables you to improve the ergonomics of your workspace without going over budget.
It measures 140–160 centimeters in length, 70 centimeters in width, and 66–131 centimeters in height. The Rex is made of high-end powdered stone with a gray stony finish. Plus, it was made solely with natural minerals, which makes it stronger than marble.
Two motors power the height adjustment mechanism and may be adjusted between 64 and 129 centimeters, capable of supporting 120 kilograms at maximum height. It also has a smart controller hub, which you can operate with a touch, and its power-saving mode kicks in after it's inactive for one minute. The height is also adjustable manually with an up/down button or automatically with any of its four preset buttons. The height changes move at a speed of 4 cm per second and make noises less than 50 dB.
Some of the key features of the Rex Stone Levodesk are the following:
Cable management tray
Smart controller hub
Four Memory Preset options
Izara Wood Levodesk
The Izara Wood Levodesk Standing Desk offers style and practicality, providing a practical desk for today's busy professionals. This desk's easy-to-use height adjustment suits it for sitting and standing as you work.
Its durability and dependability can be attributed to its high-quality materials. The Izara Wood will take your office area to the next level with its three available finishes. The various finishes include
The table top is pre-drilled, making assembly straightforward—all you need to do is line up the frame with the holes. Furthermore, the structure of this desk may be extended from 107cm to 180cm. This implies that it can accommodate different table sizes. You may easily upgrade to a larger or smaller table without replacing the entire thing.
To keep costs down, MDF (Medium-density fiberboard) wood is used in the Izara Wood series rather than solid wood. However, every finish has a lovely, natural appearance.
Among the notable features of the Izara Wood Levodesk collection are:
Switchable handset(option for left or right positioning)
Extensive height range (66cm - 131cm)
3-year warranty (extendable to 5years)
Omini Zero Standing desks
OMNIDESK's height-adjustable desks are designed by the same people who make custom personal computers, making them ideal for sitting and standing desk arrangements. The OMNIDESK Zero offers the most flexibility in aesthetics and components for the lowest price compared to other standing desks in Singapore's market.
Take a Seat Fortee
Like numerous other standing office tables on our list, the Takeaseat workstations caught our attention due to their height-adjustable design, robust yet silent motor, and substantial 125kg load capacity. Aside from that, what impressed us about this standing desk was its craftsmanship. It contains several solid wood shelves produced locally.
The Singapore Green Label ensures that the lamination sheets employed by the company are low-emission and low-toxicity, rendering them safe for settings where humans spend a lot of time. What this implies is that you receive an eco-friendly desk that is also locally created and lasting. These electric workstations provide the best of both worlds: practical and fashionable.
Uniq Quartz Standing Desk
The UNIX UNIQ features a quartz tabletop, and as such, it combines the long-lasting elegance of designer quartz with the convenience and efficiency of contemporary workstations. The makers take great care to ensure that each standing desk they design is a showpiece in any business or home office.
The IKEA Bekant does have several advantages, like a ten-year all-inclusive guarantee. However, due to the many associated issues, using this product will likely be more of a bother than worth it. Complaints about malfunctioning equipment, drawn-out warranty processes, and poor quality can be found in several online reviews.
Conclusion: Embracing the Ergonomic Lifestyle
Each day, the sun rises over the city-state of Singapore, and a new crop of employees, contractors, and home-office lovers greet the day with the promise of kopi (coffee) and the freedom to move around during the workday. If you're one of these professionals, it's time to explore the age of standing workstations. It has left a gradual but indelible ripple across Singapore's thriving business culture through any of the best standing desk companies.
Remember, every workspace has a unique desk requirement or desk space. If you need the best office furniture, APOL has it all. You can find sit-stand desks, flexible standing, and ergonomic accessories. Our office furniture collection are customizable to suit the needs of any business, whether it is a home office or a large corporation.