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Office ergonomics

Create the best workspace for you

Many of us spend the majority of the day at a desk. A comfortable workspace is essential for our health and well-being. Since we are all different shapes and sizes, it is important to have office furniture that can be customised to our personal needs.

BEKANT sit/stand desks in three different positions with one man sitting on an office chair, one man on a taller stool and another standing.

What’s an ergonomic space?

Ergonomics is about designing products or environments to make them safe and comfortable for people to use. An ergonomic workspace is one that is customised to your personal needs, allowing you to work in a comfortable and safe way.

Feel good and work better

We want to help you achieve an ergonomic working environment that suits you and promotes good health. This means adjusting the workspace to your needs, adopting an ergonomic position and keeping as mobile as possible. The human body is made to move, so ideally, your workspace should give you the choice of sitting, standing and leaning, allowing you to change positions often. And if you feel good at work, you will work better.


Some ergonomics tips

You should be able to stretch your legs under the table and turn 90° to the left and right for freedom of flexibility. The hips and knees should be at an angle of approx 95-100° with your feet flat on the floor.

Sitting

Sitting

You should be able to stretch your legs under the table and turn 90° to the left and right for freedom of flexibility.

Height

Height

A chair with lumbar support will relieve the small of your back from tension caused by tiredness. The tilt of the back support should allow you to sit with your upper body slightly reclined (recommended 110°).

Seat tilt

Seat tilt

Use the seat tilt to lock a position and to improve your comfort. It will affect the distribution of weight and can provide better stability and support when you need it. A tilt of 5° is recommended.

Armrests

Armrests

Armrests provide support for the upper part of your forearms and reduce stress on your shoulders and back. Make sure that the armrests do not prevent the chair from being drawn close to the desk, nor restrict movements.

Standing

Standing

A height-adjustable desk is ideal as it will allow you to change position often. Alternating between sitting and standing will reduce the risk of injury and increase circulation, as well as productivity.

Leaning

Leaning

Provides freedom of movement to the upper and lower body. Activates and strengthens the core muscles. Gives you an open posture which improves your circulation and metabolic rate.

Monitor

Monitor

The monitor should be tilted at 20°-30°, which is an optimal angle for the eyes as well as the neck and shoulders.

Lighting

Lighting

To provide ideal lighting you should consider a combination of general lighting, mood lighting and task lighting.


Quality and High-quality testing

International standards

We test that our products are in line with international standards according to or set by EN and ANSI/BIFMA.

In addition, IKEA has its own chemical and quality testing.

EN

EN stands for European Norm. These standards are recognised throughout Europe and they assure strength, durability and stability.

ANSI/BIFMA

ANSI is the American National Standards Institute, which creates and oversees norms and standards, and accredits organisations like BIFMA to formulate tests for different sectors.

BIFMA, the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association, creates standards for business furniture with the highest safety standards. The professional office furniture from IKEA is tested according to BIFMA’s safety and resistance requirements.

How we test our office furniture

Desk and office chairs

Desk chairs that are intended for home use are tested to assure they are comfortable, stable, safe and durable. The series of tests we put our office chairs through are more rigorous to meet the strict requirements on stability, strength and durability. For instance, the chairs are subjected to heavy loads up to about 300 000 times.

Desks

Desks for home use are subjected to various tests including stability, strength and durability tests. The kinds of tests that are carried out depends upon the design of the desk, and which areas of the desk that are expected to be most exposed to wear and tear. Tests carried out on desks for professional use are stricter than those for home use.
Desks that meet those standards will adhere to the following standards: EN 527, ANSI/BIFMA X5, which means we test their stability, durability and safety. For example, we might test the strength of a product by subjecting it to a verticle force of 100 kg for 10 seconds × 10 times.

Storage

Quality tests are carried out on storage furniture for safety and durability. Different parts including doors, drawers, surfaces and wheels are subjected to different tests. Storage furniture that has been tested for office use is labelled with the following standards: EN 14073 and ANSI/BIFMA × 5.9.


Materials

We care about what goes into our products and always aim to use resources in the most efficient way possible. We choose our materials carefully while keeping prices low. Some materials work better for certain furniture depending on its use and design. For example, Melamine is often used in table tops because it has high surface resistance against scratches and marks.

Solid wood

Solid wood

A renewable, natural material that is hardwearing and every piece is unique with its varying grain. IKEA sources all wood from closely inspected logging and carefully chosen forests.

Bamboo

Bamboo

Stronger and more flexible than most wood. Sustainable fast-growing grass that produces twice as much oxygen than tree species.

Gloss leather

Gloss leather

A soft yet durable dyed-through grain leather, treated with a protective coating. Easy to look after. Treat with ABSORB leather care set.

Melamine

Melamine

A paper film with an impregnated print or pattern, which is applied under pressure to a board. The result is a hardwearing, heat-resistant and water-repellent surface which is easy to keep clean.

Board on frame

Board on frame

A wooden board or fibre board with a honeycomb filling structure made of recycled paper. It is lightweight yet sturdy and uses significantly less raw material.

Veneer

Veneer

Thin layers of wood glued on to a board. All IKEA veneer is lacquered which makes it easy to clean, hard wearing and protects it from moisture and scratches.

Plastics

A synthetic or semi-synthetic material that can be moulded and is made from oil or natural gas but also from plants. There are two categories of plastics: thermosplastics that can be heated, moulded and melted, and thermoset plastics that cannot be remelted. The most commonly used in IKEA are thermoplastis such as polycarbonate and polypropylene.

Wood plastic composite (WPC)

A mixture of wood and fibre that is moulded into a form, combining the advantages of the two materials. It is strong and lighter than other plastics, making transportation costs lower and reducing environmental impact.

Paint & lacquer

Powder coating is a process where dry powder paint is applied to a surface, often metal. It is an efficient and environmentally sustainable technique since there’s little waste of powder and no solvents are used.