We process 80% of all the information that we receive visually. The correct lighting plays a quite crucial role. As a secondary item of equipment, lighting does not have a direct impact on the musculoskeletal system, but it does have an influence consisting of so-called asthenopic effects (asthenopia = eye strain). Optimum lighting therefore has a major influence on ergonomic posture and thus on our general well-being and productivity. It must not be too bright or too dark, there should not be any irritating shadows and reflections/reflected glare. Poor vision must not result in poor posture.
The wrong workplace lighting can lead to lapses in concentration and fatigue. The need to constantly adjust the eyes and adapt the vision can also have a detrimental effect on posture. Illuminance is measured in lux. In contrast to VDU workstations where 500 lux is normally sufficient, far higher values can be necessary in the industrial workplace. As a basic rule: the more demanding the visual task and activity, the higher the illuminance should be. Studies show that an illuminance of between 750 and 1,000 lux can have a sustainably positive influence on performance and productivity. The lighting should be designed to avoid both light and shadow effects as well as ruling out any glare. It should also be possible to adapt the luminaire itself to the worker and specific working situation: a wide range of adjustment possibilities help to avoid cramped positions with a positive effect on posture.
As a basic rule, a well-designed workplace needs more than just good lighting. A workplace always comprises several components, such as lighting, chair and workbench. Each component individually has to fulfil all ergonomic requirements. This is the only way to develop the ideal workplace concept. In the end, it takes a complete concept to benefit the worker's health, reduce sick leave levels, boost productivity and cut costs at the same time.