Considering the number of hours we spend at our computers, the very least we should strive for is physical comfort. Feeling relaxed, supported, and comfortable while we work results in sharper concentration and improved productivity.
Spending time creating a computer workstation that is well thought out from an ergonomic standpoint helps you avoid a lot of the tiresome physical ailments triggered by long hours at the computer.
Choose a chair model that is fully adjustable. Height settings and tilt of the seat and back support are key to optimizing comfort levels. The height of a chair should allow feet to be placed flat on the floor. Seek out a chair with arm rests that enable you to place elbows at a 90-degree angle to your body when relaxed. Lumbar support for the lower back is crucial, so try out several chairs before you invest. Sitting on a hard chair for lengthy periods is unpleasant, so opt for plenty of cushioning in breathable fabric for the best results. A chair that revolves, rolls along the floor, and tilts increases flexibility around your workstation.
To stand or sit? It is the burning question of the day in office design. Many computer users report great results from standing desks, which allow them a greater level of comfort over long periods. For those with chronic back pain, it is especially worthwhile. However, if you set up your workspace ergonomically in the first place, you can help prevent the onset of such health problems. A sitting desk should be of a height that allows the keyboard to be one or two inches above thigh level. Some desks have pull-out keyboard trays to achieve this, but if you don’t have one, then make adjustments to lower the desk. Place the keyboard and mouse centrally to minimize over-stretching and avoid wrist strain.
Correct monitor height is important for maintaining good posture and avoiding back and neck ache. Sit upright with feet on the floor, looking straight ahead – and place the monitor directly ahead in your eye-line; don’t position your head looking up or downwards. Glare on monitors from natural light can be a problem, and this is best solved with adjustable window shutters that filter sunshine in and out of the room as needed. Eye strain and “turtle neck” can be avoided by placing the monitor close enough to touch with your outstretched middle finger.
Make the stretch
Finally, build in stretch stops throughout the day to give your body an opportunity to unwind itself. It is a good idea to set up a timer that reminds you to take regular breaks. Go and fix yourself a coffee, do a few yoga stretches, or take the stairs down to the parking lot and get your body moving in the fresh air. In the long run it will make you more productive and less prone to RSI, posture problems, and neck strains.
If you spend your days at a desk, comfort is non-negotiable. By embracing ergonomic principles in your desk layout and taking a closer look at workstation arrangements, productivity and work satisfaction levels can soar. Don’t waste another minute, aim for the comfort zone, and make good ergonomics part of every working day.