Can you feel it? That twitch in your neck, or that pain in your lower back? It might be the way your workspace is set up. Learn how to create a body-and-mind-friendly office space that’ll help cut down on work fatigue with these expert tips.
Working from home ergonomics
Spending long hours at a desk or bent over a laptop contributes to fatigue and body aches. One easy thing you can do to combat this is to find ways to move more as you work. For example, give yourself space to move, store your files further away so you have to reach for them, or try a sit/stand support that helps you to sit actively and gives you a naturally healthy posture.
Try setting an alarm every hour or half hour to remind you to keep active. When it goes off stand up and do some stretches or go to the kitchen for that cup of coffee.
A sit/stand desk is a great investment, as it will allow you to change your position often. If you’re standing on a hard floor, a mat makes things easier on your knees, as does a pair of comfortable shoes. The important thing here is to remember to move often and sit down from time to time too.
Working in a standing position carries the same ergonomic rules as sitting, so take time to ensure that the top of your monitor is at eye height, and that your arms can rest easily just above your keyboard and you aren’t reaching up.
It’s tempting to keep your monitor close, but with your chair pulled in and arms stretched out in front of you, you should not be able to touch the screen. Placing the monitor too high can cause neck problems, so make sure the top is at or just below eye level. The keyboard and mouse should be placed around 10-15 cm from the edge of the desk, so that your wrists are supported, but not so far away that your neck and shoulders lean forward.
Try tilting the monitor by 20°-30°, which is an optimal angle for the eyes as well as the neck and shoulders.
Look for a chair that gives back support, is adjustable, and has swivel wheels so you can keep moving. Height-wise, you want to be able to sit upright with your monitor at eye level and your feet flat on the floor. Armrests on the chair help support your arms and elbows, which should be at a 90-degree angle with your hands.
For maximum flexibility, look for an ergonomic chair that can tilt, has a head rest and back rest, and offers lumbar support.
Keeping your papers and equipment neatly stored will help make your workspace an easy place to work (and keep it looking good too). Go for a closed storage unit or cabinet to store files and your laptop, and try open storage for books, boxes and anything you want to show off.
Label your boxes and storage. Labels are an easy way to find everything, and boxes keep paper filed and collections uncluttered.
A well-lit environment helps concentration and relieves eye strain. If you can, setting up a workspace next to a window is ideal, just be sure to place your computer at a 90° angle to the window to avoid glare. You can also recreate daylight using lightbulbs that have a similar light spectrum to natural sunshine (Kelvin 5000 or up) such as RYET LED bulb E26 1000 lumen, globe opal white 5000K. Task lighting on the desk helps provide a spotlight on work too, which is great if you need to focus on things like paperwork.
Place the lamp on the opposite side to the hand you write with to reduce shadows (so on your left side if you are right-handed).
Plenty of fresh air helps concentration, but did you know that the air you breathe indoors can be more polluted than the air on the street outside? By adding an air purifier such as the new FÖRNUFTIG air purifier you can improve your indoor air at an affordable price.
When using an air purifier, ensure that the flow of air is not blocked and that you’re not directly facing the air outlet to avoid uncomfortable drafts.
If you don't have a separate room for working, a sound-absorbing barrier can create a secluded and quiet zone where you can work undisturbed, just about anywhere. For example, the EILIF sound-absorbing desk divider dampens noise levels, absorbs sound and reduces echoes. Plus it’s easy to mount to your desk, just use the included clamp.
Personalise your work spot by using the screen to display notes, pictures and other things you like.