If you work full time, it can sometimes feel like you live at your desk. With 40 or more hours spent at work each week, it only makes sense that your workspace should be personalized to you and your comfort level. Having an ergonomic desk setup is crucial for staying sane throughout the work week, and also for staying healthy.
Whether you are working from home or directly in the office, follow this office ergonomics checklist to create the ultimate desk space that will blow your coworkers away on your next video call.
When setting up your ergonomic workspace, the first item you want to keep in mind is your chair. This is probably the most important part of your ergonomic desk arrangement because your chair is what offers you support throughout your eight-hour workday. Research has shown that using a poorly designed work chair can lead to major back and neck problems over time.
As you search through the endless options of ergonomic desk chairs, it can be overwhelming knowing which one is the best for you. To help make the decision slightly easier, make sure to consider these factors.
If you can try out the chair before purchasing, sit in it and check to see how its height feels in proportion to your body length. You should be able to sit with your feet flat on the floor and your thighs roughly parallel to the floor. Picking a chair with an adjustable height option is great if you can’t try it out in person before buying it.
In order to give you the proper lumbar support you need throughout your workday, the shape of the chair’s backrest should have a natural curve to support your lower back. If you love the chair, but it doesn’t have this feature, consider using a lumbar support pillow instead.
Arm rests are another important factor when it comes to picking the perfect chair for your ergonomic workspace. They’re not only important for when you aren’t working and need a comfortable place to rest your arms, they’re also helpful for tasks like keyboarding. Choose a chair with height-adjustable armrests that can also pivot inwards to offer your forearms full support when typing.
Adjustable Back Rest
One feature that is commonly overlooked when it comes to finding an ergonomic desk chair is adjustable back rests. Yes, adjustable chair height is very important, but ensuring that your chair can recline and tilt at an angle also needs to be on your office ergonomics checklist. Look for chairs that can recline at least 135 degrees back with synchronous tilt. Research shows that a reclined, ergonomic desk chair reduces pressure on your back and helps with back pain.
After you’ve found your dream ergonomic desk chair, it’s time to shift focus to the other various elements of your desk setup. From desk height to keyboards, here are more items to consider when running through your office ergonomics checklist.
While the type of keyboard you use is completely up to you, the placement of it in your ergonomic workspace is the real issue you need to tackle. Here are more details on how to arrange your keyboard on your desk.
Your keyboard should be placed at a distance where you can comfortably reach it with your elbows at your side. For keyboards with number pads, make sure you’re centering it based on the letters rather than the whole keyboard. The letter B should be directly in front of you.
To many people’s surprise, your keyboard should actually have a 15-degree, negative tilt away from you in order to properly follow suit with the office ergonomics checklist. Most keyboards don’t have this option (which is probably why no one knows about it), so you might want to consider investing in an ergonomic one or buying a keyboard tray.
Deciding which height to set your keyboard at depends entirely on your desk height and posture. If you have a proper ergonomic workspace, your keyboard should be positioned so that your forearms are parallel to the floor and your wrists are straight, not bent.
Because you stare at your monitor all day long, it’s quite obvious that this is another big item on your office ergonomics checklist. Make sure you’re considering all of these factors as you design your ergonomic workspace.
Take the time to place your monitor 20 inches in front of you or at arm’s length. You’re looking to find that sweet spot where the screen is far enough away to avoid eye strain, but easy to see.
The angle of your monitor should be around 10 or 20 degrees. Make sure it’s no more than this because it will lead to neck strain as you look up to see the screen.
As with all of the other desk items, height plays a huge role in comfort. The top line of your monitor’s screen should be at eye level or slightly below in order to be comfortable to look at and prevent neck strain.
Lighting is yet another imperative factor to adjust in order to achieve an ergonomic workspace. This is especially important if you’re working from home because you choose which room you work in and you may not have a dedicated office space.
Remember to place your monitor in a neutral lighting environment. As long as there isn’t any glare or direct light shining on your screen, you should be good to go. Next, make sure to calibrate your monitor to get the highest resolution picture and avoid eye strain. Additionally, clean your monitor regularly.
Last but not least, when setting up your ergonomic workspace, pay special attention to desk height. You should have enough space for your legs to not only fit comfortably underneath your desk, but you should also be able to cross them. Additionally, the angle between your forearm and upper arm should be between 90 and 110 degrees while your arms are resting on the desk.
Benefits of Ergonomic Desk Design
Designing an ergonomic workspace may take a little bit more time and effort, but the results far outweigh the extra hassle. There are a host of benefits associated with ergonomic desks, chairs, and the whole concept in general, so if you aren’t sold yet, take a look at these perks to find out why you should optimize your workspace today.
One of the best advantages to having an ergonomic workspace is that you’re more productive. Because you aren’t distracted by pain or discomfort, your mind is solely focused on the task at hand. You not only get more work done, but you most likely deliver better results because you’re feeling good and you’re able to concentrate.
Reduced Back and Neck Pain
As mentioned before, following the office ergonomics checklist helps to reduce back and neck pain through multiple methods. From proper desk height to keyboard positioning, every aspect of your ergonomic workspace has a purpose and that is to provide you with the most comfort. The quality of your desk products, in combination with how they’re arranged, provide your body with support to get through long days of work.
Spending hours at a desk is a hard enough task, so adding on discomfort can make for a quite depressing work day. Once you have designed your ergonomic workspace, you’ll most likely notice that you’re in a much better mood throughout the day. With zero to little pain and lots more comfort, it’s easier to stay positive, motivated, and happier throughout all of your hard work.
After going through your office ergonomics checklist, you should be ready to work the day away in comfort and style! With your ergonomic workspace finished and perfected, now it’s time for another project: home decor. If you’re looking for trendy furniture to freshen up your living room, take a look at these beautiful furnishings perfect for any home.