Office ergonomics: How to set up your workstation

Last Updated on November 3, 2021 by Kravelv

A top-notch workstation is a vital prerequisite for productive work. In this article, you will find smart tips on how to organize a comfortable workplace at home or in the office.

Your performance at work largely depends on your level of comfort. It does not matter whether you go to the office every day or work remotely from your living room — you should never economize on a convenient workstation. In this article, you will discover smart tips on how to set up the workstation to maximize your productivity. The target audience of these recommendations are people of any walk of life and level of income.

Adjust Your Chair

Ideally, you should be sitting on an office chair that you can adjust to your height and other body parameters. Here is a brief instruction on how to do it.

  1. Sit on the chair and push your hips as far back as you can.
  2. Adjust the seat height so that your knees are on the same level as your hips (or just a bit lower) and your feet are flat on the floor. If needed, use a feet posture.
  3. The backrest should support all parts of your spine. The optimal reclined angle for it is 100°-110°. For more comfort, put pillows behind you. If the chair is equipped with an active back mechanism, use it to frequently change positions.
  4. Check whether you are comfortable with the armrests (you can remove them!). If you prefer to keep them, make sure that your shoulders remain relaxed in any position.

Top-notch office chairs sometimes look too futuristic. Professionals who work from their homes are especially sensitive to that. To capture the ideal balance between style and comfort, you should look for such furniture in a shop with designer items — such as Room Service 360.

Find an Appropriate Position for Your Keyboard

The primary difference between a workstation and a regular table consists in the presence of the keyboard tray. It should leave you enough space for your legs and be large enough to accommodate the mouse. Plus, you should be able to modify the height of the tray and tilt it at a comfortable angle. You should be able to reach your phone and other necessary items very easily.

To prevent musculoskeletal disorders, pay special attention to the location of the keyboard.

  1. The optimal distance between the keyboard and the edge of the desk should be approximately 5 inches.
  2. Pull up close to the keyboard. Make sure that it is located right in front of you.
  3. Do you type on the central keys most often or some other part? That part should be centered with your body.
  4. Detect the most comfortable height for the keyboard. Your elbows should be in an open position, at an angle of 100° to 110°. Your shoulders should remain relaxed.
  5. Those who sit in an upright or forward position should tilt the keyboard away from them at a negative angle. Those who prefer to remain reclined should opt for a positive tilt.

Buying palm support is not a must. Yet it might come in handy to pad hard surfaces and help your hands to maintain neutral postures. Important: avoid putting your hands on the support while typing. This item was designed for short periods of rest. Its width and height should be minimal.

Center the Monitor above or in front of the Keyboard

The top 30% of the screen should be located precisely at your eye level. Only those who wear bifocals can neglect this rule. When working with a document or a program, you should not need to turn or tilt your head. The position of your neck should always remain relaxed. The optimal distance between your body and the screen is equal to your arm’s length.

Place the monitor at right angles to windows. If there is glare from the lights that are located on the ceiling, modify the screen controls and its vertical angle. The more natural light there is in the room, the better. Avoid mixing natural and artificial lights. Turn the lamps in the room on only when it gets dark outside.

Those who deal not only with digital documents but also with their printed counterparts should purchase a document holder and put it close to the screen.

If you frequently make voice calls, you can put your smartphone on a stand and use a headset — this will give your hands a rest.

How to Make the Most of Your Workstation

No matter how comfortable your furniture is, you should systematically take a break.

  • Stretch your back for 100 seconds every half an hour.
  • Walk around the room or switch to a new task every 60 minutes.
  • When you feel that your eyes are tired, cover them with your palms for 15 seconds.
  • To prevent eye fatigue, refocus your gaze from time to time. Stop looking at the pixels and concentrate for half a minute on an object that is located at the other end of the room.
  • Eat lunch in another room or at least not at the same table.
  • Even if there is air conditioning on the premise, try to breathe fresh air every couple of hours. If possible, go outside, and if not, open the window just a crack.

Avoid staying in a static position for a long time. That would inhibit your blood circulation, provoke joint stiffness and muscle fatigue. Your head, neck, back, arms and shoulders would need to cope with excessive workload. Use every opportunity to get up and walk around a bit. When you come back to your chair, correct your posture following the instructions from this article. If your time and budget permit, buy a gym membership and go jogging in the open to make up for long working hours.

Final Thoughts

Healthy working habits are vital for your professional success. Those who feel comfortable at their workstation are more motivated and achieve better results. If you genuinely love your workplace, you will be able to deliver consistently better products, increase your sales and boost your income. It is enough to organize an excellent workstation just once and this investment will pay off very soon.

Kravelv is a full time digital marketer and part time furniture and cabinet maker. During his free time he would like to create something out of recycled woods, this varies from toys, furnitures plant boxes etc. Follow him on Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook