We wanted to share this with you for quite some time.
Finally, We have prepared the perfect guide to help you create the perfect ergonomic workspace to boost your productivity.
Also, you must note that having an ergonomic workspace lifts your overall environment and significantly improves your mental and physical health.
The ergonomic workspace can help you prevent repetitive strain injuries.
However, most of us ignore the idea of creating an ergonomic workspace because of the cost of equipment. If you are one of them, consider this:
Studies show that bad sitting posture at work could lead to lower back disorders, and as per the medical data, treating lower back disorders could cost you more than $100k.
So, we think, it is better to invest a bit more in a workspace than paying the bills of hospitals.
We would also recommend you invest some time (a few months) in the process of creating an ergonomic workspace so that you won’t undergo any mental and financial stress.
In this guide, we have prepared a series of steps that you must follow to have the perfect ergonomic workspace.
So, let’s begin with the steps:
Easy Steps to the Perfect Ergonomic Workspace
Some of you might say that desk isn’t the most significant workspace element. We would say, hear us out.
We agree that the desk isn’t the most vital element of a workspace, but it’s the most prominent element in terms of dimensions.
It’s better to say that the Desk is the soul of the workspace. It gives an overall idea about the layout of the workspace.
Now, let’s begin with the process of picking an ideal Desk.
First of all, the height of the desk must be appropriate. As per the ergonomic figures, the ideal height of a desk should be 73 cm +/- 2.5 cm.
How to determine if the desk height is appropriate for you:
- You must ensure that your feet are landing flat on the floor
- You must be able to move your legs freely underneath the desk.
- The inward Knee angle must be 90 degrees.
- The angle between your forearm and upper arm must be in a range of 90-110 degrees.
While picking up the desk, you must be aware of all your gadgets and ensure that it is wide enough to hold everything easily.
Apart from this, if you are spending more than 8 hours on a desk, we recommend getting a sit-standing desk or height adjustable desk.
These modern-day height adjustable desks will ensure that your body is not struggling in a posture, and periodically, you can switch between sitting and standing.
However, if you love your current desk and can’t just throw it away, we suggest you look into Desk Risers. These are also a great alternative to enhance your desk ergonomics and make it more comfortable.
Step 2: Choose the Perfect Chair
Picking up a perfect chair could significantly reduce your chances of suffering from lower back pain and neck injuries.
Studies show that more than 50% of the people who spend 8-12 hours on an office chair undergo some form of neck strain and back pain.
Here we have listed the major points that you must consider while picking up a chair:
Appropriate Height: Since you will spend at least 8 hours on a chair, you have to ensure that the chair height is appropriate for your body, and while sitting, your joints don’t have to put in additional efforts to maintain a posture.
While sitting, your feet must be placed flat on the floor. However, if you have a tall desk and to reach out the desk, your feet are lifted over the floor, you can try using a footrest.
Seat Depth: Ideal depth of a chair must be in the range of 15-16.5”.
Armrest: We would strongly recommend you get a height-adjustable armrest. It is because, at times, in between stretches, you can use the adjustable armrest to place your elbows and lean on the chair’s backrest.
Backrest & Headrest: It is mandatory to look for a chair with a backrest and headrest.
In short term, you might feel like getting a basic chair that is super affordable and doesn’t dent your pocket. However, you will realize that an ergonomic chair with a proper backrest and headrest makes a lot of difference in the long run.
Even studies show that a chair with a dedicated headrest and armrest reduces strain on your lower back.
If you can get a chair with lumbar support at the back, it will be an ideal situation, and nothing can be better than that. However, if you can’t get one within your budget, you can always buy lumbar support pillows to support your lower back during prolonged sitting.
Always invest in a chair that aligns with your body and full-fill all your requirements.
Material of Chair: As far as the chair is comfortable (ergonomic and proper cushioning) and you have adequate cooling around your workspace, you can go for it without worrying about the chair’s material.
But, if your workspace gets humid and hot in summer and you don’t have an appropriate cooling system, you must go for a breathable or mesh office chair.
Bonus: Even after having a perfect chair and height-adjustable desk, your body craves posture change; you can try the kneeling chairs. These days, people often use kneeling chairs to reduce strain on their legs.
Note: Kneeling chairs don’t have armrests and backrests, so you must avoid spending hours on them.
Step 3: Placement of the Gadgets
The placement of gadgets could vary as per the user’s preferences, so we have provided a generic yet practical guide to organize the workspace to tackle it.
Before jumping on to that, let’s go through the placement of the most common gadgets and equipment:
While placing the monitor, you must remember this thumb rule: “Neither too far, nor too close.”
If you have not placed your monitor correctly, you could suffer from severe neck pain. Follow the below-mentioned points to place your monitor ergonomically on the desk:
- The monitor’s distance must be 20 inches from your chest or at least an arm’s length away from you.
- The top bezels of the monitor must be below your eye level. Also, while looking at the bottom bezel, you must not bend your knees; adjust the monitor angle accordingly.
If you cannot adjust the height of the monitor due to its fixed stand, you can look for adjustable monitor arms or monitor risers.
Mouse & Keyboard
Your mouse and keyboard must be placed at a minimal distance. While placing the keyboard, ensure that it is below your elbow height.
Your elbow must have an open angle of 90-110 degrees. Your wrists must be straight. While typing, your wrist must not be flexed either upwards or downwards.
Also, you must avoid resting your wrist on your desk surface as that will put more strain on your tendons and could affect your blood circulation.
You must not place your mouse away from the keyboard so that your elbows don’t have to undergo additional movement. Besides that, you must not rest your palm on the mouse surface.
Now, it’s time to look at the generic guide that will help you place your gadgets perfectly on a desk in an ergonomic workspace.
A desk has three different zones: Primary Zone, Secondary Zone, and Third Zone. In these zones, you have to arrange your gadgets and equipment as per their usage and importance to access them whenever you need them. These zones are suggested by the United States Department of Labor experts.
- The first zone has a radius of 7”-8”. It is used to keep the most important and frequently used gadgets such as keyboards, mice, and notebooks.
- The Secondary zone has a radius of 13,” and it is used to keep the less frequently used gadgets or equipment that stays on the desk most of the time, such as headphones, table lamps, and calculators.
Items in this zone can be accessed with extended arms; however, you won’t have to lean toward the desk.
- The Third zone has a radius of 21,” and it should contain the least used items. You can reach the items with extended arms.
It is not recommended to keep any of your gadgets or equipment beyond these zones.
Some of you might prefer a dark workspace, and others prefer a well-lit-up workspace. You have to find a balanced lighting condition because both too dark and too-lit workspace could add extra fatigue to your eyes, and in the long term, you could suffer from vision-related problems.
If we follow the ergonomic norms, the lighting of the workspace must be in the range of 300-500 lux. In easy words, you must ensure that your workspace doesn’t have any dark spots and shadows.
If your work involves some paperwork, you must consider getting a reading lamp to avoid strain on the eyes.
Creating a workspace will increase your productivity, but if you want to enhance your energy vitals and want to lead an active life, it is recommended to change your lifestyle a bit.
We suggest you do physical activities for at least 20 minutes a day. You can avoid the intake of junk and packed food. Instead, switch to healthier diet options like fruits and vegetables.
You can begin with basic stretching along with some core strengthening exercises.
While working, you must take periodic breaks, and if your work allows, you can implement the Pomodoro Technique.
We hope, that now you will be able to eliminate most of the body strain and fatigue while working and that will directly impact your productivity. You can create a perfect workspace using this guide even when you are working from home.
You must note that creating a workspace doesn’t cost a fortune. You can easily get affordable equipments to create your ideal workspace. All you need is the willingness to improve your work life. What are you waiting for! Let’s do it. Share this guide with your friends and colleagues, if you found it helpful.