The work-from-home setup has forced upon us a renewed perspective when it comes to home/office spaces. Suddenly, we have to turn our comfortable and relaxing rooms into productive workspaces. This shift in perspective invites us to rethink how we view our workspaces, and most especially, how we define proper desk ergonomics.
Does our bedside table work as a proper work table? Is our dim bedroom lighting motivating enough? Are our home chairs comfortable enough for an eight-hour productivity sprint?
There are already enough challenges in a work-from-home setup. Even working at your typical, standard-issue office desks and chairs is difficult enough before. Learning proper desk ergonomics would significantly lessen these challenges and help improve your mindset and productivity.
Let us give you a rundown on how to create a healthy workspace, with a focus on proper desk ergonomics.
What is Proper Desk Ergonomics?
Ergonomics is the process of creating workspaces, products, or systems that fit the people who use them. It is improving on the design of a product or space to make it work for its users, instead of the users adapting to the product.
Proper desk ergonomics also means not just finding the right table for you. Believe it or not, proper lighting, a comfortable seat, and the overall ambiance of a room or space factor into creating a healthy and productive workspace.
Benefits of a Proper Desk
When done the right way, proper desk ergonomics should dramatically decrease the pain points when working. All you had to do is sit on your chair and get on your day without worrying about back pains, neck crimps, or even eye fatigue. Your space would be optimized as to your liking and needs, and help you work as flawlessly and painlessly as possible.
Here are some benefits of proper desk ergonomics:
- Boost Productivity Level
A US study has shown that ergonomics plays a significant role in boosting productivity levels among office workers. Using ergonomic chairs and tables had vastly improved productivity levels and decreased body pains as work hours lasted. And that only makes sense. As humans, we are better able to do and finish tasks when we’re not suffering from any body pains.
- Improved Mood and Energy Levels
Did you know that choosing between a sitting and a standing desk could mean better energy levels and improved mood?
A sitting desk easily gives way to a more sedentary lifestyle, which could be linked to higher risks of anxiety and depression. Compared to a person using a standing desk, there is a stark difference in the energy levels of workers using both desks.
A seven-day study showed that people who used standing desks reported higher energy levels and vigor throughout the day, compared to using sitting desks. They even felt less fatigued and stressed than when using sitting desks.
- Better Health
Work-related musculoskeletal diseases (MSDs) are among the top reasons for causes of lost work time. MSDs vary depending on the type of work done. Office workers often complain of back pains from bad posture after sitting on a chair and hunched down on tables for eight hours or more.
Through ergonomics, a job or a workspace is fitted to a person to help lessen muscle fatigue and reduce the risk of incurring injury. Desk converters and standing desks are just some of the new, efficient and ergonomic ways to help improve one’s posture and health while working an office job.
Creating a Proper and Ergonomic Desk
Setting up a healthy and productive workspace is a lot of fun. It involves a lot of checking in with yourself about what makes you comfortable. After finding out what works for you, you customize your entire workspace to fit around you.
- Setup Proper Lighting
Setting up your room’s ambiance helps you get into the proper mind space for work. Bright lights could help keep you alert and awake for the day while dim lights could make you feel sleepy.
Try checking where to place your light source, too. Does overhead lighting cast shadows on your workstation? Maybe desk lamps are better choices?
If you do prefer desk lamps, check out our LED desk lamps. LED uses electricity very efficiently. Plus these LED desk lamps come in three brightness levels, which helps your eyes adjust, especially when the day is already half over and you’re already feeling the strain.
- Adjust Your Desk Items According to Your Use
One of the most crucial aspects of setting up an ergonomic desk is your table. Make sure your table fits you just right. Adjust it according to your height. If you’re using a sitting desk, make sure there is enough leg room below the table. Make sure your arms and elbows are at a height that is just right - neither dangling nor too cramped.
Do you want to give standing desks a try? Check out this programmable standing desk. You can adjust it perfectly to your height and up to your comfort. And if you thought standing desks are not for you, you can easily adjust it down to a sitting desk, too.
These days, desk converters are all the rage. Most work-from-home professionals swear by the productivity boost using desk converters has done them. Desk converters can help you switch from sitting to standing, allowing you more movement during your work hours.
- Find a Comfortable Chair
Be ready to say goodbye to back pains. Finding yourself an ergonomic chair is worth every penny spent. Not only does it make you save money by improving your health and avoiding MSDs, but it also helps in improving productivity levels, allowing you to do more work.
In choosing an ergonomic chair, make sure you fit perfectly and with the right amount of space to spare. The seat should be adjustable tilting forward and backward. Here’s a great hack to use in checking if a chair is a good fit for you: take your fist or three of your fingers and make sure there is that much space between the back of your calf and the front of the seat.
The back of the chair must be able to support your lower back. A proper backrest helps support the lumbar curve and relieves strain from the lower back. Again, an adjustable chair will be great so you could adjust the position to accommodate the pressure and load on your body throughout the day.
Proper desk ergonomics helps us work much more efficiently and productively. Gone are the days when we think a standard-issue desk and chair are all it took for a good workday. Back pains and stiff neck are not part and parcel of your day job. Rather, we must embrace innovation and benefit from using ergonomic products and space that would work for us, rather than us adapting our bodies for them.
Once we’ve finally unlocked the benefits of proper desk ergonomics, working from home, or even at offices, will never be the same again and for the better.