Let’s face it, your work desk probably isn’t as comfortable as your favorite spot at home, but your comfort at work is way more important than you probably think.
Surrounding yourself with a more ergonomic work environment can go a long way when it comes to improving your productivity as well as improving how you feel about your job (and even yourself!)
Make working at a desk more enjoyable by improving the comfort and ergonomics of your desk with these ten ways:
1. Adjustable Chairs, Equipment, and Desks
If you’re wondering how to make working at a desk more comfortable, take a look at your office furniture and equipment. Look into purchasing high-quality and adjustable office chairs, furniture, and equipment.
The more positions a piece of office furniture or equipment can adjust to, the more they can be tailored to the person using them. The most direct benefit of ergonomic office chairs is increased productivity and comfort.
Ergonomic office chairs help decrease the amount of stress put on your body while working at a desk. A decrease in physical pressure allows for fewer distractions from tension. This will help you stay more focused, consistent, and productive.
2. Proper Display Height and Distance
Display devices such as monitors should be placed at your eye level when working. Working should not require straining your neck or squinting your eyes. If you’ve been experiencing neck pain at work, this may be the reason why.
According to proper ergonomics, you should avoid turning your neck to the left, right, up, or down to view your display device. This principle applies to those of us working with the traditional single monitor as well as those of us using multiple displays.
If you’re looking for more tips to get rid of neck pain, check out this page: https://www.everlastingcomfort.net/blogs/comfy-reads/neck-solutions-proven-tips-for-getting-rid-of-neck-pain
Did you know that staring at a digital screen all day causes visual fatigue and discomfort? If your job requires working at a desk and staring at a screen for hours on end, it would be wise to invest in a pair of screen-safe anti-UV glare glasses.
Anti-UV glare glasses have tinted lenses designed to minimize eye strain caused by harmful blue light emitted from digital displays.
3. Get Organized
We’ve all done it, tossed a few things onto our desk or in our drawers, and never got around to tidying it up. A messy workspace will not only cause a lack of inspiration and concentration, but clutter can also make your workspace a lot less comfortable.
When creativity strikes, the last thing you want to do is sift through a bunch of papers and pens and old lunch receipts. Organizing your desk is your ticket to a more comfortable and efficient workspace.
Conquer your work desk drawer junk with different acrylic organizers. Neatly stash away your sticky notes, flash drives, and business cards in their own compartments for easy access.
If you can’t help but keep things on your desk, corral your office supplies by arranging them in a clear acrylic tray. Buy a pinboard to keep above or near your desk and tack up your notes instead of sticking Post-It notes all over your desk.
Always make sure your desk has a clear space to keep your computer as well as plenty of empty desk space for working. Here are some other desk organization tips that will make doing work less of a chore,
4. Limit Repetitive Motions
Most musculoskeletal disorders, or MSDS, are caused by repetitive movement. Repeating the same motion over and over leads to stress and will eventually lead to injury.
If you want to combat this problem, try switching up your tasks. Performing a different movement and doing something else—even if for just a relatively short amount of time—will reduce the risk for injury on your tissues under stress.
If switching up your tasks is not possible, try periodically changing the neutral positioning you are using. Change from an upright sitting position to declined sitting, reclined sitting, or a standing position. Changing your angle should be just enough if you want to change the musculature used for your task at hand.
5. Good Working Posture
The number one ergonomic priority when working at a desk is establishing a good working posture at your workstation. You should be able to sit or stand in a neutral body position comfortably. Sitting with a relaxed posture involves excessive reaching to complete tasks and no stressful angles.
If you are experiencing back pain at work, try sitting with hands, wrists, and your forearms straight and in-line, as well as parallel to the floor. Your head should be level to the floor, facing forward with no turn to the left or right. Ideally, your head should also be in line with your torso.
You can also try standing at your desk; standing while working is often recommended and can be ergonomically sound. This is if you stand straight and you keep your arms and wrists in a neutral position. Standing at your desk is an excellent alternative to sitting for long periods of time.
Here are some recommended working postures:
Upright Sitting Posture: Your torso and neck are approximately vertical and in-line, your thighs are horizontal, and your lower legs are vertical.
Standing Posture: Your legs, torso, neck, and head are in-line and vertical. You may also try elevating one foot on a rest while in this posture.
Declined Sitting Posture: Your thighs are inclined with your buttocks than your knee, and the angle between your thighs and torso is greater than 90 degrees. Your torso is vertical or slightly reclined, and your legs are vertical.
Reclined Sitting Posture: Your torso and neck are straight and recline between 105 and 120 degrees from the thighs.
6. Getting Up Moving Around
For those of us with jobs that require working at a desk, one of the best things you can do, and perhaps the most important tip on this list, is getting up and move around.
It really is that simple, and if you’ve been wondering how to relieve back pain, this tip is especially for you. Try to stand up once an hour and take a few minutes to walk down the hall to stretch your legs and body. Whether you get up to go get a drink of water, take a look out the window, the point is to just get out of your chair.
If your employer or manager discourages this ergonomic practice, they are completely in the wrong. It is crucial to keep in mind that a productive work environment is also a healthy work environment.
7. Adjust Your Environmental Setting
To be productive and more comfortable at work, you need to take a look at your overall working environment. Proper lighting, the right temperature, conveniences, and even personal/sentimental items are comfort essentials.
Your workspace’s lighting should not cause glare on computer or display screens, and your workplace should be equipped with softer light systems. Lighting meant for better reading printed material is not exactly the best lighting for computer displays.
When it comes to temperature, it could be a bit trickier since everyone has their own preference. If your place of work has a set temperature that isn’t comfortable to you, invest in your comfort by purchasing a personal desk fan if you feel warm, or a heated blanket or portable space heater if you tend to feel cold.
To prevent musculoskeletal disorder injuries, avoid colder temperatures, or keep yourself warm.
Look into purchasing other items that will increase your level of comfort like a memory-foam keyboard wrist pad and mousepad for added support and take some stress off your hands while typing.
If you sometimes feel like you’re suffocating in your poorly ventilated and dry office, look into purchasing an essential oil diffuser and cool-mist humidifier. The added aromatherapy benefit can also help you feel calmer and focused at work, and the scents are usually light enough to not bother your fellow co-workers.
Displaying your family photos as well as personal or sentimental mementos on your desk is an effective way to help feel more comfortable, happier, and more productive at work. These mementos will serve as constant reminders of why your work matters as well as help you embrace your passion and meaning in your life.
Personalized desks also create a more inviting environment by bringing more personality to the workplace.
8. Look Around
This tip is simple, yet it is also very essential for comfort when working at a desk. Staring at your computer screen for long periods of time can cause noticeable eye fatigue.
If you want to reduce the stress and string on your eyes, try systematically looking away from your monitor every 10 to 20 minutes or so and focus on something over 20 feet away.
It can be a tree outside a window, a clock on the wall, or even another person (just kidding, don’t do that), almost anything will do. Switching your focus to something in the distance will force your eyes to adjust and allow the close-in focus muscles a brief moment to relax.
9. Ergonomic Accessories
These ergonomic accessories can range from anything from footrests, headsets, or even a balance ball. Over the years, suppliers for office equipment have developed ergonomic accessories to help individuals and companies improve their workspaces. For example, if you are a smaller individual, you may benefit from a footrest if your workstation desk is not adjustable.
If your job involves talking on a phone all day, you will benefit from wearing a headset to free keep your hands free and relieve some strain on your neck.
For those of us who have to read printed documents would likely benefit from an adjustable document holder and maybe even task lighting. Some people even swear by the benefits of using a balance ball as a chair.
It’s your workspace, so you should do whatever is reasonable to make working at a desk as ergonomic and healthy as possible. Here are 25 ergonomic accessories that will bring some calm and comfort into your work life.
10. Asking for Help and Support
When all else fails, if you are trying to establish sound ergonomics practices for not only yourself but your entire place of employment, consider seeking professional help. Larger companies should have an ergonomics policy in place as well as a person tasked with enforcing it.
Ask for support from that specific person if you need help with your workstation.
If your place of employment doesn’t have an ergonomics policy in place, consider talking to a manager or supervisor with some of your fellow co-workers. Request adjustable equipment as well as accessories that can help the company create more comfortable and ergonomic workstations.
For those companies lacking expertise when it comes to ergonomics, it might be beneficial to hire a consultant who can make suggestions. It may seem like an unnecessary expense at first, but convince your higher-ups that it’s a small price to pay for increased employee productivity as well as better and less expensive employee health.
A win-win situation for both employees and the enterprise.
Make Working at a Desk More Comfortable
We know your work desk probably isn’t as comfortable as your favorite spot at home, but your comfort at work is way more important than you probably think.
When you surround yourself with a more ergonomic work environment, you will be amazed when you notice your increased productivity as well as the new and improved way you feel about your job (and even yourself!)
We hope this post gave you some ideas for making working at a desk more comfortable. If you found this post helpful, check out our blog for more!