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How to Create a More Comfortable Workspace

1 March, 2011

er-go-nom-ics The applied science of equipment design, as for the workplace, intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort.

Good ergonomics in the workplace is super important.

It’s been proven that being in an uncomfortable environment while you’re working can lead to a lack of productivity, repetitive stress injuries, rheumatoid arthritis, cramps and all sorts of nasty things.

It’s not just ergonomics and the design of your office furniture that contribute to a comfortable working environment, it’s also lighting, layout and the ambience you create that plays a big part.

We’ve gathered some of the best tips around for creating a comfortable, ergonomic workstation that you can put into practice in your home or work office.

Let there be light!

If you have the choice , then you want to try and situate your desk around a window. Getting as much natural light as you can into your office is important, as it means you can rely less on light bulbs .

Speaking of light bulbs, get rid of those fluorescents! Speak to your boss about replacing them with something a bit more soothing like a warm, energy saving bulb.

Something else you might want to consider is a dedicated task light – a small lamp or clip-on LED light that you can use when you’re focusing on something on your desk.

Take a seat.

Picking the perfect chair is difficult – but not impossible. There’s generally three rules you want to follow:

1. the chair needs to fit the user 2. the chair needs to fit the task 3. the chair needs to allow for movement and postural change.

Approach your chair shopping with an open mind. Try everything until you find the one that makes your butt, your back and your neck the happiest. Make sure you’re able to adjust it to suit your body type, and try sitting in it the way you would while you’re working .

Got all that? Good.

Space is important. If you don’t have a lot of it, make good use of what you do have. Put your most frequently used items within arms reach, and everything else can be stored in a draw or on a shelf.

Set the mood.

If your work allows it, try and add a personal touch to your workspace. A plant, a photo of your loved ones, a motivational quote or something else that you like can do a lot when it comes to making your office space one that you want to spend time in.

Keep your favourite tea and some healthy snacks stored in a draw so that you feel like you’ve got everything you could want in your little space.

What else can you do?

Stretch. If you do a lot of typing, take small breaks to move your wrists and fingers around. Stand up, stretch from side to side and take a small twist. Do this for a couple of minutes for every half hour of work.

If you can, try standing for parts of your day . Walk around whenever you can.

Got any tips for creating a nice workspace that you want to share? Leave us a comment below!

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by Gemma Maddock

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