Do you know your ideal desk height? What about your ideal keyboard size?
If you need to know how to build a workstation, fear not. It can be a lot of fun. It can also deliver major benefits—if you do it right.
Some aspects of workstation design may be obvious. For example, if your work station makes your back hurt, then you’ll want to change something.
Other elements are less obvious and require a little education or help from an ergonomics expert. Read on to learn the basics.
1. If your desk is too high, find an adjustable footrest.
Most office chairs are adjustable. Unfortunately, most office desks are not. Finding the sweet spot between desk height and chair height can be tricky.
Sure, you can raise your chair to accommodate your desk. But then where do you rest your feet?
Find a simple footrest to free yourself up to experiment with chair height. You can even do this yourself by stacking boxes or anything sturdy to rest your feet on.
2. Pay attention to keyboard size.
This is easy to overlook, but keyboard size is critical for good ergonomics. Before the popularity of laptops, most computer keyboards were larger. Since laptops aim for compact, portable designs, a major trade-off is having a smaller keyboard.
Using a keyboard that’s too small has two major effects. For one, you’ll type slower, including time spent fixing more typos. You’re also at greater risk for developing repetitive strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome.
Whether you’re using a desktop computer or a laptop with a built-in keyboard, you still have options. You can buy an external keyboard that connects to your computer. Two popular connection types are USB and wireless Bluetooth.
Check out our recent blog: “Consider an Ergonomic Keyboard While Working From Home” for some more tips.
3. Consider a sit-stand desk.
Standing desks are increasingly common. This is due to their perceived health benefits when compared with sitting.
Sitting for long periods is indeed bad for blood flow and postural health. On the other hand, standing still for long periods can have its own drawbacks. As with many things, it’s likely best to find a middle ground between movement and rest.
A sit-stand desk allows you to adjust your desk based on your needs. Learn more about standing vs sitting while working here. If you decide to forgo ordering a new desk, just be sure to take breaks from sitting to move around and get your blood flowing.
4. Wear headphones while you work.
A good set of headphones can do wonders for concentration. Noise-canceling headphones will block out distractions. But even basic headphones can help.
Preferences vary when it comes to helpful noise. Some find music helpful. Of those, some prefer music with no lyrics. Others find music distracting and opt instead for natural sounds. More modern variations include ambient, binaural soundtracks.
If headphones appeal to you, then you might like to learn about other gadgets for your home workstation.
5. Location, location, location!
If your work requires concentration, then this tip is especially for you. Pick a spot for your DIY workstation that allows you to work without interruption.
Some potential locales include: Your garage, your laundry room, your back porch, your attic.
If it’s private enough to keep distractions out, then it’s worth considering.
You’re ready to get started on making your home workstation into a productive environment to work on.
The first step of building your own workstation at home is to research with blogs like this. Keep in mind that these aren’t strict rules. They’re more like principles to guide you on your journey.
These tips have something in common: most of them can be achieved with what you already have. Sure, fancy gadgets and special equipment can make the process more fun. But the best workstation designs are simply the most effective.
Don’t feel bad if you’re still confused on what to do next. consider getting an ergonomics assessment of your home office setup from an expert. Solutions Northwest Inc. are now offering affordable Virtual Ergonomics Assessments specifically for remote workers (all you need is access to e-mail or a smart phone).
At SolutionsNW.com we value the importance of a positive workplace culture. Part of a positive workplace is a safe workplace, Contact Us to schedule an ergonomics consultation or ergonomics assessment for your office today.
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