Can you feel it? That twitch in your neck, or that pain in your lower back? It might be the way you’re using your workspace. We can’t promise you fewer working hours, but we can help out by making a body-and-mind-friendly office space that’ll cut down that work fatigue.
Spending long hours at a desk or bent over a laptop unfortunately contributes to fatigue and aches in the body. Interior designer Fredrik says the first thing you can do is to think about movement. “Posture pain is something that accumulates from being in a fixed position for too long. My advice is movement. The key is to not have everything close to hand, give yourself room to move, reach around for your files, or go in the kitchen for that cup of coffee.”
Look for a chair that gives back support, is adjustable, and swivels to allow movement. Height wise, you want to be able to sit upright with your monitor at eye level, and your arms and elbows at a 90-degree angle, just above your keyboard. Armrests on the chair help support this position. Switching between sitting and standing during the day can help strengthen your core and improve your metabolism.
Working in a standing position carries the same ergonomic rules as sitting. “You want to adjust your desk so the top of your monitor is at eye height and your arms can rest easily just above your keyboard without getting up. If you have a hard floor underneath, a mat makes things easier for your knees, as does a pair of comfortable shoes. It's important to move and sit from time to time too.”
Structured storage helps make your workspace an easy place to work. Fredrik’s advice is to organize things so the equipment you use most is closest to the desk, and the things you use less often are further away. Labels are an easy way to find everything while boxes keep paper filed and collections uncluttered.
A well-lit environment helps with concentration and relieves eye strain, especially when you're using a source similar to daylight. “Setting up a workspace next to a window is ideal but you can also recreate daylight using bulbs with similar spectrum to natural sunshine (Kelvin 5000 and above). Task lighting on the desk helps provide focused lighting on your work too.”
“Fresh air helps with concentration. If you don’t have a window that opens, plants are great for filtering stale air and oxygenating your working environment. Finally, be sure to stay hydrated. Drinking water has been shown to help with focus even when you’re stuck in with spreadsheets.”