If you’ve been working at a desk job as long as we have, you may know of the spontaneous aches and pains that pop up. These can range from neck pains to shoulder pains, and especially lower back pains. What if we told you that by upgrading your workstation to include proper ergonomics, you can boost your well-being and stop your body and arms from being injured?
An ergonomic workstation is a necessity for working at a desk for long periods, no matter what field you’re in. In this article, we’ll be chatting about what an ergonomic workstation is and how you can upgrade your setup to bring out the best support while you work.
Let’s not waste any time and hope right in.
What is an Ergonomic Workstation?
An ergonomic workstation promotes and supports a more neutral body position for longer periods. It aims to reduce strain and reduce stress throughout your body so you can work without worry of injury.
You can enjoy a more ergonomic workstation by changing a few elements of your work environment like your chair, the type of desk that you work at, the keyboard you have, and a few other important factors.
Each ergonomic workstation is different for each person based on their natural posture and body type, but if you’re planning on working at a laptop for your job then it’s best to get the basics down now. It’s even worth investing in some of these ergonomics for your teenager since they’re also bound to spend time studying too.
7 Ways To Upgrade Your Ergonomic Workstation
Are you tired of aches and pains flaring up while you work? Want to upgrade your setup to include a dynamic and ergonomic workstation from which you can easily work on your projects like drawing, reading comics, or even playing Roblox? Don’t worry! We’ve listed the top 7 ways that you can upgrade your workstation!
Purchase a Proper Standing Desk/Sitting Desk
One of the most common causes of body pain is not using a proper desk that places your keyboard at an appropriate level for your arms. Ideally, you want your arms to sit parallel to the floor and angled towards your lap. Making sure that your desk height adheres to this proportion is important as it can cause long terms damage to your arm and wrists.
Finding the right desk height is tricky though, as the ergonomic heights for reading your screen, drawing on Adobe Illustrator, and mousing, are all different! One solution is a height-adjustable desk. You can adjust the height of this desk to provide perfect ergonomic support for each task you do.
You can also transform your desk into a standing desk, so you can stand and work at the same time! Standing desks are better for your back and legs, just remember to keep your feet flat on the floor.
Try Out an Ergonomic Keyboard
You may be curious about what exactly an ergonomic keyboard is, and to answer that we’ll need you to participate in a little exercise. Place your hands on your keyboard as you normally would. Now retract your arms back to your side and notice if your shoulders relaxed while you were retracting them.
Holding your hands in an inward position while typing puts unnecessary stress on your shoulders and so some people opt to use an ergonomic keyboard instead. An ergonomic keyboard is a split keyboard that allows your hands to lie shoulder-width and reduce strain on your shoulders.
Invest In an Ergonomic Chair
How do you know if you need an ergonomic chair? We’re going to name a few things and let us know if any of these have happened to you. Do you often feel that your spine and the chair have gaps between them? Are your middle back and lower back fully supported?
If not, then you should consider investing in an ergonomic chair. You’re looking for a chair that has full lumbar support, with a natural S-curve to it. The most important part of a chair is that it follows the natural movement of your spine, so purchasing a chair that allows you to stay in a neutral position is key!
Find a Mouse That Conforms To Your Hand
Besides your keyboard, your mouse is one of the most used implements when you’re working or playing games. If you’re finding that your wrist is regularly sore and pained, then you may need to move your mouse into a more comfortable position or possibly even purchase a new one.
You’re looking for a vertical mouse that is comfortable to hold and smooth to work with, so those long hours solving engineering problems are done without hassle. If not the mouse can offer your hand a relaxed position for hours, then changing over to a stylus with a tablet or trackball are also a great alternative.
Light Up Your Set Up With Proper Lighting
Good lighting can entirely change the way your setup feels and looks. If you’re unable to purchase new equipment to enhance your ergonomic workstation, the smallest change worth investing in is good lighting.
Not only does better lighting reduce eye strain and stop you from leaning forward to see the screen, but it can also boost your mood! A well-lit workstation is one of the best things that you can do to alleviate mental strain and stress. Access to daylight is a great way to take a break and give your eyes a break from Google Classroom or studying hard in your college dorm room.
Ensure Your Display Is Adjustable & At The Right Height
You’ll want your display to sit at arm’s length away from your chair to ensure that you reduce eye strain and stop your neck from being craned in an uncomfortable position. Your display is what you’ll be staring at in most cases, so having to be at the right angle is of utmost importance.
Make sure your display is more or less 2 or 3 inches away from your screen and sits in a sturdy position that doesn’t need to be moved much. Owning an affordable tablet like an 8-inch Android tablet is a great alternative to a full computer monitor or computer screen.
Add Some Personal Touches
Finally, one of the best things to add to your ergonomic workstation is to add some personal touches of your own to your setup. We’re talking accessories from home or a plant to spruce up your workspace and make it your own.
We bet you’re commonly dealing with stressful situations, then having most people would love to have some personal touches to add to their workplace. You can also relax with a footrest, a place to rest your legs and keep your shoulders relaxed and stop your chronic pain.
This becomes especially important when you’re older, so it best start now!
Frequently Asked Questions
Have some more questions about an ergonomic workstation? We’ve covered the most frequently asked questions so that you’re as clued up as you need to be. Otherwise, feel free to check out our top tablets for Cricut Explore Air 2 or the best Windows tablets for under $500.
What is an example of good workstation ergonomics?
We’ve covered a couple of examples that describe good workstation ergonomics, here are some of the most common ones:
- Invest in an ergonomic chair
- Have proper sunlight or lighting
- Make sure your display is at the right height
What are the 3 types of ergonomics?
We’ve covered physical ergonomics in this article, there are two other types of ergonomics including cognitive ergonomics and organizational ergonomics.
Balancing these three is of utmost importance to maintaining the right space to create and focus properly. We highly recommend you check out cognitive and organizational ergonomics too.
What is the main purpose of ergonomics?
The main purpose of ergonomics is to reduce any muscular and skeletal issues that may develop due to improper posture and work environment factors. These can be different based on the body types users may have or your natural neutral position.
These hopefully have helped you figure out exactly what additions you’ll make to your workspace into an ergonomic one. This is your health we’re talking about, so it’s worth investment – especially if you use computers a lot.
Writer Graham Grieve brings two decades of technical communications experience to The Holy Tech coverage. Isaac contributes articles on laptops, tablets and PCs, alongside various software and hardware guides. Isaac is a former newspaper journalist who also worked in tech communications for some of the country’s biggest corporations. He also counsels and creates material for other technology publications and hosts a podcast.
Isaac’s in-depth reporting and knowledge of hardware and software issues helps The Holy Tech’s readers learn how to choose the right products, or solve tricky problems.