Back pain, neck pain, eye fatigue and other types of Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) can impact your work performance. It’s important to set up your workstation properly to minimize this risk.
SPECIFIC OFFICE EQUIPMENT
- Chair – Look for an ergonomic chair that is adjustable. You could visit a shop to get advice on one that suits your body and working preferences. It’s often possible to find second-hand or refurbished models on eBay. You can ask in Slack for assistance on choosing a chair.
- Desk – Consider a height-adjustable one so you can set it up for your exact height and posture. At least check the ideal height for your needs with this calculator.
- Monitor – Look for one that can tilt and swivel both up and down.
- Monitor Arm – This can be useful if you find you need to adjust the monitor position frequently.
- Laptop stand – a laptop stand ensures that you do not strain your neck by constantly looking down.
- External Keyboard and Mouse
- A wrist rest – This can reduce strain on your wrists.
OTHER WORKSTATION SETUP OPTIONS
To reduce eyestrain:
- Adjust your monitor settings to find the right brightness and contrast.
- Work in a well-lit room, preferably with natural light.
- Set your system font for comfortable reading. Here’s a guide to compatible monitors with a Macbook.
For your overall health:
- Take frequent breaks to move around as needed
- Drink plenty of water (keep a bottle close-by for those times when you’re deeply focused and the hours seem to fly by)
If you’re looking for more tips or want to share yours with other Humans, feel free to join our #healthy-humans channel
Ergonomics outside your office
We always recommend that you work at your normal workstation. However, if you are travelling, or choose to work from coffee shops or hot desk at a co-working space you need to plan carefully so that you can maintain good posture. It is impossible to have good posture if you are just working from a laptop. This video emphasises some of the problems of working from a laptop:
You can get additional gear that will improve your posture while you are on the road or away from your normal workstation. Although this adds to the number of things you have to carry, it is important that you do so to maintain good health.
You should follow the below advice:
- Use a laptop stand: your screen should be at eye level, around 12-18 inches from your face. This prevents neck strain from constantly looking down at a screen. The Roost stand is foldable, lightweight, and easy-to-travel-with.
- Use a keyboard and mouse: the Apple keyboard and mouse are both lightweight and wireless, making them easy to pack and travel with.
- Work at a desk: you shouldn’t spend long periods of time slouched in a sofa or armchair. Working at a desk keeps your arms by your side and at a 90-degree angle, your wrists flat, and your back relaxed.
- Make sure you have good lumbar support: you can use a lumbar pillow to ensure that you are properly supported (and it also doubles as a handy pillow for when you need to sleep on a plane!).