Choose a Desk and Improve Comfort
Select Your Desk
You’re going to be sitting at it for hours at a time, so choosing a good home office desk is a necessity. In the past, all PC desks seemed to conform to the compact, multishelf model. Now, with smaller PCs, flat-panel monitors and versatile peripherals, desk options have greatly increased. Here are some things to consider when choosing a desk:
Decide How Much Space You’ll Need
The size of your desk is usually dictated by the size of your home office. Though compact desks make the best use of floor space, they may make you feel claustrophobic. Large desks can make your room seemed cramped. So how should you choose? A good guideline is to select a desk with the most flat space possible for the size. Open desks will reduce feelings of clutter and allow you to focus on your tasks.
Make sure that your new desk gives you enough legroom to comfortably sit in the positions you most favor. The best way to tell is to actually try out your prospective desk. Be sure to take into account the height of the desk. Though most office chairs can be raised or lowered, you could have big problems if your desk is so high you have to raise your chair to where your feet are not flat on the floor. For the litmus test, sit comfortably and cross your legs. If you don’t feel cramped, you should be in good shape.
Determine What You Need Close at Hand
Evaluate the types of spaces and drawers you’ll need at your desk. Do you have peripherals, such as scanners, that you’ll be using on a consistent basis? Will you need to be in arm’s reach of hanging files? Do you need a drawer to store your joysticks in or a place to house CDs or DVDs? Take each of these questions into account.
Determine What You Don’t Need at Hand
Of course, there’s a lot in your home office that you don't need within arm's reach: that old file cabinet that you barely touch, for example. USB extenders and wireless peripherals can help you save space. By moving a wireless printer off of your desk, for instance, you can free up considerable space.
Improve Desk Comfort
Arrange your work area to improve your home office comfort — it could even help you become more efficient. Here are three simple suggestions to aid in comfortable computing.
Adjust Your Monitor
Avoid neck and eye strain by adjusting your monitor height and distance:
1. Raise your monitor so that the top of your screen is at eye level when you’re sitting comfortably in your chair.
2. Set your monitor back on your desk until the screen is just at arm’s length from your body. If this is impossible because of a bulky CRT monitor, consider investing in a new flat-panel LCD.
3. Finally, double check the effect of your light source on your screen — a glare reflecting off the monitor may make it difficult to see your screen clearly.
Adjust Your Chair
Sit more comfortably with a few quick adjustments:
1. Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet are flat on the floor and your keyboard is at the height of your elbows.
2. Use the backrest angle and chair tilt to angle your chair at a slight backwards incline. This will take pressure off of your lower back.
3. Raise your armrests to the height of your elbows. Ensure that your arms can move freely.
Leave Time for Stretching
Any repetitive task has the potential to cause harm to your body. Remedy this by breaking up your home office work with periods of stretching or even light activity, such as a walk around the block.