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How to set up an ergonomic workspace

24 September 2016

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 less hours working, but we can help out with making a body and mind friendly office space that’ll cut down on that work fatigue.

Setting up an ergonomic office space cuts down on work fatigue.
Setting up an ergonomic office space cuts down on work fatigue.

Spending long hours at a desk or bent over a laptop unfortunately contributes big time to fatigue and aches in the body. Interior designer Fredrik says the first thing you can do is simply 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.”

A graphic showing the right desk height and body position for working at a desk.

The second part is thinking about your seating space.

“When you are sitting at your desk, look for a chair that gives back support, is adjustable and swivels allowing for that all important movement. Heightwise you want to be able to sit upright and have your monitor at eye height (or at the level which you naturally gaze), and have your arms and elbows at 90 degree angle with your hands just above your keyboard. Armrests on the chair help support in this position.”

“You might need to work long hours, but there’s lots of ways to help you feel fresh and strain-free.”

Fredrik Biel, Interior Designer

A graphic showing the right desk height and body position for working while standing at a desk

Working in a standing postion carries the same ergonomic rules as sitting.

“You want to adjust your desk so that the top of your monitor is at eye height, and that your arms can rest easily just above your keyboard and you aren’t reaching up. If you have a hard floor underneath you, a mat makes things easier for your knees, as does a pair of comfortable shoes. The important thing here is also to move and sit down from time to time too.”

Structured storage is also a big help making your workspace an easy place to work at. Fredrik’s advice is to organise it so that the office equipment you use most often is closer to the desk, and the things you use less often higher up or further away. Labels are always an easy way to find everything and boxes keep paper filed or collections uncluttered.

Try lighting that’s kelvin 5000 above to help reduce eyestrain while working.

A well-lit environment also helps concentration and relieve eye strain. Especially using light levels similar to daylight.

“If you can, setting up a workspace next to a window is ideal. But you can also recreate daylight using light bulbs that have similar light spectrum to natural sunshine (Kelvin 5000 or up). Task lighting on the desk helps provide focused lighting on work too.”

Plants actually help concentration while you’re working.

Lastly is letting in nature around your workplace.

“Plenty of fresh air also helps concentration, if you don’t have a window, plants are great for filtering stale air and oxygenating your working environment. Finally, make sure to keep hydrated. Drinking water has been shown to help with focus even if you’re stuck in the middle of doing spreadsheets.”

Made by

Interior designer: Fredrik Biel
Digital designer: Cecilia Englund
Copywriter: James Rynd
Photographer: Mats Ekdahl
Editor: Linda Harkell