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Ergonomics: the importance of a good desk setup

If you’re working at your desk all throughout the day, tiniest aspects of your workspace, such as the placement of your monitor, or the level of your chair can greatly impact your productivity, and possibly your overall health. Here’s what the science suggests about the best way to arrange your workplace for optimal ergonomics and increased productivity.

Your workplace shouldn’t drag your down each day and yet that’s what uncomfortably desks, dirty chairs, and dim lighting can do, even when you don’t notice the same issues day after day. With just a few tweaks however, you can make your workspace more comfortable and stop your desk from destroying you.

A Few Most Important Elements of an Ideal Workspace

Don’t undervalue the impact that the environment you live in can impact your performance. One study by Herman Miller found that workplace design had “a small but consistent and real influence” on workers’ performance–increasing productivity as much as 16% and job satisfaction by 9%. Take a look at your desk setup comparing it with the five points below to help you get more done throughout the day , with less effort.


The quality of the lighting at work can impact your mood as well as your overall health. Low lighting, be it dim or harsh light caused by overhead fluorescent lamps – can result in stress, eye strain and fatigue. The best type of light that you can get at work will be light from the sun.

From 1979 onwards researchers have suggested the use of natural lighting and views can reduce stress, boost spirits and moods, reduce anxiety and improve concentration. In a study conducted in 2014 conducted by researchers from Northwestern Medicine and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign discovered that those who had greater daylight exposure from windows in the office were more comfortable and slept longer in the evening. They also had a tendency to engage in more physical activity than employees whose offices were not equipped with windows.

The reason it’s crucial to regularly expose yourself to the sun? The sun’s light helps us maintain the internal “clocks” or circadian rhythms, which impacts our energy levels and sleep, as well as the brain’s release of serotonin. It’s a hormone that makes us feel calm and focused.

If you have control over the location of your office located, you can choose a room that has windows to receive this sun-inspired boost. If you’re not in control over the lighting in your workplace, and you’re not lucky enough to work in a location with a view (much less an office with a corner with windows) you should consider going outside for breaks and try to purchase a desk lamp that resembles daylight.

Another aspect to take into consideration when you’re deciding on lighting is the position of the light sources. It is important to have enough lighting to be productive without having to squint, but be sure that the there isn’t any glare that could be reflected on your monitor. This is why you shouldn’t place your back against windows unless you are able to shade it, and avoid sitting in front of a window, as it can make reading on your monitor hard.


Are plants able to help you with your job better? This may sound absurd but having a few plants at work can boost the efficiency of your work and increase your happiness. Researchers have discovered that indoor plants can reduce fatigue when working with attention-intensive tasks. Even a simple with a view of greenery in bloom can help to relax and keeps us on track. If you don’t have a view of an edging from your office it could mean you’re being left out of the chance to boost productivity by 15 percent according to psychologists at Exeter University.

Nature is good for your health, but what happens if you’re not the best in taking care of plants? Do not worry, you’re not alone, and somehow been able to keep the plant in good health. The trick: Purchase an peace lily. The plant that is tolerant of sun needs less sunlight to thrive, and you’ll only need to water it after the soil is dry. However, the most appealing thing with this kind of plant is it can scold you to water it when it’s in need, by falling down horribly. Then, after you’ve soaked it, it perks and perks up. Reviving your plant each week could provide you with a tiny but significant feeling of achievement.

Like other species, peace lilies are beneficial for cleaning air, as per NASA which means you can work in a cleaner atmosphere and experience an increase in productivity in the process. Aloe and cacti are two other plants that require little maintenance to take into consideration. If you’ve got an innate green thumb it is possible to plant any kind of plant better for your workspace.


In certain workplaces where employees are constantly fighting with each other over the temperature. If that’s your office setting, this article will provide some information to help you stop the fights once and for all. At the very least, when you feel cold. Cornell University researchers found that when they increased the temperature in offices between 68 and 77 degrees Fahreinheit (20deg to 25deg Celcius) The workers had their typing errors reduced by 44 percent and they were able write 150 percent faster.

It is possible that this factor plays a role in the reason that many people are less productive during the summer months. Could it be due to the cold air cooling?

While the study does not consider personal preference you can experiment with the temperature of your office in the event that you can, and observe what transpires. If you aren’t able to regulate the temperature inside your workplace, you can always opt for an “wear the appropriate sweater” alternative or buying an air-conditioner in case your workplace is getting too hot.


There are some great sounds to work to but then there’s the noise. We often have to deal with the noise. In the workplace, especially in open spaces, conversations of other employees as well as keyboard clicks can be constant distractions. If you work at home, you may be faced with the sound of your neighbour’s dog barking, loud landscapers or construction employees, and perhaps even the sound of the regular traffic coming through your front door. There are also notifications that you may receive via your mobile phone, which interrupts what you’re doing.

It’s difficult to block out everything else out when working. A pair of good headphones that can block out noise may help. Combine it with relaxing soundtrack music such as Jazz and Rain and your favourite video soundtrack for games on YouTube or the Coffitivity’s background chatter that resembles a coffeehouse. This is a result of research suggesting that ambient noise may boost creativity.


The field of psychology in color is an intriguing research area. McDonald’s employs yellow and red as they’re energetic colors that can stimulate our appetites (read that they encourage us to take in larger portions of chicken nuggets). Starbucks employs green to create an atmosphere of calm (read convincing customers to unwind in the coffee shop). The colors you choose for your office could influence your working hours.

A color psychology Angela Wright explains how colors influence us to feel, think and behave:

Red is stimulating and warming it up, and stimulates our pulses and may be perceived as aggressive

Blue can trigger thought and help with communication and concentration, but many may view it as unfeeling and cold.

The color yellow is stimulating and can lift spirits, however the wrong color can cause you to feel anxious.

Green is a soothing and balancing color. However, it depending on the way it’s applied, could be perceived as dull

Violet can be a great way to think, but excessive amounts of it can result in too much introspection

The color orange is stimulating and enjoyable However, too much can become overwhelming.

Pink is relaxing, however too much can be draining

Gray is neutral psychologically, and it can be depressing, if the correct tone is chosen

Black is sophisticated and sophisticated However, it can also be heavy.

White can give a greater sense of space, but it can also be a strain when looking at

Brown can be a serious hue It is, however, more warm than black. It is solid and sturdy

Be sure to keep these meanings of colors to keep in mind when you choose the color of your office, or when shopping to buy desk supplies. Desk accessories that match can help you focus rather than getting distracted from your desk.