In this post, I cover some key features that anyone working long hours using a computer should consider in their workstation setup to improve health and productivity. I explain details on what features my setup includes and why these features are important.
Height Adjustable Table & Ergonomic Chair
Health aspects of sitting have received more attention in recent years. The right choice of furniture can improve both, health and working efficiency. I personally own a saddle chair, Salli SwingFit, and an adjustable table, Salli Office, produced by Salli, a Finnish company that manufactures ergonomic furniture. Saddle chair improves your posture while sitting, which helps to avoid lower back problems caused by sitting. Adjustable table enables the adjustment of the height of the table to preferable height.
I have two 24" BenQ Zowie monitors. It is very important that the height of the monitor can be adjusted which allows better position for the neck. Also, monitors that can be rotated 90° can be used to display longer text files. I would advise buying 27" monitors instead of 24" if your budget allows it since the extra height is very useful for graphical work and it can display a larger portion of code.
The keyboard is extremely important and often underrated part of a high-efficiency workstation. Ergonomic keyboards, such as Kinesis Advantage 2, are separated in the middle which allows the hands to be in a more natural position in the keyboard, reducing unnecessary stress from the shoulders. Due to the 3-dimensional layout, all the keys are easily reachable, making it easier to use all ten fingers and faster to type with. The cherry MX brown switches also make it very pleasant to type with.
I recommend using GNU typist, a typing tutor software, to improve typing your skills. It is what I used it to learn to type with Kinesis Advantage and it took me around 4-5 days to get to comfortable skill level so that typing was easy again.
Most important properties for a desktop computer are quietness and speed. Quietness is the most important property since increased noise can have a huge negative impact on productivity. Speed is the second most important property and should be maximized as long as the build is within your budget and does not increase the level of noise. The computer power cable should be hooked into overvoltage protection to protect your valuable hardware. When it comes to the operating system, I would suggest Linux based distribution, such as Ubuntu, for anyone interested in programming.
Some considerations about the workroom itself
- Avoid having lights on while working on the computer. Additional artificial lights will simply cause extra fatigue and reduce productivity.
- Workroom should have an openable window for some fresh air. Also, natural light is better than artificial light for cognitive performance.