Table of Contents
Poor physical health plagues modern knowledge workers, partly due to long hours of sedentary work in anatomically incorrect positions. Consequently, knowledge workers can experience physical discomfort, pain, or even injury, which decreases their productivity and quality of life. The physical discomfort often manifests in knowledge workers in compensatory behavior such as eating highly palatable foods or excessive stimulant use to alleviate the discomfort with short-term fixes. At worst, these adverse effects can result in an inability to work and earn a living, such as chronic wrist, neck, or back pain.
We can prevent these adverse health effects by designing ergonomic workstations. An ergonomic workstation allows the worker’s posture to be in the correct form naturally, which decreases discomfort and pain, preventing injury. In an ideal ergonomic workstation, the body’s position is an active one, which increases the blood flow in the body and brain. Improved blood flow improves our focus, makes us feel less tired, and makes engaging other physical activities easier. In an ergonomic workstation, knowledge workers can work longer without discomfort, increasing their productivity. For these reasons, ergonomics should be a core value for modern knowledge workers.
The Workstation chapter discusses features of an ergonomic workstation, such as ergonomic chairs, tables, screens, and keyboards.
Standing Desk and Saddle Chair
Negative health aspects of sitting have received more attention in recent years. It can result in problems such as lower back and neck pain and decreased blood circulation. The right choice of furniture can help you to minimize these negative aspects by improving posture when sitting.
Additionally, it is good to have a floor protector under the chair to avoid damaging the floor.
The computer should be quiet, responsive, and performant. A noisy machine is irritating and has a substantial negative impact on productivity. Since the fans and hard drives generate most of the computer noise, we should minimize their noise by choosing quiet components. Selecting the right casing also reduces noise. We can improve responsiveness by installing the operating system and software on a solid-state drive and choosing fast random-access memory and a high-performance central processing unit. We should select a graphics card that supports multiple monitors and performs well for scientific computing.
My desktop computer consists of the following parts.
- Processor (CPU): Intel Core i5-7600K 3.80GHz
- Graphics (GPU): Asus GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
- Memory (RAM): G.Skill RipjawsV DDR4 3200 MHz 16 GB
- Storage (SSD): Samsung 250GB 850 EVO SSD 2.5" SATA III
- Storage (HDD): Seagate 2TB Barracuda, SATA III, 7200RPM, 64MB
- Motherboard: Asus STRIX Z270H Gaming
- Cooler: Noctua NH-U14S
- Power supply: EVGA 550W SuperNOVA 550 G3
- Casing: Fractal Design Define R5
The right monitor type is also essential for the ergonomic workstation. The monitor should be height-adjustable, tiltable, and rotateable. The monitor should support an adequate color spectrum for your work and have settings for eye-friendliness, such as a lower blue-light setting and refresh rate. Height-adjustability allows for a better neck position. Additionally, we can turn rotatable monitors into vertical monitors for displaying large text files.
The keyboard is an essential part of an ergonomic workstation. The right keyboard reduces unnecessary shoulder stress and significantly increases typing speed and convenience.
We can use typing tutor software for practicing touch typing with an ergonomic keyboard.
A mouse is also an integral part of the ergonomic workstation. An ergonomic mouse should fit the user’s hand and be fast and accurate. Typically, gaming mouses are designed with these principles in mind because gamers play games for extended periods.
A studio microphone is an essential accessory for activities that require high-quality audio, such as video conferencing, live-streaming, and creating videos or recordings. It makes the speaker’s sound pleasant and more professional.
A studio arm is also a necessary part of a professional microphone setup. It allows the speaker to move the microphone close to their mouth. A studio arm also prevents the microphone from becoming an obstacle for the hands. High-quality studio arms are stable compared to low-quality ones.
A webcam is also essential for video conferencing, live-streaming, and creating videos. However, people with budget constraints should prioritize microphone quality over the webcam.
Good lighting also improves video quality. Consider adding some studio light to the room.