Setting up your own workplace is a breeze! And here’s the magic word: comfort! No need for tape measures or protractors. Let’s rely on our instincts and feelings to create a perfect setup.
Let’s begin with the equipment, based on minimal requirements (following NEN and NPR guidelines):
- Choose a comfortable desk chair that meets NEN-EN 1335-1 standards. (or if you are big, NPR 1813)
- Ensure it has adjustable seat height, seat depth, lumbar support, and backrest.
- Armrests are optional but can be beneficial for added comfort.
- Opt for an adjustable desk, adhering to NEN-EN 527-1 guidelines.
- The desk should have an appropriate height for your sitting position.
- Minimum depth of 80 cm and a minimum width of 120 cm.
- The maximum thickness should be 5 cm.
- Optional: Consider a sit-to-stand feature, either manual or electric.
- Choose a monitor that allows adjustable height to suit your preference.
- If using a laptop, use a laptop stand with adjustable height and angle.
- A standard keyboard is sufficient for most users.
- Consider an ergonomic design with a split and/or curved layout for added comfort.
- Optional: Choose a small form factor design without a number pad.
- In most cases, a standard mouse is sufficient.
- For design work, consider using a mouse pen/tablet (A4 to A5 size) as an optional choice.
Proper Room Setup:
- Ensure you have sufficient space to move around and adjust your equipment.
- Maintain good ventilation and a comfortable temperature.
- Position your workspace where you can benefit from natural light coming from the side.
- Install adjustable window shades or blinds to control incoming light.
- Keep cables organized and out of the way for a tidy workspace.
- Position your webcam at a comfortable height and angle in relation to the monitor.
Headset or Speakerphone:
- Choose a headset or speakerphone with clear audio quality for conference calls or virtual meetings.
- Please note that the mentioned NEN and NPR guidelines provide specific ergonomic recommendations and standards in the Netherlands. Consider these norms as a reference for ensuring a suitable ergonomic setup and a comfortable work environment in your home office.
Now, let’s set up your workplace using the following tips:
Begin with your chair:
- Sit down and adjust the seat height to evenly distribute the pressure under your thighs, preventing discomfort and restricted blood flow.
- Slide all the way back and adjust the seat depth to allow enough space between the front of the seat and your lower leg, ensuring freedom of movement.
- Find a comfortable tilt position for the seat. If you’re sliding forward, it’s too far forward. Feel supported by the backrest without being forced into an unnatural position.
- Adjust the backrest to a position where you can lean back comfortably, reducing strain. The curvature should support the top of your pelvis.
- Set the armrests at a height that allows your forearms to rest comfortably without raising your shoulders.
Adjust the height of your worktop:
- If your desk is adjustable, align the height with your armrests. If not, raise your chair until the armrests align with the worktop, using a footstool if necessary. Alternatively, raise the desk using bobbins or wooden beams if it’s too low.
- If you prefer working with your forearms on the desk, the desk can be slightly higher than the armrests. Ensure your arms can rest comfortably without pushing your elbows or shoulders in an awkward position.
Position the screen:
- Place your screen at a comfortable distance that allows for easy readability. A good average rule is an arm’s length away. Close your eyes, roll your shoulders, and move your head from left to right and up and down. Open your eyes and position the screen where your gaze naturally falls.
- Note: If you wear varifocal glasses and look at the screen through the reading area, the screen should be positioned lower.
Place your mouse and keyboard:
- Leave your elbows in place and move your hands back and forth like windshield wipers. Position your mouse and keyboard within this area. Ideally, place them in the middle for maximum comfort.
Ensure you have sufficient space, good ventilation, a comfortable temperature, and natural light nearby, preferably coming from the side. Manage your cables for an organized workspace. And don’t forget to position your webcam at a comfortable height and angle.
These tips, along with the mentioned guidelines, will help you create an ergonomic and comfortable home office setup. Remember, sitting comfortably is crucial for preventing physical discomfort such as back or neck complaints, but regular exercise and breaks are even more important.
If you’d like additional guidance or have specific questions, feel free to contact me through my website. I’d love to assist you in optimizing your workspace further.
Wishing you a productive and comfortable work environment!
Registered Company Physiotherapist
P.S. Feel free to share these workplace setup tips on your website, but please include a link to my website www.ergoidee.nl. I’d also love to hear if these tips helped you! Don’t hesitate to contact me here!