~ Ergonomics

The environment in which we work has dramatically shifted from our ergonomically designed offices to our homes.

In the office we allow for changes in working position by providing spaces analogous to our homes: lounges, dining areas, living rooms -- each one filtered through the perspective of a designer considering comfort and efficiency. With some simple adjustments to your own workspace and your behavior, your actual home can  employ similar ergonomic strategies, focusing on the way we position our bodies in relation to a given task.

First, take care of the basic stuff. When possible, adjust your work-surface so that it is at a comfortable height and is sized for your needs. Hunching over a screen strains your body. Use a shoebox or a stack of books to lift the screen so that your eye level is in the top half of the monitor. If you have access to an external keyboard it will allow your arms to relax. Raising your seat height can put your elbows closer to an ideal 90 degrees. If your chair makes your feet dangle above the floor, you can use an under-desk foot rest or a stack of pillows to keep blood circulating through your legs.

“Whoever said that pleasure wasn’t functional”

- Charles Eames

More than measurements, ergonomics is behavioral. Don’t be afraid to migrate from your desk. For many of us, the next seat can be the best seat. Alternating between sitting in a chair, lounging on soft furniture, or moving around while talking, doesn't have to compromise your productivity. These are all behaviors that we promote in the office.  

Remember, you can work in any area of your home, you just need to know when to do it. Choose devices based on meeting type. Your big screen is appropriate for large meetings or text-heavy docs. Tablets are sufficient for smaller meetings, and the phone is perfect for 1:1’s. Move around your living space when you talk on the phone, and don’t forget to eat away from your desk.

For more tips you can go to Ergo Anywhere

Blake Stevenson, Environments Designer.