40 hours. 50 hours. 60 hours. There’s no doubt about it: across the industries, we’re increasingly spending more and more time in the office. Unfortunately, each hour of overtime means added strain to the muscles, tendons and joints that power us through our days. Not to mention, this lead to a greater opportunity for injury. But it doesn’t have to be this way. With a few quick tweaks to your office space, you’ll work much more comfortably and productively for as many hours as is required to get the job done.
1) Protect Your Eyes
Staring at the computer all day puts you at high risk of developing Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). Our eyes, after all, weren’t designed to spend so many long hours focused at such a near distance, engaging in such fine and precise motor movements. The consequences of such concentration are high. Some include: headaches, blurred vision, dry, red and itchy eyes, and a deterioration of visual acuity over time. You can prevent CVS simply by taking a break every 20 minutes or so to focus your eyes on a point at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This is known as the 20-20-20 rule. It also will help to keep your screen brightness high so you won’t have to struggle read the text on screen, and to use soft yellow but bright office lighting, making sure to position your lighting so there’s no glare.
2) Buy Ergonomic Equipment
There’s just no way around it: in order to feel good in the office, you cannot continue operating on one-size-fits-no-one equipment. Instead, your equipment should adjust to fit your body and your unique behavior. At the most basic level, this starts with a chair that both provides lumbar support and can be adjusted so that you sit up straight, with your feet flat on the floor and your knees at a 45-degree angle. It’s also advisable to invest in a split ergonomic keyboard, which pulls apart in the middle and tents vertically so that you can float your hands naturally over the keyboard. Whatever equipment you choose, it should allow you to work in the most natural manner possible, without straining your tendons and joints.
3) Consider the Psychology of Your Space
The layout of your office or cubicle has a direct effect on your mood, which in turn can affect your ability to perform at work. It’s best, for instance, to position your chair so that you can see the entrance or your co-workers, as this tends to make people feel safer and more relaxed in their space. Decorate your office with photos of loved ones, as well as with calming colors like blue to keep your blood pressure low and your mind on task.
Together, these steps will go a long way towards keeping you comfortable and productive at work. For more tips of this vein, we highly recommend reading, The Easy Way to Earn More: 4 Tweaks to Improve Your Office Space.