Hi friends! Here at TBM, we see so many posts on how to make your workspace cuter or newer or trendier. We also post a lot about that too—it’s so fun to roundup products we love from our fave designers. But I have to be honest. After working from home for 3.5 years full time, I have found something that’s so incredibly important when designing a workspace, much more than the latest tech or accessory, and that’s health.
As you might remember from this post, this year, I’ve been on a mission to make my workspace healthier in general. For the most part, I struggle with two things: keeping my space ergonomic, and staying sane from being in the house all day! Both have had a huge impact on my personal wellness, and I knew that if I wanted to keep working on the projects I was working on, I had to make some changes. So even though my space is still not quite complete, I wanted to share 5 proven ways to make your workspace healthier. Seriously, don’t skimp on these! It’s not worth your health or happiness!
How to Create a Healthier Workspace
1. Get the right chair. I think I worked from home for at least two years before I ever considered getting ‘the right chair’. But once I started to think about my posture and learned how it could contribute to problems like neck/shoulder pain and headaches among other things, I did a little research. One thing I want to say is that the right chair varies by individual. I’m really short (5’0) and most standard chairs don’t fit me correctly, so a simple adjustable chair works best and makes a big difference in my goals of better posture. If you’re short, a box or step underneath your desk can help posture too!
2. Make sure your breaks include movement. It’s easy to think that if you WFH you are avoiding the trap of sitting for 8+ hours a day. Unfortunately, many people that work remotely end up spending more time at their desk since no one’s telling them when to sign off. No boss calling it a day or office lights turning off at 6pm can mean working right through dinner. Whether you log 6 or 10 hour days, however, you should take frequent breaks (I like the every 90 minute rule, generally) and make the most of them. I usually incorporate a small walk, and if I only have a few minutes, I’ll do a mild exercise like crunches, stretching, or hand weights that help me incorporate movement during a full day. I have to say, I’ve actually gotten more toned since I started doing this!
3. Make sure desktop/screen is appropriate size and distance. Another no-brainer that often goes without consideration, but is a must, especially if you’re sensitive to screens. We see so many photos of those cute little Parsons desks with iMacs on, but are they far enough away? Check this website for suggestions.
4. Get ergonomic accessories (even if they’re ugly). Again, it took me a few years, but I finally made some investments in ergonomic accessories this year that I’d never again work from home without: a laptop stand (to keep my screen at eye level) and a keyboard drawer being the main accessories. The tray, which didn’t originally come with the desk, seemed like a total pain at first but was recommended to help with carpal tunnel syndrome. It keeps your arms at the appropriate height when working on the keyboard/mouse, and makes it so you don’t have to rest them on tough edges like you do on the desk’s surface. It ain’t cute, but it’s a LIFESAVER. Really. (Side note, if you struggle with arm/hand pain, order these.)
5. Make it inspiring, ANY way you can. Many bloggers admit that WFH life can be pretty lonely and mundane at times. There are far too many days when the only living beings I’ve talked to are my cats. Not exactly glamorous. For this reason, I reccomend keeping your workspace inspiring any way you can. It’s easy to gloss over mental health when putting together a home office, but it’s just as important. A few creative art prints, a vase of flowers, and my favorite pens/notebooks to journal in throughout the day goes a long way. A favorite playlist is a good idea, too!
If you have any more questions about us regarding working from home, creating an ergonomic space, or staying motivated while creating as a party of 1, we’d love to chat! Shoot us an email to connect.