Snug Fit

Recently (actually, a few months ago) I found I was getting backache from sitting in my chair all day.  My workspace is far from ergonomic, so I took a look at it and this is what I found:

  • My chair is a woefully inadequate cheap “managers chair”, which has only up/down adjustment.
  • My desk is 2 inches too high and non-adjustable.
  • My laptop, while on a box on my desk, is an inch or so too low.
  • My desk is too cluttered.

I decided to do something about it, and since my firm agreed to buy me a new chair I’m going to invest in some other things, too:

  • A new chair.  I’ll be buying a nice Hag from the Total Backcare Centre.  I’ve linked to their website because I had a wonderful experience at their shop.  I got plenty of advice on posture and workspace setup, and then assessed for an appropriate chair.  They had loads of demo models in, and I was shown from one to another, with one-to-one help, to work out which was best for me.  Truly excellent.
  • A new desk.  I’ll be going for the Galant system from Ikea, as it’s modular and offers good flexibility if we decide to move house.  In addition, it’s height-adjustable so I can get it just right.
  • A monitor stand.  I use a cardboard box at the moment, but it’s not pretty.  Does anyone have any recommendations?  Some sort of swivel arm might be nice…
  • A tidy up.  Hard work but worth it.  I’ve bought some storage already, so I just need to make better use of it.

Hopefully once this project is complete I’ll have a much more comfortable workspace.  As Jeff Atwood points out, you need to look after your second most important asset, and I intend to start now.

Other piece of advice I learned from the TBC:

  1. Buy a good chair.  Don’t skimp here on price.
  2. Buy a height adjustable desk, and find the correct height for your chair, before setting the desk so that the top of the desk is level with the bottom of your elbows when sat.
  3. Try your mouse on the left.  It’s hard to become a lefty, but could be worth it.  Alternatively, get a keyboard without a numpad, and buy a separate one if you really need it.
  4. Learn to use the keyboard more.  It’ll pay dividends in productivity terms, and avoid mouse-related RSI.

Anyone got any other tips I haven’t mentioned?

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