Working from home is becoming more and more common, especially among freelancers. Moreover, the desktop PC or notebook can be found in almost every household. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the place where it is situated, especially in terms of sufficient space and the layout.
In a small flat
If you can and want to use the computer mainly for work, place the PC in a quieter part of the flat, for example, in the bedroom, where you will not be distracted by other household members. But if the computer will serve to the whole family, place it in the living room or dining room. You don’t need daylight for working or playing on your computer, but good table lighting is a must. Don’t forget you will need an electrical outlet.
The satisfaction of the user working in the corner depends on the size of the desktop. If you have a small space, choose a corner desk, but make sure you have enough shelves and a comfortable chair with enough legroom. Think about what you need to work on your computer, including documents, folders, books, a cup of coffee, etc.
As for the depth and width of the table, calculate the dimensions of your computer – the monitor, keyboard and mouse – to be able to rest your forearms on the desktop; the minimum depth should be 60cm. You should be able to move the chair to the edge of the desktop and to stretch your legs. In addition to the computer, some people use many other devices and prefer to have shelves, racks and drawers for them; others are happy with a large desktop built into the wall or with simple support.
Correct desktop settings
If you don’t want to have a sore back, follow the advice of experts regarding the proper setting of the chairs and table. As the (Czech) article at the FYZIOklinika website points out, the height of the desktop should be 60–82cm from the ground, depending on your body size. The monitor and keyboard should be directly in front of you in the sitting axis – misalignment is a common problem of corner desks or L-shaped desktops when you may overload your cervical spine.
”Simply, the upper edge of new larger LCD panels should be in the axis of the eye and the viewing distance should be between 1-2 multiple of its diagonal or determined by the ratio of the screen height and the eye distance 1:2, but at least 50cm. The recommended viewing distance is 50–70 cm, with the viewing angle of 0-60 degrees”, say physiotherapists about the correct placement of the monitor.
How to stay healthy when sitting
Adjust the chair so that your elbow has an angle of 90 degrees and your forearm is in a plane, and sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor and your back against the chair back; you can also use a rolled-up towel or pillow to support your back. If you sit at your computer all day, it’s a huge strain on your spine, so use a special chair with a swivel seat. Instead of the chair, you can also use a large gymnastic ball for some time, or an efficient balance cushion instead of the seat. Both aids will help you change your habits and sit on the chair in a healthier, dynamic way.