Building a Healthy Workspace


Do you spend countless hours sitting behind computer monitors, typing away on a keyboard, working for The Man? Studies show that sitting can have a variety of detrimental health effects. Thus, it is imperative that you make a concerted effort to transform your workspace into a healthy workspace. Doing so can result in a better quality of life and improved overall health.

You may be wondering where to start. One of the most important aspects of your workspace is your desk. This is where you get your work done, where you sit and toil away for countless hours every day typing up those TPS reports, editing videos. Whatever it is you do; your desk is your creative space and it is essential that this space is a comfortable place to sit or stand. Yes—I wrote sit or stand. Most people never consider standing at their desks, but this is an increasingly popular trend, designed to combat the negative health affects sitting all day can have on one’s overall well-being.

The Standing Desk

Converting your current workstation into a standing desk is a simple task, and there is a wide variety of desks to choose from. For a simple cubicle conversion, use the Kensington SmartFit Sit/Stand Dual Monitor Articulated Arm Workstation, which allows you to transform your traditional seated desk into a sit-or-stand desk. While this mount is configured to hold two monitors, these types of workstations come in a variety of configurations and sizes. This Kensington workstation also features a keyboard platform, which sits below the monitors, while the articulating arms make it easy to adjust the monitors for a comfortable viewing experience. Setup is simple, thanks to the reinforced mounting clamp, which attaches directly to the desk, while the pneumatic lift makes it easy to adjust the workstation from sitting to standing.

Ergotron WorkFit-C Dual Sit-Stand Workstation

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive desk setup, the Focal Upright Furniture Locus Bundle Pro offers everything you need to transform your desk completely from mundane to comfortable, healthy, and organized. This desk includes the Locus Standing Desk, Locus Shelf, Locus Leaning Seat with Anti-Fatigue Mat, Anti-Fatigue Mat for Locus Seat, LED Worklight with Adjustable Arm, and a Cable Management Tray for Locus and Sphere Desks.

Focal Upright Furniture Locus Bundle Pro with Desk & Shelf, Seat, and Mat

If mobility and simplicity are your thing, the Luxor Electric Standing is essentially a table desk that offers a variety of features, including the ability to adjust the height of the table with built-in buttons. This desk is designed to suit the needs of the digital or analog worker, with a large desk surface, as well as the ability to move the desk around, thanks to the built-in wheels.

Luxor 60" Electric Standing Desk

Mounting Your Monitors

Not in the mood to stand up all or even part of the time? You can still turn your desk into a healthy work space with a few minor adjustments by simple re-positioning your monitors. Most people just slap on the included stand to their monitor and place it on their desk, completely oblivious to the fact that they can be straining their neck as they look down at their monitor for hours on end.

The solution to this often-overlooked ailment is simple: take that base off your monitor and place your monitor or monitors onto a monitor table top stand mount. A good mount to start with is the MD-BD13B Dual-Monitor Desktop Mount with Articulating Arms, from Gabor. This mount is designed to support two monitors ranging in size from 13 to 27". Each display has its own segment arm with multiple points of articulation so you can maneuver your monitors into place for a more comfortable viewing experience. With this mount, you can ensure your displays are in line with your eyes, eliminating the need to look down to see your screens, thus helping to alleviate neck strain. As with most desktop mounts, this mount attaches directly to the edge of the desktop surface via the built-in clamp, making for easy installation.

Gabor MD-BD13B Dual-Monitor Desktop Mount with Articulating Arms

It's All About Ergonomics

Whether you have decided to go with a desk conversion or to mount your monitors—or maybe you chose to do both—it’s time to choose a keyboard and mouse to complete your healthy work space. Most think, “I’ll just use whatever keyboard and mouse my office gives me,” or “I’ll just use the keyboard and mouse that comes with my computer,” not realizing there is a plethora of keyboards and mice that you can choose from. Choosing the right peripherals is essential, because not doing so can result in wrist pain and other forms of discomfort or even injury.

The possibilities are virtually endless when it comes to choosing the right keyboard and mouse combination. We’ll start with the mouse. A computer mouse comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and configurations, from your standard mouse, which typically consists of optical mice you move about a mouse pad, to specially designed ergonomic mice that offer varying button configurations and styles, including trackball mice and more. Regardless of the mouse you choose, it is imperative that you find a mouse that is comfortable to use, while still allowing you to complete your everyday tasks.

Contour Design Unimouse Wireless Mouse

As with your computer mouse, computer keyboards generally come in similar configurations: you have your standard keyboard and your ergonomic keyboard. You can also choose from gaming keyboards and specially designed application keyboards, but we’ll just concentrate on the standard and ergonomic styles here because those are more popular in an office setting.

The standard keyboard is just that—standard. These keyboards typically feature a 104-key layout, including a row of function keys and a numeric keypad area. Styles do vary—some come with a back-light feature, some come with adjustable feet found underneath the keyboard so you can prop it up for more comfortable typing, and other keyboards offer customization options such as removable keys. If the standard keyboard isn’t for you, opt for the ergonomic keyboard. These keyboards typically feature a split-key design dividing the keyboard in half, a built-in palm rest, which greatly improves comfort, and dedicated hotkeys, making it easy to access email, search the Web, and much more with just the push of a button.

Adesso Tru-Form Pro Contoured Ergonomic Keyboard with Built-In Touchpad and Hot Keys

You should now be ready to transform your work space from dreary, mundane, and uncomfortable into a place you look forward to going to each day. Please let us know in the Comments section, below, how you have transformed your work space.