Modify Your Workspace to Benefit Your Health
If you have been keeping up with the Vanguard Tips & Tricks blog (if you don’t, you should!) you might remember that two weeks ago, we talked about some tips to increase productivity during these chilly, dreary winter months.
Today, we want to help you gear up and spruce up your workspace so that you can stay happy and healthy while working. We don’t always think about desk jobs as being strenuous jobs, but they indeed are. Sitting in the same position for hours at a time will take a toll on your body.
In order to prevent strain and injury, you will want to take some time to rethink your workspace where you spend 40-plus hours a week.
As you take some time to evaluate your workspace, keep the three P's in mind: “Posture,” “Peripherals,” and “Phriends.”
Whether you're working from home or working in an office setting, chances are you're working in front of a computer for as long as a professional gamer is, and most gamers will modify their gaming environment to best benefit their health and precision.
The first and most important thing to consider is your posture. Professional gamers know that the correct posture helps them aim. Although you and I might not need the ability to have precise aim in a virtual arena, we do need to make sure our posture is suited for long hours of work.
Keep the following in mind:
- Your neck
- Is your monitor at a height where you can look straight ahead at it?
- Your back
- Is your back straight? Does your chair support you?
- Make sure your joints don't crack.
- Is your chair and desk at the right height where your legs are comfortable, and your elbows are at a 90-degree angle?
- Lastly, remember to stand up and stretch as much as possible from head to toe - especially your back, arms, shoulders, wrists, and yes, fingers too!
All of these tips will help to keep your body in better condition, especially if you work long hours sitting at a desk.
Like a chef with a dull or unbalanced knife, using the wrong peripherals can slow you down or even cause you some pain and discomfort while working. Consider the following:
- If you use a mouse, you're going to be making a lot of movements with your wrist. Think about investing in something light so it's easy on your wrist, or ergonomically shaped to better fit your hand. Vertical mice and track balls exist for people who need unique solutions for their working habits, and the health of their hands.
- Though a very cheap keyboard can certainly get the job done, investing into a keyboard that is better shaped for your hands/wrists, or that has different switches within it (lighter, or even silenced, if you're sharing a workspace) can pay off in the long run by giving you a pleasing typing experience, and one that is better for you.
- Sometimes loud switches can feel fun to type on and give you a pleasing typing experience. Check out this YouTube video – oddly satisfying, isn’t it?
- If you want to go the extra mile and dive into the hobby - enjoy building and customizing your keyboard to make it your own!
- Wrist Rest
- This one often goes overlooked, but having wrist rests can help ease stress on your wrists while you type. While typing, you want your hands to "hover" over your keyboard so there isn't a lot of pressure being exerted on your wrists.
- If you make a lot of calls and/or have a lot of virtual meetings, invest in a comfortable headset, and make sure to give your head breaks from wearing it if you don't need to have it on.
- Blue Light Filtering Glasses
- Digital LED screens give off blue light that has been known to be strenuous on your eyes and can cause headaches and damage to your retinas with prolonged use. Blue light filtering glasses have special lenses that are supposed to block out
the majority of the blue light from your screens, as well as lessen glare. If you are staring at a screen for hours on end, you may want to invest in a pair.
- Digital LED screens give off blue light that has been known to be strenuous on your eyes and can cause headaches and damage to your retinas with prolonged use. Blue light filtering glasses have special lenses that are supposed to block out the majority of the blue light from your screens, as well as lessen glare. If you are staring at a screen for hours on end, you may want to invest in a pair.
Sean is a big (or in this case, little) fan of Godzilla.
If you would like to learn more recommendations for a healthier workspace, ask a fellow Vanguardian. Speaking of Vanguardians, check out some of our cool workspaces:
Marco’s workspace has multiple monitors, a comfy chair, and a space heater are all helpful when working long hours in the winter!
Emily utilizes multiple monitors that are lifted up to eye level for good posture. She also has ‘lots of plants to make her space livelier and more welcoming.
Sean’s laptop and monitor are both on risers to encourage good posture. He also uses a towel under his wrists when typing. Coffee, banana, and mini-Godzilla not included.
Diego's unique workspace allows him to stand up while working, and features an ergonomic keyboard and trackball to keep his hands and wrists healthy.