Setting Up a Comfortable Office

In home offices and small offices where a computer is used frequently, an improperly arranged workstation can be a source of major discomfort. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Hazards Administration now studies office and computer ergonomics and is concerned with the consequences of long-term exposure to poorly designed environments. They can contribute to such physical ailments as general fatigue, irritated eyes, and soreness or pain in the wrists, neck, shoulders, legs, and back.

To help alleviate these problems, you should look into acquiring an adjustable computer desk and chair that allows you to:

To further combat eye fatigue, try setting your monitor's contrast to high and its brightness to low. Also, try to keep the screen free of dust and smudges. If glare from overhead lights or windows is reflecting off the screen, try tilting the monitor slightly downward or using an antiglare screen or hood.

No matter how well your workstation is arranged, you're going to experience some soreness or pains if you don't take occasional breaks from your work at the computer. Force yourself to take a few minutes each hour to stand up and stretch, to move around, or to focus your view on an object that's across the room.

Noisy equipment. One thing that can make a small office very uncomfortable is unwanted noise. In some cases you may want to move particularly noisy equipment outside of your office, as long as it won't compromise productivity or efficiency.

Heavy carpeting and drapes may also help to absorb noise. Moreover, a rubber mat placed beneath a machine may help to keep it from vibrating loudly.