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Create Your Perfect Study Space with These Ergonomic Solutions

09 February 2024

A student's study space has a direct impact on their memory, time management, and overall academic performance. For this reason, your study space should be designed to not only maximize your productivity but also enhance your physical and mental well-being.

The truth is, that incorporating frequent movement and physical activity is just as important (if not more) as using the right study furniture. According to a CNBC report, prolonged sitting is more harmful to a person's health than smoking, and kills more people than HIV.

The sitting disease is increasingly weaving its web around younger generations, including college students. With entire degrees being offered online, students are spending more time than ever in front of their laptops, tablets, and phones, using these devices to attend virtual lectures and study groups. The British Journal of Sports Medicine recommends the modern worker or student stand for around two to four hours during the typical eight-hour working/studying day.

So, how can you achieve your academic objectives while making sure that your body does not pay the price? The answer lies in using ergonomic solutions for your study space.

Explaining Ergonomics:

Ergonomics is an applied science branch that focuses on arranging and designing items of regular use. The purpose of ergonomics is to discover the safest, healthiest, and most efficient ways to interact with tools and objects, as well as living and working spaces. It encourages students and workers to grip their tools in the right manner, use the correct postures while seated, and use other equipment that will enhance both their health and productivity. The OSHA Economic brochure says that ergonomics is crucial for business, as it not only impacts worker productivity but also determines the extent of the employees' happiness and health.

Non-traditional students who are combining studies with part-time jobs, or returning to school to complete their Master's or Doctorate programs while working, should pay even more attention to ergonomics. Desk job, followed by study sessions, exacerbates the sedentary lifestyle problem, which means that optimizing home and work desks becomes even more essential.

Ergonomics aims to make sure that your study space is adequately comfortable and supportive for your body, allowing you to get things done without hampering your health.



Benefits of Ergonomics:

Greater Physical Health:

Unsurprisingly, ergonomic study stations lead to improved physical health. The benefits typically begin with the cardiovascular area and, before long, spread to other parts of the body.

Also, since you will be adjusting your study chair and table to suit your height, you will feel less tension and tightness in your body. Using natural sitting and standing positions will also reduce eyestrain, while optimal blood flow will ensure that you do not suffer pain or cramps in your legs.

Greater Mental Acuity:

When you are feeling physically comfortable and at ease, you will be better able to focus on the task at hand. The reduced pain and tightness, improved blood flow, and stronger muscles all add up to increased mental sharpness.

Alongside enjoying higher focus, you will feel an improvement in your mood and awareness, and a reduction in anxiety and other mental health issues. As a result, you will be able to dedicate your full attention and optimize every minute that you spend studying.

Greater Quality of Work:

Inadequate ergonomics will cause you to feel tired, which means that you will not be able to put your best foot forward, no matter how hard you try.

When studying becomes physically exhausting and painful, you will be more focused on getting the job done rather than on getting it done optimally. The result will be an inability to retain and understand the course material you are going through.

Create Your Perfect Workplace With These Ergonomic Solutions:

Out of all the hours that are spent studying or working, fifty-two percent are spent sitting. This means that it is fundamental to create a working space that is not just comfortable but also allows for ergonomically correct standing and sitting, while also providing plenty of opportunity to take breaks and move around. If you are about to start college, it might be a good idea to factor in the expenses of an ergonomically correct office into your overall college budget. This way, you will be able to create an adequate studying environment without being blindsided by the costs.



Ergonomic Desk:

When choosing a desk, the first thing to decide is the desk type that you want. For instance, if you want a sitting desk, you must make sure that there is ample space between the desk underside and your knees. The table should also be high enough for you to be able to easily type using the keyboard without having to move your arms or hands too far out in front.

Some desks contain a keyboard tray that lets the user change the angle and height of the keyboard while keeping all the other factors intact. Using this feature, you can either bring the keyboard closer to you or push it farther away, depending on the requirements. By extension, you will also be able to sit in the right posture, with your back straight, feet on the ground, and your knees and thighs forming a 90-degree angle.

Standing desks have also become extremely popular in recent years, which means that you will find no shortage of options on the market. If you do opt for a standing desk, you will need to think about the amount of floor space that you can use up, as well as how large you would want the desktop surface to be. Use a measuring tape to determine the estimated height at which you would want your keyboard to be. Also consider the measurements of the monitor(s) that you currently use or will be using in the future, and make sure that the desktop space is large enough to accommodate it/them.

Avoid standing on the hard floor; use something supportive and soft –such as a yoga mat. When standing, keep your feet planted on the floor, and actively concentrate on avoiding slouching. Make sure that the computer screen is at eye level.



Ergonomic Chair:

As is the case with tables, there are a few factors to consider when choosing an ergonomic chair. For one, the chair should be adjustable and let you sit with the thighs parallel to the floor. The seat of the chair should also be adjustable and capable of tilting forwards and backward. The seat should have, approximately, a gap of three fingers between its front and the back of your thighs.

An adjustable backrest is also essential, as it provides support to the lumbar spine (lower back). A proper backrest that supports the lumbar region helps ease the pressure on our back vertebrae. The chair should also allow you to change postures during your studying sessions. Changing postures is important as it keeps shifting the bodily load and allows all body parts the time that they need to sufficiently recover. If you are looking for suggestions, the Ribbed Low Back Armless Swivel Desk Chair contains all the above features, along with several others.



Optimizing the Monitor to Prevent Eyestrain:

People who use computers frequently and for prolonged periods often suffer from eyestrain. Eye and visual problems caused by computer use are also referred to as computer vision syndrome, and have the following symptoms:

Eyestrain

Blurry vision

Burning or dry eyes

Excessive sensitivity to light

Headaches and dizziness

By customizing your monitor, you can mitigate these problems and keep them from occurring in the future.

There are a few ways to optimize your monitor. Firstly, keep the brightness as low as your eyesight allows you (at the minimum level at which you can see the contents of the screen without having to strain your eyes). You could also invert the screen colors so that the text is white and the background, black. This way, your eyes will have to take in lower amounts of light.

Next, the top portion of your monitor screen should either be below or parallel to your eye level. If you constantly have to tilt the head back to be able to view the screen, we strongly recommend lowering the screen to prevent neck strain. There should be a distance of at least twenty feet between your face and the computer screen. The lesser the distance between the eyes and the screen, the harder it becomes for you to focus.



Take Study Breaks:

Regardless of how ergonomic your study space is, it is not a substitute for regular physical and mental breaks. Sitting for prolonged periods can stiffen your body and cause your muscles and joints to tighten. A break does not have to be something complex or elaborate; simply getting up from your chair and moving around the room for a few minutes is good enough. These breaks make sure that when you sit down to resume your study session, you are in an entirely different posture from the one you were in before the break.

Frequent but shorter breaks can be more advantageous for your mind and body than longer but infrequent intervals. Researchers recommend taking a 10-15 minute break after every sixty minutes of studying. You could break the sedentary periods up by visiting the restroom, filling up your water bottle, or heading to the kitchen for a quick snack. The key is to get up from your chair and away from the computer screen.

Final Word:

To sum up, creating an ergonomic study space might seem unnecessary or even come off as a hassle. However, ergonomics are essential, not just for your mental and physical health, but also for helping you achieve and exceed the academic goals you have set out for yourself. We hope that this guide will help you understand the ways to make your study more ergonomic, as well as the advantages of doing so.