Thursday, July 17, 2008

Office Worker Luxuries - or Necessities?

Link to CodingHorror Article

The article focuses on chairs, but Jeff Atwood has written other articles whose basic point is that office workers spend the majority of their time interacting with:
  1. Keyboard
  2. Mouse
  3. Monitor
  4. Chair
Those are the things to invest in, for a high-quality work environment.

I'm currently using (or in favor of):
  1. Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard
  2. Microsoft Natural Laser Mouse 6000 (work), Logitech MX510 (home)
  3. Dual monitors, at least 19"
  4. To be determined
Update: I recently changed from a Logitech MX500 at work to a Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000, in order to assess whether the angled wrist approach feels any better. This is also my first wireless mouse, so I'll have to balance whether the lack of cord outweighs the knowledge that I'm placing my hand on a wireless transmitter for multiple hours a day.

One option for #4 is the Ergohuman High-Back Mesh Chair which is around $520 at the time of posting. However, some reviewers have said that the unpadded front puts a lot of pressure on the legs, particularly when leaning forward. Perhaps the Herman Miller Mirra ($599 or $799) is actually a better choice?

Refurbished Office Chairs at ($75 shipping)

A related article comes from Joel Spolsky

The ergonomics experts always want you to have your feet flat on the floor. So you have to adjust your seat height first. Then, your arms are supposed to be horizontal while you're typing. This means you need an adjustable-height keyboard.

Most of the adjustable height keyboard trays are extremely annoying... they're floppy, flimsy, and limit the keyboard to one location. Therefore we decided to get desks where the entire worksurface can be raised and lowered.

Finally, a lot people praise the benefits of standing up for a part of the day, even if you spend the whole day at a computer, so we wanted desks where the worksurface could rise all the way to "counter height" so you could stand and work. And if you are going to be standing up and sitting down it's best to have a desk with a pushbutton, electric motor so you don't get lazy about doing it.

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