Working a desk job might not involve any manual labor, but it can still be exhausting. Sitting in a chair and staring at a computer all day can lead to a strained neck, backaches, and eyestrain. Whether you work from home or are back at the office, these tips and products can help you stay more comfortable.
Sitting all day sounds great until you’re actually doing it! And, believe it or not, it can even lead to health problems. That’s why we’re sharing some tips, as well as some desk and office accessories, that are sure to add to your comfort while you’re on the job.
Staring at a screen all day can cause memory loss, brain fog, insomnia, vision strain, and headaches. And sitting all day can lead to obesity, and high blood pressure or blood sugar, among other things.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to actively prevent any of that from happening:
- Adjust your posture: If you’re constantly looking down, you’re going to be hunching forward and straining your neck. It’s easy to get into a slumped posture when you’re sitting for hours on end. Focus on sitting up straight (set an alarm to remind yourself if needed) or use a pillow for more support. Footrests can also help you sit up straight and, generally, just make you more comfortable.
- Protect your eyes: A computer screen can seriously impact your vision, but it’s not a lost cause. Make sure to take blinking breaks (it sounds funny, but it’s easy to forget to do that). Adjust the brightness level of your screen or enlarge the text, if necessary, so you’re not squinting. Also, look at something other than the screen intermittently. Blue light glasses are also helpful for preventing eyestrain.
- Take walking breaks: As we already mentioned, sitting all day can be detrimental to your physical health. Set a timer and, at least once every hour, get up and walk around. Do a few laps around your office or around the building. You might also want to consider getting a standing desk to avoid sitting all day.
- Fix your desk setup: There are many ways you can make your desk or office a little more Zen. For example, if you work from home, you can add a diffuser or humidifier to clear the air and help you breathe better. You can also add some plants to enhance your mood, or get rests for your wrists, pillows for your chair, and so on. Anything that makes you feel more comfortable will help.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking water is just good for your health all around, so it’s always a good idea to keep some handy. It also forces you to get up often and walk to the bathroom, so it’s a win-win.
Now, let’s take a look at some office and desk accessories that can improve your overall comfort while you’re at work.
When it comes to selecting products to make your workspace more comfortable it helps to start with a clear problem-solution relationship. Your neck hurts because you look down at your laptop all day? Raise it up with a stand. Your legs feel achy and fall asleep because your office-issued chair is sized poorly for your body? Use a footrest to take the pressure off your thighs and increase your circulation.
All of our product suggestions below tap into a workspace problem—like stuffy air or chair with zero lumbar support—and fix it in an inexpensive way.
Laptops cause repetitive stress injury on your neck and back when you spend a lot of time staring down at the screen. A laptop riser brings the screen to eye level so that you can stop straining these muscles. It also allows you to adjust the angle to what you want it to be.
This laptop stand from Awezon comes in at a great price point and gets the job done. It’s totally ventilated to prevent your computer from becoming overheated. It’s adjustable from 20-75 degrees. The antislip pads on the bottom will prevent it from scratching your desk.
If you use a monitor instead, no worries—there are stands for those, too.
Blue light glasses might be trendy at the moment, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth buying. Emerging research suggests blue light can suppress the production of melatonin, the hormone that helps us fall asleep at night and contribute to eye strain.
In other words, being on the computer all day long may be negatively affecting your sleep. Blue-light-blocking glasses have filters in the lenses that block or absorb blue light before it reaches your eyes. Many people find them beneficial.
These MVMT Ingram Everscroll Computer Glasses are one example of a pair worth buying. These claim to have 100% UV protection. Compared to some blue light glasses, which can almost have tinted or darker lenses, these MVMT ones are really clear, so looking through them isn’t annoying. They’re comfortable and lightweight, and the tortoiseshell frames are trendy and cute.
When you’re spending hours typing and using a mouse, you may find that you’re experiencing pain in your wrists. A wrist rest pad like the Gimars Keyboard and Mouse Wrist Rest Pad keeps your hands level with your keyboard and mouse for a more ergonomic design that will eliminate and prevent pain.
These have an anti-slip gel side so they won’t move every time you do, and they’re made of a super soft and comfortable memory foam material that feels nice to rest your wrists on. The mouse pad has groves to fit your hand comfortably.
If you work in an office building, or anywhere but home (or even at home, really), you likely don’t have much control over the allergens in the air. A desk-size air purifier, like the Molekule Mini Air Purifier, can improve the quality of air you’re breathing, which could be full of pollutants and allergens that are making you feel pretty terrible.
This one is a bit pricey for a small model, but it uses PECO technology to destroy pollutants, allergens, bacteria, mold, and viruses, unlike many other filters often found in air purifiers.
The Molekule replaces the air in a 250-square-foot room every hour and is designed to sit on an elevated surface, like a desk. If you’d prefer something more affordable, check out the Queenty Desktop Air Cleaner, which uses a true HEPA filter to get rid of smoke, dust, allergens, and odors.
One of the worst things about sitting at a desk is not having anywhere to rest your feet. Sure, they can just sit on the ground, but that gets uncomfortable after a while. Propping them up feels more natural and comfortable to most people, and that’s why a footrest can be so important.
The ComfiLife Under-Desk Footrest is the perfect option. The adjustable height and plush memory foam cushion create the perfect resting spot for your feet. You can also flip it over and use it as a rocker or a leg rest when you’re working from the couch.
Desk chairs can be super uncomfortable, no matter how ergonomic and expensive they may be. A lumbar support pillow like the LoveHome Memory Foam Pillow is a great option to give your back extra support and alleviate lower back pain that often comes from sitting at a desk all day. This one supports the curve of your back to give you perfect spinal alignment and help improve your posture.
It’s made of a sturdy memory foam that feels good against your back but doesn’t feel flimsy or flat and contours to the shape of your body. With two adjustable straps, it actually stays on your chair and doesn’t move around when you do. It also has a removable mesh cover with vents to keep your back cool that also can be thrown in the washing machine.
Another thing you can’t control in an office is the lighting. If it’s not ideal or you’re in a dim corner, that can definitely have an effect on your mood, and it can also mean you’re straining your eyes more. Get a desk lamp like the TW Lighting The Ivy LED Desk Lamp, which is sleek and modern-looking but really inexpensive.
This little lamp has an extendable and adjustable neck, three different light levels to dim or brighten as much you please, and a long-lasting LED bulb that saves energy and gives off a nice white light. Another nice feature is the built-in USB outlet that allows you to charge your phone right from the lamp.
Anyone who works in an office building knows that they are basically always freezing, whether it’s the middle of summer when you think you don’t need a sweater or the middle of the winter when it seems like the air conditioning is inexplicably on. If you feel like you need extra heat, get yourself a portable heater like this Lasko Ceramic Portable Space Heater.
Made for small spaces, this little heater has three different quiet settings: fan only, low heat, or high heat. It’s straightforward and simple to use, won’t take up a ton of space, and has a carry handle so it’s easy to move around.
A seat cushion doesn’t seem like something you would need until you’re sitting on a desk chair that feels like it was created with no cushioning at all. This Comfilife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion is a terrific option.
Made with gel memory foam, it’s an ergonomically designed cushion that supports your lower back while reducing pressure on the coccyx and tailbone. It helps you have better posture and can relieve lower back pain and sciatica.
It has a non-slip rubber bottom so that it won’t slip around as you get up or sit down, plus a built-in handle to make it easy to move around as needed. The soft velour cover easily zips off to be washed, and, of course, it’s just really comfortable to sit on.