The science of comfort and convenience is called ergonomics, and it has taken great leaps in the last few years. More and more people and business owners realize that poor ergonomics means a poorly designed workspace, and that means more rapid fatigue, injuries, frustration and dissatisfaction.
Seating is perhaps the most important consideration. If you find yourself adjusting your sitting position frequently, your chair is probably at fault. If you lean back in your chair, your heels should not raise off the floor. Armrests help combat fatigue, and proper back support can aid good sitting posture and prevent lower back strain. Selection of a good chair is probably the most important consideration in setting up your office. A footrest can help keep circulation going to your feet and keep fatigue at bay.
Most desks are still made with a work surface of 29-30" from the floor, which is about an inch higher than it should be. The result is people jack up their chairs, which puts pressure on the legs from the front edge of the chair, so a footrest is necessary, etc. Keyboards should be about 23-25" from the floor to help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. A wrist support in front of the keyboard can also help prevent this repetitive motion injury.
Most of the fear about radiation from computer monitors appears to be unwarranted. A more serious problem is probably the monitor being improperly placed and suffering from glare. A monitor should be about 20 degrees below your line of sight, and 13-18 inches from your eyes. You
should have to sit up very straight to see over your monitor. Put a filter on the front and reduce back lighting to eliminate glare.
Lighting can make all the difference between a stressful environment and a relaxing one. There are special lighting fixtures and bulbs that mimic natural light, and eliminate the harsh glare of regular fluorescent and incandescent bulbs. The better lighting is worth the expense.
Plants are natural spirit lifters, but perform an even more important function as air filters. Having the right kinds of plants in the office can actually eliminate many irritants in the air, making breathing
easier and more healthy.
Some people thrive in a cluttered office, while others need a very neat workspace. Those who deal in person with the public should present a neat, well organized appearance. Neatness does not equal organized. A cluttered desk may be "organized." The key is if time is wasted hunting for something when it is needed.