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13 Ways to Improve Your Workspace for Positive Health and Creative Outcomes

Amplifying a list from @mventre. This is from the perspective of a huge nerd that is on the computer 10+ hours a day. I write code, music, books and NotePD lists on my computer(s). I have been doing this for decades and I have learned how to take care of my hands and fingers.

13 Ways to Improve Your Workspace for Positive Health and Creative Outcomes

    1. Get a huge 4k monitor (TV)

    I have at least two monitors at once but my main one is a 65 inch OLED TV. I mounted it to the wall behind my desk and sit and stand about 4 feet in front of it. It is like working in IMAX. I don't wear glasses anymore.

    you can set you resolution to full 4k and see it all: there is so much information in a 4k image. I am not sure how much bigger I would go: you have to move your head to see the whole thing.

    I recommend spending more to get an OLED: that means that each pixel is its own light source and the TV is capable of true black (no light). Other technologies use a backlight so may not have as good of an image.

    The new Apple computers can support an 8k monitor.

    2. Standing desk

    I got the kind that goes on top of the desktop. I have to remind myself to use it but a stand frequently.

    3. Topo comfort mat for your feet when standing

    This seemed extravagant at $100 but it is really great: Topo Comfort Mat by Ergodriven |...

    4. Tempered glass chair mat

    It reduces strain throughout the day by letting you glide smoothly.

    5. Use voice commands to save typing

    Learn to use it. On Mac there are ways to train it by adding words as "contacts." For example we use "Jira" project management and it made some bad guesses until I added Jira as a contact and now it works well.

    6. Use widow snapping

    This is built into Windows with the Win + arrow keys. Cycle the active window to areas of the screen. For next level customization there is DevToys from Microsoft. I use Magnet on the Mac.

    7. Multiple mice and/or keyboards.

    After thinking that I would never use one I now use a Kensington Trackball all day. I built a platform for it so that my hands are in a very relaxed position all day (flat/prayer style). Getting extra track pads and mice give your fingers a break and some variety in your repetitive motions. Also, certain activities are optimized for trackpad gestures, mice or tablets.

    8. Stream Deck (Macro Machine)

    This product is awesome. There are lots of videos on YouTube for how to use it but it is a macro machine that can do anything that you can do with a keyboard. If you are like me you switch applications and cut and paste thousands of times throughout the day. By saving a few keystrokes here or there it really adds up to save your hands and make you more productive.

    The software is excellent. If you don't feel like buying the hardware you can get a software subscription and use a tablet or phone on the same network: up to 64 buttons at once! It works on Mac and PC. Each button is a screen so it has customizable Icons that change automatically based on what app is active. I have buttons assigned to open/switch every application that I use. You can also string together multiple actions with one button click. I have one action that takes 32 steps, runs processes, and sends an email.

    It is easy to program yourself and there is a third party marketplace that sells profiles for many popular apps like Photoshop and Apple Logic.

    9. Musical instruments

    It is great to have something to noodle around on during meetings or while waiting for processes to run. One of my coworkers has a virtual arcade machine in his office.

    10. Exercise equipment

    I have a bunch of little hand squeezers and ben wa balls (I have had them for 20 years and spin them in my hand: I did not know until just now that there are other ways to use them...). I also mounted a sturdy hook to the wall with elastic bands for resistance training. When I get more space, I think I will put a yoga mat in the office as well.

    11. Learn to use AI as much as you can

    I use Github CoPilot, ChatGPT and Grammarly throughout the day. They can save you time and CoPilot can occasionally give you super powers. Grammarly helps me a lot but homogenizes my writing. The big players have integrated it into their office suites: I don't write a lot of things in Word, but if I did I would be using it.

    12. Good Chair with a headrest

    I bought a used Herman Miller Aeron about 10 years ago for $500. It is now about 20 years old and very comfortable. It has outlasted a half dozen crappy chairs and looks and performs as it did when I first bought it. I added the headrest which was about $150. The headrest is a game changer: I would not get an office chair without one. This chair is not immediately comfortable like you sit in it and think "Oh my god, this is so comfortable." It is comfortable because you can sit in it all day and not be sore.

    13. Get a dog(s) that needs to be taken out a few times a day

    It forces me to stand up and get outside and do some thinking.

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