Workspace Ergonomics

What’s working for you? What isn’t? What would you like to try next?

From traditional desk & chair to monitor+keyboard mounted on a treadmill, there are lots of options nowadays. Show and tell time!

Me, I have been traditional my entire life: computer desk, keyboard tray, office chair. The latter I upgraded to a Herman Miller Mirra about 15 years ago due to ongoing back & neck issues. It wasn’t perfect but it helped.

Alas, even a Herman Miller wears out. Mine was splitting up the back, all the plastic broken with just a quarter inch left at the top before it would come apart. I used velcro ties to hold it together until I could get a replacement.

Last week I came across a lightning deal on one of those cheap knock-off kneeling chairs so I went for it. Then I did my research (I know, backwards) and ended up canceling and buying the original Varier Variable Balans.

Expensive suckers! Why, the price is almost as much as I paid for the Herman Miller at a liquidation outlet… okay, I’ve paid more and didn’t regret. As a bonus, I found one used/like new at half price so the pain is less. It doesn’t arrive till Friday and I’ll write more after I use it a while.

I was tempted by sit/standup options like these wobble chairs…

… but my desk setup is in a tight area and I’d hit my head on the overhead cabinet half the time (or have to scrunch, defeating the idea). Still, I’ll keep it in mind in case my living conditions change and a standing desk becomes a possibility.


Now that I’m working from home hopefully permanently, I’ve invested in a few things to make my workspace better, and have a couple more things I’ll eventually want.

I have one of those automatic sit/standing desks that I got from Costco. It’s much smaller than my last desk, but so far I like the variety of changing positions. I usually switch up every hour or so.

I also have a Kinesis RGB Edge split keyboard, which takes up a lot of space on my desk, along with my 27"? monitor with my MBP on a laptop stand as second screen take up the rest of the space.

I have 2 things left on my workspace wishlist. I want a balance board of some sort for when I’m standing, and I would like a nicer office chair. My current one is several years old and pretty basic. I can’t really decide on the style I want though. I don’t usually like arms on my chairs, but I’m considering it since I’m standing half the time anyway.

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My workspace keeps changing.

But I keep my Dell Canvas around for reviewing documents, so it kind of feels like I can spread out 3 sheets of paper that I’m editing on top of a desk.

Herman Miller chairs are fantastic. But I wound up buying a mesh chair from Staples on sale for $100.

I’ve set up speakers along with a tube amp to play hi-fi musical bliss when I’m doing CAD/modeling work.

Lately, my favorite hack is to keep a golf club (9-iron) and putter nearby, so I can periodically do something athletic instead of sitting around for hours. I especially do a bunch of swing practice during “all hands” meetings where I merely have to listen.

There are times I miss the social atmosphere of an office, but I wouldn’t trade the ability to set up your home office into an inspiring fun activity area.

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I’m currently using a knock-off Balans chair on wheels at my desk in the den in the basement where I have my desk — it gets used 3 days a week for working remotely — I should use it for personal work at other times, but not wild about being stuck in the basement that much. I’d definitely like to get one of the originals.

Usually I work in a chair in the living room w/ a tablet on the arm of the chair, or in my lap, or on a cedar chest which doubles as a coffee table, or on a Levenger lap desk, or kneeling on the floor w/ the tablet on the cedar chest.


I have a sit/stand desk, I have also invested in a Steelcase Gesture (Stool version) for my work from home setup. I have my monitor at the right level to reduce strain.

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