Your workspace is usually where you spend the majority of your day. That’s why this space should be conducive to your productivity and your health. While there may be restrictions on how you can personalize your space at the office, you can pick a work table at home that suits all your requirements. Especially now with the work from home (WFH) culture accepted as the norm more and more, you must give your workspace some thought.
There have been many studies done that highlight the importance of using furniture that is built ergonomically – with the right postural alignment and using materials that are beneficial for the body.
1. Work Table Height
Many of us are unaware that there is a ‘right’ height for work tables. Ideally, your desk height should be such that when you type on the keyboard, your arms and hands should be roughly parallel to the floor. Also, your feet should be flat on the floor, and your legs should fit comfortably under the desk.
Here’s how you can find out if a table is a right height for you; Sit in front of your desk as you would normally while working. While resting your arms at the side, your elbow should be at a 90-degree angle and upper arms aligned with the upper body. If your hands are resting comfortably on the chair, it means that the height of the desk is right for you. If you find that you have to raise your arms to place them on the table or lean back, you may be straining your body – especially the back, neck and shoulders.
Keep an eye out for tables with height-adjustable legs, because even though the standard height of most tables is 29 inches, no one size fits all. If you have already a table and cannot invest in a new one that supports this posture, get yourself a keyboard tray or a footrest to correct your alignment. Another possibility is to put your desk on risers or adjusting your chair’s seat height.
2. Work Table Material
Most tables are made of wood, and the kind of wood you choose could affect your work environment. Softwoods such as pine and birch wood are less durable, get dented and marked easily. But they are also very comfortable to work on. Oak and maple are hardwoods that are slightly expensive but hardy and long-lasting. They tend to warp easily according to the vagaries of the weather and need regular upkeep. Modular workbenches or work tables made of MDF or plywood are popular choices. These aren’t affected by humidity, are strong and durable, can be sanded if damaged and provide a flatter surface to work on. Combination wood comprising of MDF or plywood layered over a hardwood base is cheaper, can be put together easily and can be used for an extended period of time.