When I moved into my office in my current department, I was not provided with office furniture, so I rummaged around in campus and department storerooms and acquired the basic items from whatever was available. Over the years, my office furniture has not changed a lot -- some new (old) bookcases have been added, the filing cabinets have departed, and I have gone through a succession of (free!) office chairs as they have become available.
Note: My department is not typically so cheap. Everyone hired after me has nice new office furniture. I was hired as part of a 2-body deal and fell into the trap of just being 'grateful' to have gotten the second offer etc. so I was very undemanding about details like office furniture.
Because I did not set up my office furniture with much care or thought, I eventually had a few physical problems that inevitably result from spending a lot of time in one place (a chair) doing one thing (working at a computer), especially when these furniture items are not well configured.
I am of average height for a female person, but I have long had trouble (not just here) getting the desk-chair spatial relations right. With many desks, if I raise the chair enough so that my arms are in a good position for the keyboard, my feet do not reach the floor. This is not a good situation because eventually my feet go numb and later hurt. Ergo, I've come up with some partial solutions (footrests; not sitting still for so long etc.), but I have never done anything major, like getting new office furniture (which I would have to pay for myself).
But I'm thinking about it now. Do I really want to spend the next 20 years with my ergonomically not-so-great office furniture? I'm considering chucking the big old desks and just getting a slab of something to rest on something else of adjustable height. It will probably look weird, as do most ergonomically correct furniture items, but at least my feet will touch the floor and my arms will descend gracefully at the appropriate angle to the keyboard.
Either that or I should just proclaim that my office is now in the cafe down the street and just spend all my time there, typing on my laptop in various sorts of comfortable chairs.
1 year ago