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Creating a Calming Workstation for the Office Professional

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 11:39am | by Helen Hoart

If you’re stepping over piles of laundry, shuffling through piles of paperwork and struggling to find a pen in a sea of clutter, your workspace is not as efficient as it could be. Disorganized workstations can cause stress and a lack of productivity. According to the American Psychological Association, the most significant sources of stress for Americans are related to money (75 percent) and work (70 percent). Implement the necessary changes to make your workstation a relaxing place where you can be more creative and productive.

Sit Up Straight

From oversized executive chairs to functional task chairs, a quality office chair will help you maintain proper body positioning and posture when sitting for extended periods of time. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, a well-designed and adjusted chair will provide the necessary support that your back, legs, arms and buttocks need to reduce strain on the body. How you sit in the chair is just as important. Arms should be relaxed at your side, and wrists should extend straight, not bent. Sit straight with your back parallel to the seat cushion for good lumbar support. Adjust the chair to allow your feet to rest flat and comfortably on the floor.

Get Inspired

If you’re having trouble getting motivated to work, you may need some inspiration. Hang relaxing pictures around your workstation, such as a sunset or the beach. Photographs of your family and pets can also boost motivation when tacked onto a corkboard alongside your daily assignments. When stress peaks, simply look at or read an inspirational photo, poem or quote and you’ll soon feel more calm and relaxed.

There’s an App for That

Feng Shui is a Chinese art form involving the special arrangement of buildings, objects and space within an environment to create balance and harmony. If you’re new to this ancient practice, you can still achieve a more relaxing workspace with an app available for the iPhone and iPad. The Feng Shui DIY app on iTunes offers an easy-to-use compass that helps you find the most compatible places for your office furniture.

Add Colors

A fresh coat of paint can go a long way to creating a more pleasant atmosphere. According to WebMD, green is the color of concentration and the ideal shade for better productivity in the home office. Cooler colors, such as greens, blues and lavenders, have a calming effect on the body. If too much color is not your thing, stick with a neutral paint pallet and incorporate pops of accent colors. Or take a peek at office supply stores, and shop by color to find desktop goodies and office supplies in a full range of vibrant hues.

Get with Nature

Nature has a way of relaxing the body and mind. If you’re not able to bring your workstation outside, bring the outside to you. Open the shades, crack a window, and let the sunshine in. Working in bad lighting can strain the eyes, and natural lighting is much more calming than artificial options. Turn your desk towards the window to see the beautiful scenery outside, whether it’s a mountain view, a green oasis or the soothing motion of waves hitting the beach.

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