How Can a Minimalist Desk Reduce Your Stress?
Workplace Inspiration

How Can a Minimalist Desk Reduce Your Stress?

|Oct 9, 2023

Can a minimalist desk, or any desk for that matter, truly impact how a person feels? Sitting at a particular desk won’t answer all of life’s problems. Saying any different than that would be a complete lie. That doesn’t mean that having a decent workspace can’t impact a person’s mood or effectiveness on the job. 

Designs for desks and chairs haven’t changed much for the better part of 100 years. In fact, for generations, people were forced to sit in cramped office spaces with hard chairs that were not forgiving on their backs. These days, though, a simple desk build can completely change how a person feels at work. 

These feelings are not necessarily emotions, at least not at this point. The first thing that changes for a person when they sit in an ergonomic chair or use a smart desk is their posture. Once their posture starts to shift, that means less physical pain and the benefits start to pile up from there. 

What Is Minimalism?

Minimalism is typically described as a simplistic form of decor or design. What that means for many people is that there are usually few elements placed in a room. Minimalism, though, isn’t just about using less furniture to be able to decorate a room. 

Space in minimalism speaks volumes because it gives people more freedom to roam around a room. Visually seeing many elements stuffed in a small area can be anxiety-provoking. What minimalism aims to produce visually is a sense of calm, which many workplaces appreciate. 

Another element that’s important in minimalism is color. Most of the time, the elements in a minimalist space will be all the same color. That’s why modern architectural firms usually have at least one white standing desk in their office space. 

Color can also be used to accentuate a particular part of the room. Placing a red table in the middle of a light-colored room will automatically highlight that area. That can create a point of focus that, in an office space, can serve as the central meeting point or just an essential element the designer wants to highlight. 

Many people believe that adding a minimalist computer desk to their office just means that they’ll be adding a small desk. Minimalism does not equal small; there can be a huge standing desk with drawers in an office with minimalist design features. What are those features going to be? 

The colors on the desk are not going to be too bright. Another element that’s very typical of minimalist design is clean lines in the build. This means that a stand-up desk with minimalist features will be perfectly rectangular and not feature drawings or designs that could accentuate the piece.

What Is Minimalism?

How a Minimalist Desk Reduces Stress?

A table and chair make for a minimal desk setup that works together to help reduce stress. When it comes to the desk itself, it must be able to provide two key elements. Those are the right size and the right height. 

Home standing desk or corner standing desk options should have no trouble with the height requirements since their height can be adjusted. The reason that height is significant is because it will determine how a person’s arms will naturally fall on the desk. No one wants to feel like they must lift their arms to reach the desk or bend forward to type comfortably. 

The size or, more specifically, the width of the desk is essential to ensure that a book or computer can fit within the frame. That way, the person sitting at the desk doesn’t have to put their laptop on their thighs or find an awkward position to make things work.

Why is all of this important when it comes to reducing stress? One of the biggest triggers for stress is physical discomfort. When people are accustomed to constant discomfort, they can sometimes block out signs of physical pain. 

Over time, though, those feelings of pain or discomfort that had been blocked out can manifest in signs of stress. People going through this situation will likely lose their temper much quicker. They are also more likely to feel overly tired while at work. 

Some of the worst scenarios involve physical discomfort and a lack of productivity. This lack of productivity can make people fall behind in school or work. That situation will then lead to them feeling stressed out. 

It’s not that the best desk shelf out there will free a person of all their troubles. Proper office equipment, though, and a minimal desk setup can keep workers from spiraling into stress, anxiety, and other issues.

How a Minimalist Desk Reduces Stress?

How to Achieve a Minimalist Desk Setup?

There’s no set regulation that anyone has to follow to ensure that they’re setting up a minimalist desk space. Technically, with a minimalist desk and an ergonomic chair, that would be enough to qualify. Some professionals may need more tools or different elements for their work. 

Minimalist desk accessories can be great add-ons to a simple setup that certain workers or students can appreciate. One of the things that many people will be able to enjoy is external lighting systems. Architects or builders looking at an extensive project blueprint late at night may need that extra lighting. 

Another element that’s usually featured on the best desk decorations for work lists is candles. These can be a bit hit or miss. Anyone considering setting up candles on their desk may want to think twice before making that decision. Will flammable items be placed on the desk often?

What other people like to do is add hangers or shelves to be able to store different things on or near the desk. Minimalist desks are known for not being cluttered, so any add-on should follow these guidelines. Usually, the best add-ons are smaller items that don’t take up much of the space meant to be used by a computer or books.

Finding the right ergonomic chair will complement any efforts to reduce stress through office furniture. If there’s one thing that any good office should feature, it’s a comfortable chair. The challenge with finding the right chair is that a comfortable work chair usually doesn’t share features with the massage chair at the mall.

When looking for one of these chairs to complement the office space, it’s crucial to find one that a person can comfortably sit for long hours. Usually, that will mean a chair that helps the person sit up straight. Chairs that force workers to slouch or slide down won’t be the best options for long-term use.

How to Achieve a Minimalist Desk Setup

Frequently Asked Questions

This section is meant to answer many common doubts people have regarding their workspace and how that’s contributing to their stress levels. Work or school will always create stressful situations on their own. That’s why ensuring workspaces don’t contribute to that chaos is essential.   

How Can a Cluttered Desk Contribute to Stress?

A cluttered desk by itself can produce stressful situations, such as being unable to find an important document because of the pile of papers currently filling the desk. In other cases, the stress won’t directly come from the cluttered desk. Instead, sitting at a cluttered desk can make finding clarity in an adverse situation harder.

How Can a Cluttered Desk Contribute to Stress?

Should Everyone Have a Minimalist Desk Setup?

There are elements of minimalism that could benefit everyone. That doesn’t necessarily mean that every desk should be a minimalist one. Some people may not love the typical light color schemes that minimalist designs typically feature. 

Those people will typically prefer to use a brighter color scheme that, in their eyes, could help promote their creativity. That’s completely valid, but even those people could benefit from the sense of order and clarity that minimalism preaches. Trying to combine different elements from design styles is not a bad idea.  

Is Minimalism Good for Mental Health?

The sense of order typical of minimalist designs can provide mental health benefits. Cluttered desks can make it harder for people to find the clarity they need to solve a specific task. If that’s true, then the opposite is also correct. 

What minimalism isn’t is the solution to every mental health issue under the sun. This is a concept that’s been prevalent throughout this entire piece. Yes, minimalism can help certain people get into a better mental space, but it’s not the only solution.  

Are There Specific Design Principles for a Minimalist Desk Setup?

Yes, there are design elements in a simple desk build that are synonymous with minimalism. These principles include things like the clear lines that are drawn on minimalist furniture. That means minimalist furniture usually comes in set shapes and proportionate sizes. 

The light color scheme is another element that is heavily featured in minimalist design. That’s why there’s a lot of white elements in this type of design. This doesn’t necessarily mean that there are too many unbreakable rules that will cause certain elements to fall out of the minimalist label.

Are There Specific Design Principles for a Minimalist Desk Setup?

Can a Minimalist Desk Setup Work for Creative Professionals Who Need a Lot of Tools and Materials?

Definitely, in fact, creatives may be the professionals that can benefit from this type of setup the most. Minimalist desks can also have enough space to store some of the different tools these professionals may need. This can contribute to helping creatives find a sense of order in their workplace that they may have been lacking. 

It’s also true that getting a creative professional to embrace that sense of order can be more challenging, and the desk may be cluttered at the beginning. When a creative person can embrace that sense of order and use the setup accordingly, they can find the clarity they would not have otherwise.  

Does a Minimalist Desk Mean I Have to Get Rid of Everything on My Desk?

That is not going to be the case at all. A better idea would be to use minimalist desk accessories to make sure what’s on the desk is better organized. Ideally, people will be able to be patient with themselves. 

It’s understandable that after purchasing a new desk that promises to reduce stress, people will want quick results. In many cases, the desk, or any furniture, can be a tool that will change certain habits. When those habits genuinely change, the effects of everything will start to be noticeable.  

What Role Does Lighting Play in a Minimalist Desk Setup?

The answer to this question will depend on the type of work that each person will do on their desk. At the same time, the desk can be in an area with great natural light or a room that completely lights up at night. Individual lights for the desk will be less necessary when that's the case. 

When there’s not a lot of natural light, individual lighting options will be more necessary. There are good lighting accessories that won’t take up too much space on the desk but can light up the whole table. That’s usually the type of lighting that’s worth looking into.

What Role Does Lighting Play in a Minimalist Desk Setup?

Final Thoughts

Minimalist desks by themselves may not be the full answer to be able to reduce the stress that comes with work or school. What they can be is the first step in a chain reaction that leads to better mental health. With this in mind, taking that first step makes way more sense. 

People should not overlook the importance of a good chair to pair with a smart desk. Even if it’s a standing desk, sitting down at some point during the day will be a good idea. A good chair can be critical to avoiding back pain, which can detonate mental health episodes.

One of the main elements that allows a minimalist desk to reduce stress is that it can reduce physical pain. The lack of physical pain or discomfort will enable workers to focus better and be more productive. Another important part of minimalist design is removing things from the line of sight. 

Many times, just looking at the mountain of paperwork that has to be filled makes the situation more stressful than it needs to be. While no desk will look great if the user just piles things on top of it, add-ons to these desks can help keep things better organized.  

Apart from buying a new desk, if the user wants to reduce some of their stress, making an effort to be more organized can go a long way. What ends up reducing the stress is ironically working on these elements that can help clear a lot of the physical and mental blocks in the way.

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