Separate study / work & living / living / relaxing place
Do: create a study / workplace where you work alone. Get creative if you are short on space, think about using just a part of the kitchen table for study, instead of using the whole table. You can then pause and relax in somewhat of a different place.
Don't: don't study in bed or on the couch. These places are for relaxation. If you often study or work in your bed, you might associate your bed with studying more than with sleeping. This will not help you.
Where can I best organise my study place?
Choose a quiet place where you can work undisturbed if possible. Make sure that no direct light falls on your screen and that you do not look directly at the (sun) light. Subdued light from the side is ideal.
Set up your screen hight and distance in 10 steps
Use these rules of thumb for the most optimal settings and perform them in the following order:
- Place your feet firmly on the ground
- Position your legs at an angle of 90 degrees
- Keep a fist-wide space between the front of the seat and your knees
- Make sure your lower back is properly supported
- Ensure that the armrests are supporting your arms and your shoulders are relaxed
- The height of the table should be just below the armrests
- Position the screen at an arm’s length in front of you. The top edge should be positioned at eye level
- Position the mouse and keyboard (with the feet retracted) as close as possible to your body so that you do not need to stretch
- For variation, you could also use the function keys (e.g. Alt-Tab to switch between windows and Page Up and Page Down to scroll through a document).
- If you have to write or read on paper, the desk or table should be 4-5 cm higher
View an example of a workplace design here.
Working on a laptop: put it on your desk
If you work at home on a laptop, set up the laptop workstation as a normal workstation. Make sure that the computer / laptop and screen are on a solid surface (desk or table). The top edge of your screen should be approximately at eye level. No laptop stand? Use a crate or a stack of books. Use a separate keyboard and mouse if possible.
Avoid e-mailing on your smartphone
For e-mail, work with a smartphone as little as possible, at least not for a long time. When using the smartphone, make sure your neck is not bent too much and for too long, so hold your phone in front of your face. If necessary, support your arm and change position often.
Adjust the height of your desk and chair
It is important that you support your body as well as possible and that your legs are not pinched. Make sure you don't have to shrug your shoulders and that you don't have to reach for the mouse as much as possible. Try to achieve the best possible alignment for yourself:
- Place the screen higher on, for example, books or a pack of printing paper
- Put your desk or table on bobbins if it is too low
- Make sure you sit comfortably, at a fixed distance from the screen and at a good height (not on a wobbly sofa or stair)
- Use a seat cushion if your chair is too low
- Place a pillow or ottoman under your feet (your legs should be at about a 90 degree angle and your knees no higher than your pelvis)
- Stay alert to the development of physical complaints
If you do not have the right equipment to study or take exams at home, take a look at Surfspot.nl.
Free Microsoft Office 365 for Students via VU Amsterdam
VU Amsterdam offers Microsoft Office 365 for Students free of charge to optimally support online studying in the corona period. Previously you could purchase this package yourself via SURFspot, now you can download it directly via https://portal.office.com.
The Microsoft Office 365 for Students package includes the well-known Office 365 applications such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote. The advantage of this package is that it is a cloud service, so you always have access to your files and the latest version of the Office programs.
See the Office 365 for Students page on the AskIT portal for an explanation of how to install the package. Pay attention! Did you already purchase Microsoft Office 365 via SURFspot? Then you have to log in again once in one of the Office 365 for Students applications (such as Word) with your VU e-mail address.
1. Go to https://portal.office.com
2. Log in with your VU email address (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com) and corresponding password.
3. Download Microsoft Office 365 for students.
For a more detailed explanation of the installation of Microsoft Office 365 for Students, see the Office 365 for Students page on the AskIT portal.
Be alert and use IT facilities consciously. Especially now that most people work and study from home, cyber criminals are trying to gain access to your files or our network in creative ways. OUR IT service has tightened the password policy, but at the same time is calling for you to stay aware of the devices and systems you use at home and to be alert to suspicious emails.