Thanks to today’s technology, employees can now work within the comforts of their homes. They no longer have to endure long hours spent on commutes. They can even customize their home offices and working space according to their preference. However, with a work-from-home setup, people risk having a more sedentary lifestyle. This can lead to various body aches caused by awkward posture and lack of physical movement.
To ensure that you stay in shape and have consistent productivity, our experts have created the perfect guide to creating an ergonomic and efficient home office for you.
Create Your Ergonomic Home Office Setup
Adjust Your Chair & Desk
Adjusting your chair is a must if your home doesn’t have an adjustable surface. With an office chair, you’d want it at a height that lets your thighs be aligned with the ground. Plus, you’d like your knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
However, the height of your chair can change your feet position while sitting. We recommend placing your feet on a footstool or footrest the same size as your chair.
On the other hand, most desks and tables have a suitable height for tall people. Your desk won’t need a height change if you’re on the tall side. Otherwise, you’d want the desk at a lower height. If your desk has a fixed size, you can raise it with stable boards or blocks.
Your desk’s clearance is also necessary. Don’t forget to check if your knees, thighs, and feet fit in that space. And to keep your wrists from hurting, cushion your desk’s hard edges or use a wrist rest.
Put Your Computer at Eye Level
Working on your computer for hours can hurt your body, primarily if you work in an awkward position. Ideally, your monitor or laptop should be an arm’s length from you. And when it comes to viewing distance, you should put your computer at eye level, which should help keep neck aches at bay.
But if your computer is too low, you can place it over one or two books to put it at eye level. You can also have your monitor one to two inches lower if you wear bifocals.
Use Your Keyboard & Mouse Properly
Trying to avoid repetitive stress disorder? Use your keyboard and mouse properly. Make sure you’re doing the following steps as you type or click:
- Straighten your wrists.
- Keep your upper arms close to your body.
- Keep your hands at elbow level or lower them a bit.
Keyboard shortcuts can also save you from a repetitive injury. With these shortcuts, you won’t have to use your mouse all the time, and you can adjust your mouse’s sensitivity for a lighter touch to accommodate your body’s needs. Or, if you’re ambidextrous, try using your mouse with your other hand.
Keep Essential Items Close
The closer your supplies are, the less stretching you need to do. Keep your mouse within reach and place it on the same surface as your keyboard. Standing up is better than reaching for the object while sitting if you need an item overhead or in an out-of-reach place. Proper stretching is key if you want to keep active even when you’re just sitting around working all day.
Stay Healthy & Comfy While Working From Home
Use Pillows for Extra Height & Lower Back Support
Who says pillows are only for sleeping? You can have them in your home office, too. A sturdy, thick cushion will do the trick if you can’t adjust your chair’s height. Placing it under your butt will give you more height while you sit. Plus, it gives you the ideal size for your knees to bend at 90 degrees.
A pillow can also help you prevent lower back pain. Of course, pushing your lower back against your chair isn’t necessary. But with a lumbar pillow on your chair’s back, your lower back will get the support it needs.
Improve Your Posture
Poor posture leads to pain and injury. That said, maintaining the correct posture while working is essential.
To see if you have good posture, sit tall and check whether your upper body is aligned. Your shoulders should be over your hips, with your neck straight and your head above your neck. Moreover, make sure your back and shoulders stay relaxed. Do this test before and during your shift.
Didn’t pass the posture test? The right one for remote work will help you improve your posture.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor, with your thighs parallel, and your knees bent at 90 degrees.
- Bend your elbows at 90 degrees and keep them close to your body.
- Relax your shoulders and put them back.
- Sit back in your chair. Make sure your body is “stacked,” your shoulders are over your hips, and your head is over your shoulders.
Give Your Eyes a Break
We’ve already mentioned that prolonged computer use can hurt your body. But working on your computer may affect your eyes, too. To avoid any issues from staring at a computer screen, give your eyes a break and don’t look at your computer for 20 seconds. Repeat this process regularly while working—your eyes will thank you.
Keep Moving with Simple Exercises
Ensuring you’re not sitting for too long is just as important as working on your sitting position. Simply put, you need to keep your body moving. A little activity is excellent for avoiding injury and keeping your body in shape.
Your exercises don’t have to be that intense, either. Shaking your muscles or running around your living room will do. You can also switch up your sitting position or do some stretches as you work.
Choosing the Best Home Office Equipment
Ergonomic Home Office Chair
Got your eyes on an office chair for your ergonomic home office? Pick one with built-in lower back support that curves with your back. Steelcase’s Gesture chair does the job for you with its LiveBack technology. LiveBack adapts to your body and recreates your spine and neck’s natural movement.
You might also consider Steelcase’s Leap Fabric chair for your home office. Like the Gesture, the Leap Fabric features LiveBack technology for back support and comfort.
Ergonomic Home Office Desk
You’ll need to look into several factors when shopping for home office desks. After all, you’d want a suitable desk for you and your home office. Computer type, desk height, legroom, and desk shape are some factors to consider when picking the best home office desk.
The Sit to Stand Up computer desk is for you if you’re after better computer and keyboard placement. It has a two-tier design, with a hand crank to adjust desk height. Plus, the desk features predrilled holes and loops so that your cords stay organized.
Ergonomic keyboards look different from standard ones. Typically, these keyboards divide into two, with rotated keys pointing down to their lower corners. They’ve got an elevated shape thanks to “tenting.” Some keyboards have a curved chassis, while others feature folding feet.
Key depth and arrangement also set ergonomic keyboards apart from the usual keyboards. You might see models with keys in varying depths and places. Plus, ergonomic keyboards will boast well-padded wrist rests. The Logitech Ergo K680 is one keyboard worth considering, with an arched and split design for better typing posture and less muscle strain.
The curves on ergonomic mice conform to your hand’s contour, resulting in less finger strain and joint pain. These devices come in different designs with varying benefits.
With some mice, you’d overextend your finger or thumb; meanwhile, some mice let you twist your wrist while moving your hand. But in the end, your needs will lead you to the best mouse for your ergonomic home office setup.
Logitech’s MX Ergo mouse is a top choice for ergonomic mice, and it has an adjustable hinge that lets you set your comfort level while using the mouse. Furthermore, Logitech claims that the MX Ergo puts 20% less strain on muscles and is an excellent option for a comfortable, versatile mouse.
Along with a chair, desk, keyboard, and mouse, you might want some ergonomic accessories in your home office. You can start with an ergonomic footrest or footstool that keeps your feet elevated as you work.
The ErgoFoam Adjustable Foot Rest is worth a try—it’s a versatile footrest with adjustable height. Additionally, you can turn the footrest into a rocker when you attach an extra piece to it. It’s filled with memory foam, as well.
And to guarantee a well-lit home office, you’d want the proper lighting. IKEA’s FORSÅ lamp is one option, featuring an adjustable arm and swing. Moreover, the lamp’s light and portable design make it perfect for lighting setup changes.
You can also look at a freestanding solution like the HAY PC Portable Lamp. A scratch and water-resistant matte finish, highly efficient LED bulb, and rechargeable battery let you place this lamp anywhere you want.
You can find more about proper posture, exercises, wellness tips, and anything about health when you check out the LifeClinic blog today.