5 Ergonomic Essentials for Your Home Office
Nowadays more and more people are working from home as never before. Due to COVID-19 many cities around the world have been in lockdown, and people have been restricted from their usual commute from home to work. As a consequence, many employers now have their employees working from home.
So it means your spare room has to be converted into an office space. In the first few days and maybe weeks, it is ok. However, as the time goes by, you are likely to feel the negative effect on your body if you are not using ergonomic products in your home office.
According to ErgonomicsHelp, about 40% of people working from home are not even working from a dedicated desk. The American Chiropractic Association has published that 92% of chiropractors have seen a spike in patients reporting more neck pain, back pain, and other issues since the pandemic started.
So now, more than ever, people should consider ergonomic products before setting up their workstations at home. There are a few items that every ergonomic workplace should have.
1 – Monitor Arm
The most important advantage of a monitor arm mount is to adjust the height, depth and view angle of the monitor in the most comfortable and ergonomically healthy position for you. It also allows you to change the position of the screen easily, so you do not need to be working in the same position all day.
Being able to move while still seated is very important for your health. If you do not keep your body in regular movement, it tends to stop working properly causing discomfort, and pain in different parts of the body. Regular movement on the work day encourages blood circulation and keeps muscles active.
A monitor arm is a product that allows you some movement while you are still working. Afterall, you cannot just stop working to move around in the office every 30 minutes! The regular adjustment of the position of your screen using a monitor arm can make you move your head, hands, arms, back, legs, etc. These minimum changes in your body position are crucial to avoid stiffness and strains.
Even though a monitor arm can allow you some movement, it might not be enough to keep your body moving between optimal working positions. This is when a sit-stand desk can really add benefits to your everyday work routine.
2- Sit-Stand Desk
The sit-stand desk is the ultimate piece of office furniture that can keep you moving on a regular basis without the need to stop working. However, it is important to keep in mind that the idea is not to stand all day in the office, as long hours standing up can be as detrimental to your health as being seated all day.
If you are like those people who get very involved in the work that is being done and forget about the world around you; perhaps you have to set up a timer to remind you it is time to change positions. Some electronics sit-stand desks come with an integrated timer, so the desk can warn you that it is time to move.
It is not only about getting you moving from time to time. A sit-stand desk can also have a positive impact on the worker. According to 2011 CDC ‘Take A Stand Project’, standing on a regular basis throughout the day increases your productivity and concentration and reduces your stress levels. Overall this product increases your general health and makes office work a more active type of job.
3 – Ergonomic Chairs
As has been discussed before, the best thing you can do in the home office from an ergonomics point of view is to alternate between standing and sitting positions. So when you are sitting, you should be using an ergonomic chair.
Ergonomic chairs have correct back height, which allow you to sit properly with your back straight in the upright position. A good chair is flexible with a high level of adjustability, the main adjustments are seat height, seat depth, back recline and armrests.
The whole idea of the ergonomic chair is to provide the worker with better posture and prevent discomfort while working. Even though there are many advantages of using an ergonomic chair, the main ones are back support, relieving pain and setting up the body in a natural position for the joints.
4 – Laptop Stands
Now that we talked about ergonomic furniture, it is time to talk about what goes on top of it, and the first one in our list is laptop holder/stand. If you work on a laptop without a separate monitor screen, you end up putting strain on your back, neck and general posture. By using a laptop stand you place its screen in a more comfortable position, so you can keep your back straight.
It is not only about the screen position, the built-in keyboard of laptops are not ergonomic. By using a laptop stand you can connect an external keyboard to your laptop without moving the screen too far back. A good ergonomic laptop stand allows you to slide the external keyboard under the laptop to bring the screen really close to you. This is particularly useful for touchscreen laptops.
A laptop stand lets you connect an external keyboard to your laptop without pushing the screen too far back. Dual rise laptop stands even let you slide the external keyboard beneath the laptop when you need to bring the screen really close to you, such as interacting with a touchscreen laptop.
As an extra feature, laptop stands help to keep the laptop cool, as they lift the device off the desk a few centimeters allowing air to circulate underneath.An overheated laptop slows down and struggles to perform, as the processor runs slowly. Another negative point of overheating is that the battery gets depleted faster. Ultimately, there is a risk of general failure and potential data loss.
5 – Ergonomic Peripheral
A range of computer peripherals can be ergonomic, such as keyboards, mouse, mouse pads, monitor glare filters, document stands, etc. Each and every one of these devices are designed and made to allow a comfortable ergonomic posture in the home office.
Keyboards minimize muscle strain on hands and forearms, reducing the risk of injuries due to repetitive tasks. Ergonomics keyboards are designed in a V shape to suit the natural shape and placement of both hands.
An ergonomic mouse fits the hand in natural positions, therefore it reduces muscle strain and minimizes causes of injuries such as arthritis and tendinitis. Even better if you use this device with a mouse pad, as it reduces strain and pinching on the hand and arm muscles by providing support as the worker uses his or her mouse. The wrist is rested on a soft cushion on the pad, holding the hand and wrist in the correct position for muscle movement.