7 Tips to Improve the Ergonomics of Your Workspace
Working from home has created posture issues for people everywhere. Check out these seven tips to improve the ergonomics of your workspace.
The pandemic has forced much of the world into a remote working setup. Many of us like it while others are only trying to survive. One thing that’s become a constant need is proper ergonomics.
There’s no reason why working from home can’t be comfortable, or your home office can’t be more ergonomic. From the right chair to the proper desk and monitor alignment, there are lots you can do.
Read on for seven tips on how to make your workspace more comfortable and more ergonomic.
1. Your Chair Makes All The Difference
An important consideration when doing work from home is how you sit. The chair you use and how you sit can make a huge difference to your posture. A good chair can keep you sitting straight and avoid back pain.
An uncomfortable chair can leave you with cricks in your neck, sore shoulders, and lower back pain as well. Trying to remember to sit up straight is one thing, but you need an ergonomic chair.
The reason for this is many of us focus on our work, not how we sit. We naturally end up folding into the position we find comfortable or necessary. For some of us, it’s bent over or leaning close to the monitor.
Others might lead to one side to rest on an armrest when thinking or watching something. No matter the style or reason, we slide out of proper posture alignment without realizing it. An ergonomic chair will help you find proper posture without sacrificing comfort.
2. Find The Right Desk
A significant part of ergonomics involves angles. The height between you and your desk can make or break your long-term comfort levels.
If you feel you have to hunch over to work, your desk might be a little too low. If your legs feel cramped and you don’t have a way to stretch them from time to time, that’s bad too. A solution that some office workers swear by is a convertible stand-up desk.
Calibrated at the perfect height, these work stations let you work without bending down or craning your neck at uncomfortable angles. Turning it back into a sit-down desk when you want time off your feet is simple, especially with a good chair.
Stand-up desks are convenient for those concerned with bone and joint health. No matter what desk solution you go with, taking the time to stretch and move a bit is crucial.
3. Invest In Proper Peripherals
This is something that a lot of people overlook. You spend a lot of time typing and moving your mouse around, so it’s no wonder your wrists and hands get sore. Not having an ergonomic keyboard that works for you can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome.
The same is true of a mouse. The right peripherals will be different for everyone. In general, the default office mouse and keyboard many people use won’t cut it.
You should pick your mouse based on hand size and grip type, as well as responsiveness.
For your keyboard, look into getting a wrist-rest at an angle comfortable for you. Your fingers should spread out along the keys naturally, with little effort. If your fingers or hands feel cramped together, it’s not the keyboard for you.
4. Screen Height And Position Matters
We’ve talked about the importance of a good desk and chair to ergonomics, but next is your screen. You’ll be starting at it a lot, so it makes sense to have a comfortable setup. You want a monitor that’s adjustable, and that doesn’t need you to move your neck or posture a lot.
In an ideal world, your screen should sit centered in your field of view and office space. Adjust the height and position, so you don’t need to look down or up at it, and try not to lean into it. Additionally, you should seldom need to twist your neck or body 90 degrees to see your monitor.
If sitting in a semi-circular setup, moving the whole chair and body is preferable to twisting. Those using dual-screen setups should be careful to counteract one-sided movements with stretching. If you need monitors to sit at areas or angles uncentered from where you spend the most time, then keep these in mind.
5. Don’t Forget Good Lighting
One of the most neglected parts of ergonomics is lighting. Having the right space and equipment is one thing, making sure it’s conducive is another. This is what good lighting brings to the table.
It should be enough for you not to strain your eyes in the dark, but not too much that it creates terrible glare. Balancing both natural light and your indoor lighting is key to this.
6. Take More Conscious Breaks
Most people think that working from home isn’t as strenuous as manual labor. While there is some truth to this, having a remote desk job has its drawbacks. One of them is not being able to set boundaries between home and work-life.
Taking more conscious breaks or trying out stress relievers that work can do wonders. Breaks from long screen time or standing up and stretching are only some ideas. Not only do they help you feel more refreshed, but they also help you readjust or reposition yourself.
7. Ask A Specialist
Unfortunately, there are people who have neglected the importance of ergonomics. This can do long-term damage such as carpal tunnel, poor vision, and musculoskeletal issues. If this is the case, consider your more ergonomic office as a first step in aiding your health and comfort.
At the end of the day, making your workspace as ergonomic as possible can only do so much. If you still find yourself experiencing back pain or any other type of aches, then it’s time to consult a specialist. The right furniture and equipment help, but they can’t fix pre-existing health conditions.
Understanding Workspace Ergonomics
Maximum efficiency and productivity as a remote worker require the right environment. Having a productive and comfortable living environment is more than ergonomics. Space and equipment matter, but don’t forget to factor in yourself and your wellbeing too.
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