Over the past five years, remote working has become increasingly popular globally, encouraging employees to work comfortably from any location. It promotes a healthy work-life balance while increasing productivity. It’s little wonder that 82% of Indian workers prefer to work from home. Despite these, your home office can stress you out if not set up properly.
Therefore, investing in an ergonomic office space is essential. It benefits your physical health, reducing body tension, eyestrain, neck and back pain, and so on. Likewise, a comfortable personal office space can reduce anxiety while improving your mood and increasing your focus and awareness. Fortunately, setting up an ergonomic home office is possible with the right tips. Here are a few worth considering to achieve the best results.
1. Invest In A Supportive Desk Chair
Your chair is an integral part of your office, as you sit on it to perform your work tasks. However, buying the wrong type can be more harmful than beneficial. For starters, you risk developing chronic pain in your back, neck, and shoulders.
Moreover, the discomfort can increase stress and fatigue while reducing concentration and affecting productivity. The wrong sitting posture can also trigger heartburn, constipation, indigestion, acid reflux, bloating, etc.
If you notice these symptoms, it may be time to swap your chair for an ergonomic option. Also, certain signs can prompt you to change your chair so keep this in mind. For instance, flattened cushions, physical damage, lack of lumbar support, etc., are signs worth considering.
When investing in your new chair, ensure that you can sit with your thighs parallel to the floor and your feet on the floor. Likewise, you also want to consider options that tilt and recline approximately 135 degrees with tension control to reduce pressure on your back and prevent pain.
Consequently, check for armrests that can support your forearm when typing and breathable material to enhance comfort even when you sit for longer periods. Despite these, you must still adjust your sitting position to promote blood flow to all body parts. Therefore, consider pairing your office chair with an ergonomic kneeling chair for the best results.
2. Good Lighting is Essential
Ergonomics go beyond furniture; lighting can be in this category too. Lighting ergonomics focuses on arranging and designing light sources to enable you to perform your tasks more efficiently. Indeed, bad lighting can cause many problems, like headaches, eye strain, and extreme stress.
Moreover, it makes you prone to errors and accidents. On the other hand, excess light may be too harsh and defeat the purpose of installing them. Therefore, practicing light ergonomics becomes necessary. It’s important to note that two types of office lighting exist: natural and electrical light. And blending both effectively can help you achieve the right balance. However, the amount of light needed in your workspace depends on your tasks, furniture and floor surfaces, and vision. Therefore, you’ll find it helpful to work with professionals to get the desired outcome.
You can also consider replacing roof panels with skylights to allow natural light in, so keep this in mind. Consequently, invest in larger windows and reflective surfaces to bounce light around the room. Mirrors can also reflect the sunlight efficiently, so feel free to consider them. Investing in LED light fixtures is also beneficial, as they consume less power and can be great for the eyes.
When installing them, ensure they are positioned to prevent you from working in awkward postures. Also, paint your walls and ceiling white or light color to reflect more light. You can also try these techniques to promote effective lighting ergonomics.
3. Focus On Your Desk Height
Like chairs, your office desk distinguishes between a comfortable and an uncomfortable workspace. That being said, you’ll find investing in adjustable desk options helpful. This furniture helps you to alternate between walking and standing, so you don’t have to remain in one position for a long time.
Indeed, an adjustable desk has benefits worth considering. Not only will you experience less fatigue and stress, but you can also avoid discomfort when working. And increased comfort can translate to greater productivity and motivation to work harder. You also have full control over your work and can avoid a sedentary lifestyle.
Seeing these benefits, you want to purchase an adjustable desk if you haven’t already. However, you want to consider certain factors before investing in one. For instance, you want to avoid options with a limited adjustment range, so keep this in mind.
If you want to stick to traditional desks, ensure that you choose the right height to get the needed support. Consequently, avoid overly high or low desks to prevent poor posture. As a tip, test the desk; it’s the right fit if your legs can fit comfortably with your feet on the ground. It’s even better if you can cross your leg. Also, ensure that your upper and forearm angle is between 90 to 180 degrees when resting on the desk. You can also speak to the furniture vendor to ensure you get what you’re looking for, so keep this in mind.
4. Position Your Computer Correctly
Computers are a staple in many traditional and home offices. However, it’s not uncommon for people to have discomfort due to how they use their computers, as improper positioning can either cause you to overstretch your back and neck or slump your back.
Therefore, ensure that your PC is well placed on your desk. If you’re using a desktop, you’ll find it helpful to place your monitor 20 inches away from you. This is because you may strain your eyes if it’s too close or slouch your back if it’s far away.
Furthermore, place it at an angle of approximately 10 to 20 degrees to prevent neck pain. Also, ensure that your monitor’s top line is at eye level or below, and adjust its brightness to reduce glare. Fortunately, ergonomic mice and keyboards are available, so feel free to purchase them.
Maybe you prefer laptops to desktops due to their sleekness, compact nature, and convenience. However, they may not be the most ergonomic. Placing your monitor at the right height can make it difficult to access the keyboard, while the right keyboard height can force you to slump due to the overly low screen.
You can correct this by purchasing a good laptop stand or bed tray. You can also invest in an external keyboard to enable you to place your laptop screen at the right angle. You can also update your computer to ensure maximum efficiency, so feel free to consider this. For example, you can update your Mac by installing the macOS Ventura. However, if your computer slowed down after the update, you can find helpful tips to address it here.
5. Divide Your Workspace Into Zones
Admittedly, everyone has different workspace needs, styles, and preferences. However, you want to organize your office into zones to make it easier to access your items. This way, it’s easier to locate your items without wasting time.
Experts advise arranging your desk into reach zones based on how many times you’d need them. The first zone can be reached by moving your forearms horizontally with your elbows near your sides. This area should house your mouse and keyboard.
You should also access the second zone by extending your arms and leaning at your waist, and this area should house your stationery, notebooks, and items you use frequently.
The third zone should be for things you occasionally use, while the fourth and subsequent zones should be used for storage.