Working from home is a new reality for many Americans. Business owners have realized they can save money, and employees have benefited from better work-life balance and more flexibility. However, for all the benefits of this new working format, there are also a few drawbacks, one of the most prominent being ergonomics. Setting up your workspace for comfort and health can be challenging, but you might experience some success by taking some of the following actions.
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Invest in a Monitor Arm
Whether you sit or stand at your computer, choosing a monitor arm might be one of the best decisions you make for ergonomic reasons. Not only do monitor arms save space on your desk and allow for better viewing angles on video calls, but they might also promote healthy posture.
Rather than having your screens fixed in one place, you can attach them to monitor arms and position them in the right place to improve posture and potentially reduce the risk of eye strain and neck pain. According to the CDC, many musculoskeletal disorders are linked to poor ergonomics.
Purchase a High-Quality Chair
When you first started working from home, you likely utilized a chair you already had, such as one from your dining suite. While such a chair might be a suitable short-term option, it’s potentially not for long-term use.
High-quality office chairs with ergonomic features are designed to prevent back pain and provide lumbar support. Considering that tens of millions of Americans experience back pain, such a chair can be vital for your comfort and well-being.
Use an External Mouse and Keyboard
It can be tempting to rely on the in-built mouse and keyboard connected to the screen if you work on a laptop. However, the positioning of a laptop keyboard and mouse might not allow for natural comfort and movement. Consider investing in a separate ergonomic mouse and keyboard that allow your arms and shoulders to be loose and relaxed while you work.
Having poor posture might not seem like a severe issue. Still, over time, poor posture can put pressure on your posterior muscles and potentially lead to back pain, joint degeneration, and spinal dysfunction. Even if you don’t currently have the best office chair for your home setup, you can still prioritize posture. Use lumbar rolls in your lower back while sitting if your chair lacks support, perform stretching exercises, and sit up straight at your desk rather than slouching.
Don’t Neglect Your Feet
It’s easy not to give your feet any thought when improving ergonomics, but they can factor into the equation. Your feet should be flat on the ground with your legs at a 90-degree angle. However, if they don’t firmly touch the floor, you can use a stool or platform under your desk in your home office to provide stability.
Much can change when you leave the office to start working from home. However, ergonomics is undoubtedly one of the most crucial changes the average home worker should make. Prioritize your office setup, and your body might thank you for it.
Featured Photo by Jason Strull on Unsplash