Ergonomics for the Home Office

If you work from home part or all of the time, chances are you have a specific place in your house where you go to work to be free from distraction.

Many people spend a lot of time thinking about the decor of their home office. They decide how much light they want to let in, what they need on their desk, and which distractions to keep out of the room entirely.

Surprisingly few people, however, consider the ergonomics of their home office.

What is ergonomics?

Simply stated, ergonomics is the study of people’s efficiency in the workplace. When it comes to office work or working at home, that means studying things like posture, desk height, eye strain, and much more.

In this article, we’ll talk about some ways you can improve the ergonomics of your home office to prevent injury and to make your office a more productive and less stressful place to work.

Choosing a desk chair

Let’s begin with one of the most common complaints in offices and home offices around the world: chairs.

You could spend several hundred dollars on an ergonomic office chair. But in reality it only needs to meet a few criteria that you can often find in inexpensive computer chairs. When buying a chair, look for the following:

  • Lower back support what will help you keep a straight spine

  • Adjustable heights for the chair, the backrest, and the arm rests

  • A firm, but comfortable cushion that you won’t slide down on

Picking the right desk

The most important ergonomic factor of a desk is that you can easily fit your legs under it and don’t have to crane over it to write.

Regardless of where you keep your keyboard, it will help if your arms can fall on it naturally and at a close to ninety-degree angle.

Screen height and distance

The vast majority of work performed at home is done with the use of a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet.

Ideally, the height of your screen should be adjusted so that you can view it straight on, and not have to look down or up at it. This will help protect your neck from strain.

For eye strain, it’s a good idea to keep the monitor a couple feet from your eyes and to adjust the brightness so that it’s easy to read but not too bright.

The best thing you can do to avoid headaches and eye strain is to set reminders for yourself to look away from the screen every twenty minutes or so or get up and go for a walk.

Take more breaks

Speaking of taking breaks; sitting in one position for too long can contribute to muscle and joint pain. If you’re working at home, it should be easy to get up and stretch or move around every half hour or so.

You don’t have to take a long break; even a minute or two is sufficient enough to help take the strain off of your tired eyes and stiff back and neck.

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