Nowadays, many more people are working from home due to the pandemic. A staggering 60 percent of the U.K. workforce are now working from home full-time due to the precautions and resulting lockdowns caused by COVID-19. This percentage fluctuates when we look at different countries around the world, but one thing is for sure, there are more people working from home now more than ever, and the ones still in their offices are also feeling the pinch, sometimes literally.
Being able to sit at a desk for hours and work efficiently comes down to focus and comfort. Whether you are at home or at the office, being uncomfortable or even in pain is something you can avoid by knowing why you are feeling discomfort in the first place. This is where the principles of ergonomics and the benefits of ergonomic furniture come into the picture.
What is ergonomics and how does it pertain to my home office?
Ergonomics is the study of people’s efficiency in their work environment. This can pertain to your home office, a high rise corporate building, or a tiny start-up in someone’s kitchen.
No one is immune to the pain of a bad back or the heavy feeling of poor circulation. Sitting at a cramped desk, being in a poorly lit room or in an old, rickety office (or dining room) chair can cause long and short term issues that can affect your work and your health.
Discomfort is just the tip of the iceberg – no matter who you are or where you work, we all experience the same kind of health issues when it comes to lack of ergonomic furniture and equipment in our daily grind. Let’s go over some tips you can bring into your home office to make sure you are getting the most out of your furniture and know what to look for when you eventually upgrade your office or home office.
Tips for a more ergonomic home office:
- Get an office chair with lumbar (lower back) support. Make sure your knees are level with your hips. If you find yourself shifting a lot, grab a cushion for added support. Make sure you adjust the height of the chair so that your feet are resting flat on the floor. If your chair has armrests, adjust them so your arms are gently resting on them, keeping your shoulders relaxed. Make sure your elbows are close to your body and that your hands are even with your elbows or slightly lower
- Keep your keyboard close. Your wrists should be level with the desk. . You run the risk of straining your wrists and arms if you have to stretch to reach your keyboard.. If you don’t already have one, upgrade your desk setup with an ergonomic wrist rest to avoid strain on your hands and wrists.
- Avoid strain on the eyes. Utilising natural light is a great way to help avoid headaches from low light while you look at the computer screen. The computer screen should be brighter than the outside light, so make sure to adjust as needed to avoid eye strain. Place your monitor out of direct light of a window to reduce glare as well.
- Make sure your desk is the proper height. If your desk cannot be adjusted and you don’t have enough room for your knees, prop it up on a block or boards. Many furniture companies have ergonomic options for your home office nowadays. Use a foot rest if needed for extra support. Try not to keep the underneath of your desk cluttered as cramped knees and legs can cause muscle strain and joint pain.
- Keep monitor an arms length away. Make sure the top of your computer screen is slightly above eye level. Your monitor should be directly in front of your keyboard so you don’t have to crane your neck from side to side at all. Make sure text on your computer is a size that you don’t have to squint or lean forward to read.
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Look away from the screen every 20 minutes or so and look at something around 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. Make sure your eyes don’t get too dry and use eye drops if needed. Following this simple rule will help with eye strain and headaches associated with staring at a computer (or phone) screen too long.
Make Your Office Your Own
Being equipped with the know-how of what to look for when it comes to making your home office as ergonomic as possible will keep you working happily all day long. Give your work area a makeover and see the difference in your productivity and overall comfort during your work day.
Ready to revamp your space? Discover the wide variety of options for your home and home office at MMT Furniture Designs.