Ergonomics is just as important even if you’re working from home. By following proper ergonomics, you work more comfortably, improve your productivity, and avoid injury. Read on to learn how you can set up your home work station to support your long-term health and propel your productivity.
What’s the importance of ergonomics?
We spend countless hours of our lives at work, and improper posture can result in pain in the neck, back, and shoulders. Poor posture can also lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the future. In fact, according to one chronic back pain treatment clinic, musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain are one of the most common contributors to disability across the globe.
The goal of ergonomics is to eliminate discomfort and injury due to work. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to achieve an ergonomic home station.
Given the unusual nature of many remote work situations right now, many people are being forced to convert their dining tables, folding tables, and even TV trays into work desks. Whatever your work desk is, make sure that it isn’t causing posture problems.
The desk should be big enough to hold the equipment needed for work. There should be a space for a laptop, an external keyboard, a mouse, and other written or reference materials. Likewise, the desk should comfortably fit your knees, feet, and thighs underneath.
The working height of the desk should be so that the ASDF row of the keyboard is at elbow height. Sit at the desk, and hold out your arms with your elbows just slightly in front of your body as if you’re typing. This is the proper height of your workspace.
The chair may be the most important element in your home office, given how long you’ll spend sitting in it. As such, it’s worth investing in a high-quality, ergonomic office chair. Look for chairs that offer comfortable cushioning, armrests, and lumbar support. These features help reduce the strain on your shoulders, neck, and back.
Once you have your office chair, set it up correctly to maximize its supportive features. You should be able to rest your arms on the armrests at a 90-degree angle as you type on the keyboard. Your back should be straight, and your feet should be flat on the floor.
The monitor screen should be placed 20 to 40 inches away (or at an arm’s length away) from your face. Adjust the monitor’s height so that the top of the screen is at (or slightly below) eye level.
On the other hand, the keyboard should be at elbow level. Your elbows should be in a 90- or 110-degree angle. This relaxes your forearms and shoulders. Lastly, the mouse should fit well to the hand, able to glide free on either the desk surface or on a mouse pad.
If you want your long-term health to be maintained, you should make your home workspace as ergonomic as possible. Once you do so, your arms, your back, and every other part of your body will thank you.