At the moment, more and more people are starting to work from home. Whether it is due to the Coronavirus pandemic or whether you have just started at a flexible workplace that allows you to work from home, chances are you want to ensure you reduce your risk as much as possible. In a conventional workplace, your employer will likely provide you with the right tools and equipment to reduce your risk of injury. But, when you work from home, you may be expected to look after your health and wellbeing yourself.
If you’re looking for ways to ensure your home office is as ergonomic as possible, without spending a fortune, there are a few things to focus on first and foremost.
Get The Right Chair
When you’re working at a computer, the majority of your workday is going to be spent in a chair. This is the time to say that no, your dining room chair likely isn’t going to fit the bill here. Although your dining room chair will be great at the dining room when eating a meal, it just wasn’t designed to be sat in for 8+ hours a day.
Instead, take the time to choose a well-designed and ergonomic computer chair for your office. If this is the first time you have looked for a computer chair to purchase, you may want to be warned that these chairs can be expensive. Depending on your budget, you can spend anywhere between $100 and $1,000.
Look for a chair that has various features. It needs to be able to be adjusted as much as possible to ensure it fits you, personally. Make sure the height can be adjusted, the backrest can be moved back or forward on a tilt and if there are arms on it, that the arms can be moved to suit your needs. Don’t just go for the coolest looking chair. Instead, check out what the chair can do. If you’re concerned about spending quite a bit of money on a chair, think of it as an investment in your health. If you’re going to be sitting in it all day, you’ll want to make sure it looks after you.
Choose A Footrest
To ensure you are sitting in the right position, your feet should be able to be placed firmly on the ground. Depending on your stature, your chair and/or your desk arrangements, you may need to use an ergonomic footrest. You can buy some great footrests that sit nicely under your desk without taking up too much room. If you want to save on some costs, you could even use an old phone book or even a firm pillow. Whatever you use, make sure it helps you to keep your feet grounded as you work.
Put Your Screen At The Right Height
Most of us are using laptops. When you’re setting up your desk, you need to make sure that the screen isn’t too low or too high; you don’t need to be looking down or up to see what you are doing. It’s easier to adjust the height of your screen if you own a desktop computer. Some monitors have an in-built stand that can be height adjusted.
If you own a laptop, you may find it best to use a laptop stand. The laptop can sit on the stand and be adjusted to ensure the screen portion of the computer is sitting at the right height. You may also need an external keyboard and mouse as you may not be able to reach the built-in functions once it is on a stand. For ease of use, a wireless keyboard and mouse may make things easier for you.
Opt For A Standing Desk
If you really want to go all out on your new home office and make sure it is as ergonomic and as healthy as possible, you might want to consider a standing desk. These are a great option for those who want the opportunity to stand and work at the same time throughout the day. It’s good for your health, your posture, your circulation and, some say, may improve your productivity.
There are standing desks that are only made for standing and do not have an option for you if you want to sit down. On the other hand, you can get sitting desk conversions that sit on top of a regular desk and can raise or lower for when you want to sit and stand throughout the day. These are more affordable than a complete standing desk and continue to give you the option to sit down if you need to.
Remember that, even if you have all of the best tools and equipment in your home, injury is still possible. That is why it’s still important to take regular breaks, stretch your muscles and keep your circulation boosted throughout the day. If in doubt, you can also ask your employer if they have any health and safety checklists for the office that you may be able to implement at home. If you experience any pain or aches that persist, be sure to have a chat with your doctor to ensure you stay healthy and pain-free.