HOG setting up ergonomic workspace

A lot of things changed since the COVID-19 pandemic started. One of the biggest shifts has something to do with how we work. As lockdowns were put in effect, many of us had to turn a corner of our home into an office. 


With more people having to work remotely, it’s important to remember that a properly set up workspace is crucial to boosting physical efficiency. While the study of ergonomics is a broad field, knowing the basics will allow you to create a workstation where you can be both comfortable and productive. Here are some tips on how to make your home office strategic and injury-free.


1. Get a proper chair

A proper chair – preferably an adjustable one – is a good place to start your ergonomic journey. Look for one with elbow support. Without an armrest to place your elbow, your neck and upper back muscles will have to work harder to support your arms. You’ll also apply more pressure to your wrists while using a keyboard and mouse, which can cause swelling

2. Adjust your setup

Health experts recommend that your monitor should be about an arm’s length away, and your wrists should be straight when you’re typing, with your hands at or below the level of your elbows. Also, your knees should level with your hips when you’re sitting, and the top of your monitor should be positioned just below your eyes. You can place a stack of books under your monitor to get it off your desk to prevent your neck from bending down. 

Furthermore, make sure your desk and chair are at the right height to allow your thighs to sit parallel to the floor. This can mean using a footstool or placing bed raisers under your desk to elevate it a little. Ideally, you should sit leaning slightly backward. 

Your knee joints also need to be positioned beyond the edge of your chair. This can be challenging for shorter people. But you can set it up correctly by using a lumbar support or pillow.

3. Invest in an ergonomic keyboard

Investing in work-from-home gadgets can help boost your work productivity. One example is an ergonomic keyboard, which usually comes in a split design and includes features that promote a neutral posture while typing.

Research indicates that the use of an ergonomic keyboard may help reduce the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome or median nerve compression, a condition that causes numbness in the hand.

On the other hand, traditional keyboard models force you to place your hands side by side, which means you have to bend your wrists to place them parallel to each other, potentially causing strain. 

4. Optimize your software

Almost everything you do on your computer requires you to reach for your mouse and click through multiple menus. Consider optimizing your software so you can do things more comfortably. Try to identify what you do most often and see if there are keyboard shortcuts already built into the system that you can use. You can find lists online for both macOS and Windows. 

Also, adjust your mouse sensitivity so that moving your cursor from one point to another requires the least amount of motion. Both macOS and Windows allow you to tweak this setting to your convenience. From there, you can record macros to execute commands in sequence with one button. 

5. Watch your posture

There’s a myth that you should sit at 90 degrees, but most ergonomics experts say this is not the proper way to sit. Instead, they recommend finding a posture that allows you to see your screen while sitting in a way that provides lower back support. It’s similar to sitting in a car’s driver’s seat, where you lean slightly backward.

 If your chair doesn’t have a lumbar support that rocks back, try putting a cushion or pillow behind your lower back. That will do some good. Shorter people might also find a footrest helpful in achieving the proper posture.

 Additionally, make sure your seat is not hitting the back of your knees because it can reduce blood flow, causing your feet and ankles to swell.

 Eliminate Your Risk of Injury

A proper workspace setup can help you work productively without compromising your health due to poor ergonomics. With the right work-from-home tools, you can work both efficiently and comfortably.

 Author Bio: Rina Ruiz

Rina Ruiz is a lifestyle writer for Go Rewards Philippines, an all-around rewards app. She touches on a variety of topics such as technology, wellness, and home improvement.

 

Ergonomic office chairErgonomic office furnitureErgonomic work space

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