Many people work from home. Whether it is a freelance job or a 9-5 deal, you need a proper working space to keep up with your performance and not get injured.
Instead of typing on your laptop while laying on your bed and couch, prepare a workstation that is going to be ergonomic and ideal for prolonged hours of sitting. By creating a dedicated space, you can reduce pain and discomfort. Moreover, you can feel more comfortable and, as an effect, increase your productivity and creativity.
Keep reading to learn about eight ergonomics tips for working from home.
Use a Stationary Computer
To avoid working only on a laptop, if it is a possibility, use your stationary computer. If you don’t have a bigger monitor, you might want to invest in one, especially if you expect to work at home for a long time.
While you work, you should look straight to not strain your eyes, but also to avoid stiffness in your neck. If you need two monitors for work, you can use the laptop as one of them. Your monitor should be located right in front of you, no less than at arm’s distance. Your head should be located about 3 inches below the top of the screen.
Use a Riser for Your Laptop
If you cannot invest in a bigger monitor, think about a laptop riser. This inexpensive item can bring your computer and your work to a higher level. You need to place the laptop on the level where the middle of the screen is at your eye level. You can also use bigger books to lift your laptop to a proper level.
Pick a Good Keyboard and Mouse
While working at home, you need to increase your comfort as much as possible. An external keyboard and mouse are a must when you work on a computer. Depending on the model and brand, they can be purchased at various prices. If you want to avoid cables, pick a wireless combo.
While setting up those devices, remember that the perfect adjustment is when your mouse and keyboard are slightly below elbow height. Both devices should be on the same level, located close to each other, so you can swap without strain. When you use a mouse and keyboard, try to keep your shoulders relaxed. It’s recommended to keep your wrists straight to avoid pain.
You should keep your arms close to your body and elbows should be bent at 90 degrees. This is the most optimal position for writing with a keyboard.
Choose an Ergonomic Chair
A good chair is a must in any office, including the home-office. An ergonomic chair is a great investment that can help you to keep a good posture, avoid pain and stiffness, and also increase your creativity. While purchasing a chair, pay attention to what features are adjustable. The more things you can customize, the better. Your chair should adjust to your body, not the other way around.
You have to set the height of your chair the way that allows you to keep both feet on the floor or on a special footrest. Your legs should bend at 90-degrees. Prevent your leg from swinging or unnaturally bending.
A good chair should have additional lumbar support. The lower back is exposed to additional strain. An extra cushion or ergonomic shape that gives you a curve in the lumbar area is a wonderful solution that can give you extra support.
You should also pick a chair that has a breathable pillow that can adjust to your body and give you some extra support. Your elbows should be located at the same level as your desk.
Regulated tilt and tilt tension allow you to set the chair in a way that can fully support you.
Keep a Proper Posture
While sitting for a prolonged time, people tend to hunch. This happens when your muscles are too tired to hold your body straight. An ergonomic chair can help with that, but you shouldn’t forget about proper posture.
Your back doesn’t have to be at a 90-degree angle all the time. It’s good to tilt around 10-15 degrees to make your muscles rest. Reclining can also ease the pressure that your hip flexors have to take.
Take a Break Whenever You Need It
Whether you have the best ergonomic furniture in your home office or not, you have to remember about breaks. You can take a walk around or stretch a bit. If you have a bit more time, try to do some simple yoga sequences to stretch and wake up your muscles.
Even small activities which are performed regularly can boost your blood flow and increase energy. When your body moves instead of being still for a prolonged time, your metabolism can speed up a bit.
If you suffer from pain or stiffness in a particular part of your body, try to focus your exercises on this area. Be sure that you change position at least once each hour. If you can perform some tasks while standing, be sure to do it.
When you get involved in work, you might keep forgetting about taking a break. To avoid this situation, download some time tracking apps that can remind you to change position or stretch. Some of the most popular are UP and Stand Up.
Ideally, you should stand and stretch every 20 minutes, but it might not always be possible. However, taking a short break every hour is a must.
While working, don’t forget about your eyes. When you look at a screen, they can get tired. Moreover, prolonged exposure to screens can cause a problem with your sight. Doctors recommend following the rule of 20/20/20. After looking at your computer for 20 minutes, you should look for 20 seconds at something located 20 feet away. Thanks to this, your eye muscles get a break, and the strain is reduced.
On average, office desks are 29 inches high. Because of that, they might be too high or too low for most people. You can raise your chair to reach the correct level and use a footrest to support your legs.
Investing in an ergonomic desk is also a great idea. This type of desk allows you to regulate the height to suit your needs and provide you with the best support. Moreover, most ergonomic desks can be quickly turned into a standing desk. Thanks to this, you can use the office space better. You also can swap the positions in which you work very quickly.
The ergonomic desk can help you to keep a healthy posture and improve your overall well-being. If you are very busy and don’t want to stop working but need to change position, one click is enough to lift your desk to the standing level.
When you have a chance to move regularly, your productivity is increased. Even people who are good at multitasking and focused might get bored with repetitive work. Such a simple thing as changing the position in which you work is enough to help you boost your performance.
Find a Good Footrest
When you don’t have an ergonomic desk or its height doesn’t fit you, you should consider buying a good footrest. When a desk is too high, people sit at the edge of their chair which causes hunching and might cause pain, as well as destroy your posture. If your feet don’t touch the ground, you strain your hip flexors and back, as your muscles have to keep your legs high and cannot relax.
With a footrest, you can sit back in your chair and get better support. Your feet should always touch the ground while you are working, and you should be able to stick your spine to the back support of your chair.
A footrest doesn’t cost much, but if you don’t want to spend money at the moment, you can use props that you already have. It can be a pile of larger books or any type of block. You have to remember to place the support the way that is going to hold your legs at an angle of 90 degrees.
As a person who works from home, you need a dedicated area to create a perfect office space. It should be a quiet place where you can focus and eliminate distractions to the minimum. Organizing this space can be the key to making your work from home comfortable.
If you are a new home-office worker, you might notice that your productivity has dropped, and you are more distracted. Investing in ergonomic furniture can help you with that issue. However, if you don’t want to or can’t spend money on a good chair or ergonomic desk, try the simple tips mentioned above.
Those little steps can help you to keep healthy and productive while working from home. Don’t forget that regular movement and keeping your position straight can prevent severe damages to your body and allow you to keep focus, even if you have to spend hours working in front of the computer.