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How to Improve the Ergonomics of the Home Workspace?

Published on Jun 09, 2022   -  5 min read

Abstract

Creating a perfect ergonomic workspace, whether at home or office, will help us work easier and to be more successful. This article shall be helpful to establish yourself.

Contents

How to Improve the Ergonomics of the Home Workspace?

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a scenario worldwide wherein all the enterprises are encouraged to work from home irrespective of the size or nature of the work. Hence people all over the world are adapting to this new normal work-life that is "the home workspace.” It is mandatory to have an ergonomic workspace not only at home but also in the office in order to be more productive and avoid any physical injury.

What Is an Ergonomic Workspace?

The term ergonomic means the process of designing or arranging workplaces, products, and systems in such a way they fit the people who use them in a more productive and safe manner. So setting up an ergonomic workspace is basically very similar to adjusting your car seat based on your comfort before beginning to drive. During this pandemic time, we should make sure our workspace is not only comfortable but also safe and hygienic.

How to Improve My Workspace Ergonomically?

When it comes to home office arrangements, many people make use of the resources which are already available in their homes. Even though it may be suitable for a few, it is always recommended to find the right furniture for your workspace as it can prevent you from having physical fatigue and other health-related problems in the long run. Being said that getting only proper chairs and tables does not mean that the workspace has been improved in a more convenient way unless we maintain other factors such as:

How to Choose My Desk?

Many people are now using the tables we already have in our homes, such as dining room tables or kitchen tables, which may not be very ideal. The desk which you have should be able to fit your,

This is the basic and most important requirement of a desk, and we should not ignore this aspect.

Height of the Desk:

We should get the right height irrespective of the desk. The position of the keyboard and mouse should be at an elbow height when we use them. Also, the position of the monitor also depends on the height of the desk. The correct viewing position is that the topmost line of the monitor should be parallel to our eye level. Some of the desks available nowadays are height adjustable, and hence this can save you the trouble of finding the correct desk as per your comfort and instead allow us to adjust the height based on our requirement.

Desk With the Right Height:

How Important Is It to Have a Good Chair?

Working from home may be very hectic for some people as it requires us to be seated in the same position for eight to ten hours per day. Hence it is very important that we get the correct chair which will not only serve its purpose of us being seated but also allows us to work more focused without causing any back and neck-related problems. When it comes to choosing an ergonomic chair, we should consider the following factors-

Height:

When seated, our feet should be placed flat on the floor, and our thighs must be horizontal to the floor. The chair should also be at a proper height such that we do not hit our knees with the desks while sitting down for work or standing up after work. Almost many chairs have the option of adjusting the height and hence makes it easier to choose one.

Armrests:

We always prefer chairs with armrests that allow us to rest our elbows in the chair. The armrest should support the entire length of our forearm while using the keyboard, mouse, or when performing certain tasks. In addition, it is better if the armrest is adjustable as per the needed height since we can manipulate the height to our comfortable position while working.

Backrest and Lumbar Support:

The backrest should have proper support and be in a natural curved shape to support the back and the lower back. Also, tilting and reclining backrests are very critical as they can reduce the pressure on our back significantly. If in case a reclining chair is required, make sure it can recline a minimum of 135 degrees backward. The more adaptability the chair offers, the more ergonomic possibilities we can find. Hence find a good chair and improve your efficiency and simultaneously reduce spine-related health hazards.

What Is the Correct Sitting Posture?

Having a good chair and desk alone does not improve our ergonomics when we are always hunching our back and keeping our arms in an improper position. Hence maintaining our posture is also equally important. In order to keep our back, spine, and neck free from injury, we should avoid bending our neck and always maintain our head vertical to the neck.

Our hands and wrist should be properly rested and should always be in a neutral position. Place your arms flat by extending them forward and make sure not to pivot on the wrist. Our shoulders should be relaxed, and our arms should maintain a 90 to 120 degree angle with the elbow when sitting.

It is very important to keep our backs supported all the time and hence try to maintain an upright sitting position with our backs at 90 degrees. This may not be possible always, and hence a slight backward tilt is acceptable provided there is enough lumbar support from the chair. Make sure the back of the knee is not hitting the seat edge as it can restrict blood flow to the legs and cause our feet to swell.

How to Position Your Monitor Properly?

Proper Environment Setting:

When speaking about ergonomics, our workplace environment, like light, temperature, and conveniences, also plays a huge role.

Lighting:

The position of the light should be in such a way that it does not cause glare both directly and indirectly on the computer screens, and hence it is always preferred not to be on the dark side or shadows of our sitting position.

Temperature:

The ambient temperature for working is dependent on the individual, and hence try to optimize the room temperature based on your comfort. The heat generated from the workstation should also be considered while setting the temperature. Try to use softer lights and reduce the warmth in the room.

What Are the Behavioral Changes Required?

Computer Glasses:

Staring at the computer screen for a long time can cause fatigue to our eye muscles, and hence a computer glass is recommended. This will filter the blue lights that are emitted from electronic devices such as computers, smartphones, televisions, etc., and reduce the stress caused to our eyes.

20-20-20 Principle:

Also, try to follow the 20-20-20 principle. For every 20 minutes working on a computer screen, try to spend 20 seconds looking at an object which is 20 feet away. This will also help in reducing our eye stress.

Having a Break:

We should take small breaks in between and try to stretch the back and legs by taking short walks. The aim is to attain a maximum number of steps even when we are at home and provide our eyes some off time from the digital screens. Do not skip mealtime, avoid snacking at work time, and always be hydrated in order to maintain good health. Walking for a minute every 30 to 40 minutes will help avoid stress on the lumbar and cervical spine.

Conclusion:

The new normal work from home has made many people suffer from pain and discomfort. We can prevent ourselves from severe back pains, strain injuries, and carpal tunnel syndrome by creating home ergonomics. There are plenty of simple and affordable options for making our work life less painful and more productive. So start today by making one positive adjustment, and slowly work your way towards creating your perfect ergonomic workspace.

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Last reviewed at:
09 Jun 2022  -  5 min read

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