The way we work has changed immeasurably during the global pandemic. For some, working remotely felt like a temporary transition — swapping office chairs and desks for the kitchen table. Now, working from home is “the new normal” that we’ve come to accept. Many companies are looking to continue allowing their employees to work from home.
Even if you’ve been working from home for a while, seize the opportunity to reflect on your long-term health. Working at a desk all day means sitting down for long periods and research has shown that prolonged periods of inactivity can lead to a number of health concerns.
Creating an ideal work environment at home is essential for your wellbeing, and an ergonomic home office setup will help you achieve this. You need to consider a few things before creating your dream workspace. Here, we look at some of the ways an ergonomic home office can boost your overall wellbeing.
What Is Ergonomics?
Ergonomics is the study of how furniture and equipment can be arranged to promote efficiency, comfort and well being in the workplace. If you work at your desk all day, ask yourself a few questions before you start planning your ergonomic home office setup. For instance:
- Do you have a good chair with back support?
- When you’re working at your desk, do you use proper posture?
- Are your eyes and neck in line with your device’s screen?
- Is your mouse or touchpad below elbow height?
These questions aren’t just an exercise in ergonomics; they also make a substantial difference to your levels of wellbeing and productivity.
Ergonomic Designs Improve Health in the Workplace
Your body is more sensitive than you think. Repeated movements and awkward posture can result in symptoms of fatigue, pain and discomfort. These are all the first signs of a musculoskeletal disorder, which you can avoid by revolutionising your workplace setup.
Invest in a Good Office Chair
TIP: Remember to get up and move around once in a while. Sitting for prolonged periods can lead to circulation and back problems.
Get an Adjustable Desk
If you’re concerned about sitting down all day, a standing desk could be the answer. In fact, standing desks have been shown to increase productivity. Standing up straight improves your posture and can lessen pain in the shoulders and neck.
When you’re using a mouse, your upper arm should be close to your side with your elbow bent at around 90°. Investing in an adjustable desk means you can modify the desk’s height to suit your wrist and arm position adequately. Some desks even come with hi-tech features such as built-in wireless charging and USB ports to make life just that bit easier. See, even desk ergonomics matter too!
Is Your Monitor or Screen at the Right Height?
The position of your monitor or screen is a crucial part of your ergonomic home office setup. It’s important to make sure your computer monitor is at the right height for you. The perfect height for a computer screen varies from person to person, and it’s crucial to get the right one for you. If your computer monitor is too low or high, you risk straining your neck and shoulders. To avoid symptoms like this, make sure your eyes are level with your screen when looking straight ahead. This is to minimise the strain on your neck and eyes.
Purchasing a monitor stand can help raise your screen to an ideal height.
Aside from reducing your energy costs — natural lighting can increase your wellbeing and productivity while at work. Research has shown that natural lighting can improve mood and enhance intellectual ability. Consider the sources of natural light in your space, like a window or a skylight.
Try to position your desk in view of the natural light and use an anti-glare screen protector if you’re concerned about screen visibility. If the natural light isn’t enough, purchase a table lamp and install daylight bulbs.
Like your screen or monitor, your keyboard needs to be placed at an even height. This is in relation to the height of your elbows, tilted back by 10° so the wrists are flat.
Reduce the potential for muscle strain with mouse or keyboard wrist supports while typing or working in front of the computer. Using an armrest can also lessen the chances of developing carpal tunnel syndrome, which causes pain and numbness in the wrist. This is often a direct result of repetitive wrist movements, like moving your mouse around all day.
Ergonomic Space, Happy Face
It isn’t just your working accessories that are important for maintaining your wellbeing in the workplace. Your surroundings matter too. Adding plants, photos or art in and around your home office creates a more enjoyable space to work. Plus, plants improve air quality by circulating oxygen around the room and removing toxins. The health benefits don’t end there, with studies showing indoor plants help reduce stress levels and anxiety.
Boost Your Wellbeing with an Ergonomic Home Office
Your home office is where you spend a lot of time during the day. So it’s important that you like the space you’re working in. Investing in the right ergonomic furniture and working in a comfortable environment can protect your long-term health. Make sure to take regular breaks from sitting and working to reduce fatigue — this will help you stay focused for longer. Create a personalised working environment that suits your needs at work and provides comfort.
At Purus Life, we’re committed to promoting your quality of work through smart-storage, supportive materials or built-in features. With free delivery on orders over £50, browse our curated collection of office furniture and accessories — chosen with your wellbeing in mind.