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How to Set Up an Ergonomic Office in Your Home

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Georgia Carter
Georgia Carter Published: 29 July 2021
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The last year has resulted in many of us switching from traditional office jobs to working from home. While this change holds numerous benefits, like working in your pyjamas or taking your breaks whenever you want, it can also feel counterproductive if we’re not careful. The key to being successful when working at home is to have a proper ergonomic office set up.

There are a number of benefits to having an ergonomic office at home including: increased productivity and happiness as well reduced stress levels. In this article, we will go over how to create an ergonomic space that is suited for your requirements so that you can achieve all of your career goals.

Key facts

  • Setting up your home office starts with choosing the right location and space.
  • Comfort is key when it comes to working from home, especially to avoid body pains.
  • Take regular breaks and take the opportunity and freedom of movement to stretch often.
  • Two or three screens at eye level is one of the best ways to protect your neck.
  • A standing desk is better for your health and wellbeing than sitting.

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Working from home? Here’s how to set up your workstation ergonomically

4 Areas of Focus for an Ergonomic Office

Setting up an office at home can be difficult. For one, you are limited by the space in your home. And even if there is enough room, you are on a tight budget and cannot afford to purchase all of the furniture that would make sense for your work environment. But it doesn’t have to be this way!

Here are four areas that you should focus on when setting up an ergonomic office at home:

  • Find the best spot: Your environment plays a crucial role in your productivity. It’s important to pick a space that you know will have little distraction and promote productivity. This can be an empty room with natural lighting or a corner in the living room. If you don’t have much space, this is your opportunity to get creative, just make sure you are out of the way, and no one will get in your way while working.
  • Invest in your career and future: Don’t settle for just what you have. If you’re going to be working at home, you need to have a proper office set up to ensure nothing gets in your way when achieving your career goals. It’s recommended that you purchase office appliances and equipment that is durable and of high quality.
  • Comfort is still key: Just because you’re still working doesn’t mean you have to ditch some of the comforts of working from home. Utilise comfy pillows, use blankets when it gets cold, or invest in an ergonomic chair.
  • Invest in a few good pieces: You may be feeling a little resentful of your in-office colleagues right now. They can go to their office and have all the ergonomic desk items they need, while you’re stuck at home or at your day job trying to get some work done. But with a few smart investments, you can set up an ergonomically ideal workspace for yourself. You’ll feel much better about working from home when you know that everything is easy on your body even if it’s hard on your ego.

10 Top Design Tips for an Ergonomic Home Office

Make Leg Room a Priority.

Sufficient legroom is always an important part of working, especially when you know you’ll be sitting in the same place for extended periods. Make sure you can comfortably move your legs up, down, and around, stretch them if need be, and can get in and out of your chair with ease.

Protect Your Back

Many of us tend to slouch or hunch our backs when sitting and using a computer. This can cause unnecessary pain and constant uncomfortably. When working from home, make sure to protect your back. Choose a cozy chair that encourages a straight spine, perform regular back stretching exercises, and be mindful of your posture throughout your workday. 

Support Your Feet

Nobody can see your feet when you’re working from home, so you no longer have to suffer wearing uncomfortable feet all day long. However, while going barefoot is highly beneficial for your feet and health, a hasty transition can cause foot and leg staring and pain. Therefore it’s important to take your time to transition into wearing no shoes over an extended period of time to allow your feet to adjust fully.

Keep Your Screen at Eye Level

Laptops are notorious for causing back, neck, and shoulder pain. Gazing downward towards your laptop screen below can result in serious back and neck pain. To avoid this, level your laptop screen so that it’s at eye level. You can do this by perching atop either a stack of books or with an adjustable laptop mount.

posture

Get the Right Angle With 2 Screens

Lighting can have a huge impact on both your eye functioning and productivity. There are two types of lighting: ambient and task lighting. For a home office space, it’s recommended to have a bright light illuminating your workspace as this protects your eyes from straining due to the harsh computer screen light. Try to avoid sunlight shining from behind you as this can cause an annoying glare on your screen.

Rig Up a Standing Desk

It’s not healthy for your physical and mental well-being to sit all day long. It can cause health problems both in the short and long term. The new trend, which is proven to be better for your health and even assists in weight loss, is to stand and work. You can easily incorporate this into your working routine by purchasing an ergonomic desk, which allows you to stand or sit with an adjustable height range.

Keep Your Keyboard in Reach

Wrist and arm pain can lead you towards unproductivity, especially if your work is mainly done on laptops. It’s important to have your keyboard in the right place to avoid such pains. Place your keyboard at elbow height, ensuring that your elbows hang loosely and comfortably at your side. When you type, if your keyboard has been set up correctly, your wrists shouldn’t move around but remain straight.

Cushion Your Wrists

As mentioned before, wrist pain is an unnecessary burden that can cause unproductivity and frustration but an issue that can easily be avoided. To protect your wrists and avoid any damage being done, cushion them. You can do this by placing a small towel, a ball of socks, or using a proper wrist rest.

Make Your Phone Hands-Free

If you have to make and answer numerous calls throughout the day, constantly using your hands or tilt your neck to answer the phone and type on the computer, you will be prone to getting neck pain. To avoid this and protect this area of the body during work hours, try going hands-free with your cellphone. Utilise headphones, headsets, or a specialised earpiece so you can answer your phone with ease and never have to worry about neck pain.

Frequently asked questions and answers

  • How can I make my home office ergonomic?

    There are a few things you must prioritise to curate an ergonomic home office. First, choose the right space where there is little distraction. Ensure the lighting is correct and not causing a glare on your screen. Opt for a comfortable chair or a standing desk, and make sure your computer or laptop screen is on eye level to avoid neck pain. Protect your wrists by investing in a wrist rest or get creative with towels and socks. When working from home, you have the freedom of movement, so don’t forget to take the opportunity to walk around, move your muscles, and stretch often.
  • What are three good ergonomic practices for working in a home office?

    Don’t hunch or slouch over your laptop or computer screen. Remain mindful of your posture, correct yourself when you are slouching, get up and stretch often, and ensure that your screen is on eye level and not looking down. Choose the desk that has the perfect height for you. This can mean that your arms and elbows rest comfortably at your side when you type, and your wrists remain straight when you are typing. It’s recommended to use at least two screens if you can to avoid neck pain.
  • How much does it cost to set up a home office?

    The cost of setting up an ergonomic home office depends entirely on you and what you are willing to invest in. If you want a minimalistic and simple office set-up, it could end up costing you as little as $50 to organise the correct tools. However, if you know, you will be working from home for a while or even indefinitely, it’s recommended that you invest in yourself. Purchase a second or third screen, buy a standing desk, and ensure you have all the appliances you will ever need.
  • How do I set up a small home office?

    First, analyse your surroundings and pick the best spot for your office setup. Make sure it’s an open space that will allow for comfortable legroom, some natural lighting but not direct light, and few distractions. Purchase a comfortable office chair and invest in a reasonably sized desk. Organise all of your tools, equipment, and appliances and keep your space decluttered and simple. Ensure that your screen is sitting at eye level and maybe even invest in two or three screens.
  • What is the first step in setting up a home office?

    The very first step in setting up a home office is to choose the right space. This area must be decluttered and simple and away from any home distractions. Make sure you can make your space more private. Your new work area also needs to allow for comfortability and ample legroom to ensure productivity and reduce back, neck, or body pain. Ensure the lighting isn’t facing your computer screen, as this will cause a frustrating glare over your screen.

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