Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are working from home than ever before. For some, working from home is the norm; but for others, it’s a brand new experience. Many employees who have never had to work remotely before must now create a home office for themselves. Interestingly, this isn’t exactly a common sense task. Sure, most people know what an office should contain: a desk, a computer, a chair–what’s so hard about that? While it may be easy to get the basics together, it’s common for the end result to be ergonomically incorrect. Working in an office environment that’s not ergonomical could result in some acute and chronic health issues. Follow these 5 tips to ensure that your home office is ergonomically sound.
Sit Level With Your Desk
Most desks are either 29 or 30 inches high. This is high for most people. Don’t make the mistake of sitting on a chair that doesn’t allow you to sit level with your desk. Many chairs will give you the ability to raise the height, but even then this might not be enough. Before blindly buying a desk and chair, be sure to choose something that makes sense for your personal height. If you’re 5 feet and 5 inches tall, then you’re probably going to need a chair that sits higher than the standard 20 inches; otherwise, you can consider purchasing a desk that sits lower than 30 inches.
Your Arms Should Be at a 90 Degree Angle
When typing, your arms should be at a 90 degree angle. If you find yourself lifting your arms to reach your keyboard, then you need to sit higher up; on the other hand, if you find yourself reaching low to type, then the keyboard may need to sit higher. Truly, the most ergonomic position for your keyboard is close to your lap. This is why keyboard trays can be so appealing and effective.
Your Monitor Should Be At Eye Level
One of the biggest issues with laptops is that they force us to look down. If you’ve ever had to use a laptop on your lap for a long period, then you’re probably no stranger to the neck pain that can come soon afterwards. To avoid short and long-term neck issues, make sure that your monitor is set at eye level. If your monitor sits lower on your desk now, then you can use a ream of paper to give it a boost.
If Your Feet Hang Off The Ground, Get a Foot Rest
Your feet should not be dangling all day. This could cut circulation to your legs. Instead, support your feet with a footrest. This will ensure that you are stable, and are properly aligned with your desk.
Tilt Your Chair Back Slightly
Ideally, you should be using a chair with lumbar support. In addition, you should be sitting back in it slightly. You shouldn’t be sitting up straight and rigid all day; keep your butt aligned with the back of the seat and lean back.