Work-from-home – it could be the new normal. But unfortunately you can’t expect to keep sitting at your kitchen table and not develop at least some aches and pains. Read on to for our best advice on setting up your home office ergonomically:
1. Stop using your laptop as a laptop
When you work at a laptop, your neck is aggravated by looking down and your shoulders are aggravated by hunching up. The solution is to separate the monitor from the keyboard. Either use an external monitor or raise your laptop with books or a cardboard box and use it as a screen only with an external keyboard and mouse.
2. Invest in a good office chair
You’re probably spending many hours at your computer, maybe even more since you work from home now. Your body can’t tolerate the uncomfortable, non-adjustable kitchen chair on a long-term basis. Look for a chair with comfortable padding or mesh, adjustable lumbar support, adjustable seat depth, and armrests that lower completely or no arm rests at all.
3. Consider a height adjustable desk or keyboard tray
The best height for your keyboard and mouse is where your arms are by your side, your elbows are at 90 degrees of flexion, and your forearms are parallel to the ground. The most comfortable solution is an adjustable keyboard and mouse tray mounted under your existing desk. A height adjustable desk is the next best solution. And if neither of these are available, raise your chair and use a footrest to support your feet.
4. Raise your monitor
Proper monitor height is when your eyes are level with the top of your monitor. If your monitor is too low, raise it with books or a cardboard box.
5. Move your monitor closer or farther
A good rule of thumb is to have your monitor an arms’ length away. Move your monitor closer or farther to find that sweet spot of vision.
6. Place your monitor in front of you
If you don’t have your monitor right in front of you, neck strain can develop from off-center viewing.
7. If you use two monitors
Place your main monitor in front and your secondary monitor to the side (it doesn’t matter which side). If you use your monitors equally, place them in front of you with the screens touching.
8. Check your visuals
Place your computer beside the window, not in front of you or behind, or draw your blinds to reduce glare. Try to have the monitor brightness the same as the room brightness to reduce eye fatigue. Use a diffuse light that directs light to the ceiling for most optimal computer lighting.
Move around in your chair as much as possible. Change position every 5 minutes.
10. Take activity and eye breaks
Walk 50 steps every hour, and every 20 minutes stand and stretch while looking to a far distance. Blood flow from activity is key in reducing aches and pains from sitting too long.
Be kind to your body and it will be kind to you! If you need help with any of the above, please comment below.