As many organisations implement a hybrid work system, most of us would be switching between working at the office and home. While it may be hard to convince your boss to invest in ergonomic products, we can do so for our home office, ensuring that they are a safe and healthy place to work at. Doing so reduces the risk of injuring yourself, increases work comfort and ensures that you remain focused and productive.
While many would recommend changing your whole workstation and swapping for an ergonomic table and chair, you can make many adjustments in your work life using items that you can find at home or with inexpensive purchases. Here are four ergonomic areas that you need to look out for to improve your work life. However, before we get started, it is critical to consider the type of work we are doing to match better the equipment we need.
What do I need for the type of work I am doing?
Are you using a laptop, tablet, or desktop? How many monitors are you currently using? Do you need to refer to physical copies often? These are some of the considerations you can take note of when improving your home set-up ergonomics.
How you customise your workstation depends on how you spend your work time. Do you type for an extended period? Are you a graphic designer who works heavily with a stylus? If you are doing something for hours, then customise your workstation to ensure that it is comfortable and safe for that task.
Four ergonomic areas to look out for
1. Head, neck, and shoulders
It is important to note that your head and neck must be vertically aligned to reduce injury to your neck, shoulders, and back. While most people work at home, their computer screen is lower than eye level, resulting in most developing a forward stretched neck.
It might be better to use a laptop riser for long-term health benefits that will raise your laptop to your eye level. (Hint: a sit stand desk converter works great as well!) If you are using a monitor, you can use books or boxes to raise it to a comfortable eye level, ensuring that your head and neck are in a comfortable position. Additionally, using an external mouse and keyboard will help you not have to reach to type.
2. Position of our hand and wrist
Similar to how we need to achieve for our head and neck, our hands and wrist should also be in an aligned position. To accomplish that, either adjust the height of your chair or table or shift the keyboard away or towards you. The key is to ensure that your arms and wrists are flushed straight and flat to the table. The arms should not bend outwards or across your body.
3. Right posture of sitting and back support
Most people have the misconception that the best and correct position that we should be sitting at is 90 degrees. However, the proper ergonomics suggest that our body sits slightly leaned back, with proper lower back support.
Most people would have a chair that can lean back. However, if you do not already have an ergonomic mesh office chair, some tips you may consider are putting a towel, cushion or pillow behind your lower back that will act as lumbar support and allow your sitting position to assume a natural one. Additionally, shorter people might find that using a footrest enables them to plant their feet properly, which engages the proper posture.
4. Work smart
The recommended routine is to take a short break and stand every 20-30 minutes of sitting time. Moving improves blood circulation, performance, and comfort. All in all, try to make specific changes to your current work habits by limiting the duration you are repeatedly doing.
For example, if your role involves you typing for an extended period, consider using a dictation mode or a voice-to-text app to reduce the time spent typing on the keyboard.
Customising your home office ergonomically is like piecing together a puzzle. It takes every small step to improve the ergonomics of your workstation considerably. Most people assume that investing in a proper ergo office chair is sufficient. The combined effect of implementing all four areas mentioned above in setting up an ergonomic office is much more significant than the effect of making just an individual change.
While all these minor steps are there to improve your work posture, it is still recommended to invest in an ergonomic table and chair if possible. TakeAseat.sg aims to help you with achieving so. We are a furniture shop that specialises in ergonomic products. We provide ergonomic solutions for every part of your and your family’s life, from ergonomic office chairs and electric adjustable tables to sofas and school bags.
Start browsing our extensive range of products online today!