Working from home is comfortable, but are you getting too comfortable? Take a second right now to assess where you’re sitting, your posture, and when you last got up for a stretch. Chances are you haven’t considered any of these things today—and your back and neck may even be starting to ache because of it.
Proper desk ergonomics in your home workspace is critical. While it may be tempting to just use whatever surface and sitting area is available to you, this can quickly become detrimental to your health. Did you know the average cost of chronic low back pain is $100K over the span of your lifetime? Yikes.
Not only can thoughtful ergonomic design reduce the likelihood of long-term injury and pain but it will also likely boost your productivity as well. Who’s going to say no to that?
So, let’s look at what an ergonomically correct workspace looks like, what you can do to achieve proper desk ergonomics in your home office, and how BoxAV can help.
In an ergonomically pleasing work environment, your back is straight against the back of your chair. Your hands and arms are positioned at keyboard level, making typing effortless and diminishing your chances of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Your feet are positioned flat on the floor or base of your desk, and your eyes are facing the screen at a 45-degree angle.
This is simple enough to achieve in theory, but in reality, it takes considerable support to hold your body in this position. The key to achieving this is using adjustable equipment, which enables you to mold your office around your body.
The first piece of equipment to consider is your chair. Most office chairs are built with ergonomics in mind, although they often aren’t used as intended. Take this opportunity to adjust your chair accordingly. Lower your seat so that your feet are sitting flat on the floor (on a footrest or the base of your desk are okay, too) and your thighs are parallel to the floor. There should be approximately two inches between your knees and the edge of your seat. Your armrests should be parallel with the desk so that your arms can rest flat while typing and using your mouse. Leave the back of your chair unlocked so your upper body can move freely as needed.
Next, you’ll need to look at your desk, the centerpiece of your workspace. Proper desk ergonomics are the most important because this is the piece of equipment that everything else works around. Your desk should have ample space for your feet, knees, and thighs to move around. An adjustable desk is best, but if your desk is not adjustable, you can use blocks to lift it to an appropriate position. Additionally, it is best not to store anything underneath your desk as it can be tempting to lean against these objects, throwing off your natural posture.
Finally, you need to adjust the positioning of your computer monitor to accommodate your posture. To find the right position for your computer, simply extend your arms in front of you and note the place your middle fingers reach. This is where your monitor should be placed. The top line of your screen should be at or below eye level.
If you are struggling to make adjustments for your chair, desk, and monitor, we recommend using this ergonomics calculator to make the calculations for you. Simply enter your height and the calculator will return sitting and standing heights for your eyes, elbows, and seat. It even provides a free pdf for you to print for later reference.
If you are prone to chronic back and joint pain, you might also consider purchasing a curved ergonomic keyboard and mouse. These are specially designed to accommodate the natural positioning of your wrists and fingers to reduce pressure when typing, pointing, and clicking.
Of course, you need to work on your natural posture as well. Holding your body in a healthy position takes practice, so be disciplined and invest some time into learning your new ergonomic routine.
Don’t forget to check in on your employees to make sure that they are practicing proper desk ergonomics in their home workspaces as well. This will increase productivity and save you money on health benefits in the long run.
Our Executive Office in a Box is an excellent first step to achieving proper desk ergonomics in your home workspace and theirs. The package features an adjustable sit-stand desk and a curved monitor with optional monitor arm for easier adjustment. Additionally, you’ll receive a sleek wireless headset, two easy laptop/desktop connections, free training, speedy tech support, a 3-year warranty, and more.
Get in touch with us to find out more about how we can provide you and your team with an ergonomically correct work environment at home and beyond. We look forward to hearing from you!