Elevate your productivity and your health with simple home office ergonomics

African American man using a standing desk to work at a computer

If you’re working from home, you may find your home office just isn't cutting it. Creating an ergonomic office space has benefits that go beyond productivity – it can also positively impact your physical and mental health. An ergonomically friendly office space can:

  • Reduce muscle, joint and eye strain
  • Increase energy levels and productivity
  • Improve focus and concentration
  • Promote better sleep
  • Lower the risk of long-term physical and mental health conditions

Is work a pain in the neck? Find comfort with these office ergonomics tips

If you work behind a desk for extended periods of time, you might have experienced pain in your neck, back, wrists or fingers. However, you don't have to resign yourself to a career of discomfort. By following proper office ergonomics, you can create a comfortable, healthy workspace.

  • Chair: Adjust your chair so that your feet rest flat on the floor or on a footrest, and your thighs are parallel to the floor. Your arms should rest gently on the armrests with your shoulders relaxed.
  • Keyboard and mouse: Position your mouse within easy reach and on the same surface as your keyboard. Keyboard shortcuts can reduce extended mouse use. Alternate the hand you use to operate the mouse when possible.
  • Phone: If you frequently talk on the phone and type or write at the same time, place your phone on speaker or use a headset instead of cradling the phone between your head and neck.
  • Desk: Make sure there's clearance for your knees, legs and feet under your desk. Use a footrest if necessary and pad the edge of your desk or use a wrist rest if it has a hard edge.
  • Monitor: Place your monitor directly in front of you with the top of the screen at or slightly below eye level and the monitor directly behind your keyboard. Place your monitor so that the brightest light source is to the side.

Level up your setup with these six helpful office add-ons

Beyond the home office basics, there are some unique additions that can take your workspace to the next level. Treating yourself to these add-ons will not only boost your comfort, but also reduce the risk of long-term health problems. Your body (and mind) will thank you!

  1. Ergonomic mouse: This can help prevent common conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis.
  2. Adjustable standing desk: Alternating between sitting and standing throughout the day reduces the amount of time you spend in one position.
  3. Footrest: If your feet don't reach the ground when you're sitting in your chair, use a footrest to improve your posture and reduce strain on your back and legs.
  4. Lumbar support pillow: Placed behind your lower back, this helps reduce lower back pain.
  5. Monitor arm: Adjusting the height and angle of your computer screen reduces strain on your neck and shoulders.
  6. Noise-canceling headphones: Use headphones to stay focused and productive, even when you are working in a noisy environment.

Sources: Mayo Clinic, Ergonomics Health Association, Verywell Health

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