When designing their home offices, people quickly identify the basic items they’ll need: computer, computer workstation, office equipment, office chair (called a task chair), cabinets, printer, and other items.
One important area that often gets overlooked is office ergonomics. Despite all that has been written and said, it’s easy to forget this important element. Fortunately, it’s just as easy to incorporate ergonomics into your home office and home office furniture. Here are some tips to help you.
Ergonomic seating: Arguably the most important part of your office from an ergonomic standpoint is your office chair. A good ergonomic office chair features, at a minimum, adjustable arm rests and seat height, lower lumbar support (the backrest is curved inward), and tilt control. Seat and arm rest adjustments are straightforward. The backrest should support your lower back – you should feel it pushing against you – and be adjusted so you’re sitting nearly perpendicular to the floor. You should not be slouching forward.
Wrist pad: Keeps your wrist at a proper angle to minimize strain.
Mouse tray: Attaches to a bottom outside corner of your keyboard tray. Is designed to keep the mouse in a comfortable location and support your wrist.
An ergonomic keyboard and mouse are other useful items to consider.
Monitor: Ideally at least 20″ away. Also, adjust your seat height so your eyes are no lower than the mid point of your screen. Your head will always be at a slightly downward angle. If your seat is set too low, you’ll be constantly looking upward which can be tiring.
In addition, you may find that a monitor screen helps cut down on glare. Long stretches at the computer can cause eye strain. (One of the reasons for doing exercises. See below.)
Lighting: Softer light off to the side or embedded in the ceiling. Position the lamp so light is not reflecting directly off the monitor.
Exercise at work to stay flexible and relieve stress
Even if you’ve designed an ergonomic office for your home, you cannot escape the natural stresses of sitting at an office desk for extended periods of time. You need to give yourself a break once in awhile. I discuss simple stretching exercises you can perform in this column.
An ergonomic home office, centered around an ergonomic office chair, can make a world of difference in your business. Take the time to incorporate ergonomics, and you’ll literally feel better.
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For additional information of value to you and your business, see “Adding to my collection of business development materials” and “Good signage is important for health of your business.”
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