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An ergonomically safe home office delivers many valuable benefits. A variety of statistics prove that it enhances productivity, enables people to avoid serious health problems and decreases missed days of work. By preventing fatigue, it also reduces mistakes. These tips can help you improve the ergonomics of your office:
1. Table or Desk
Consider using an adjustable work surface that lets you choose between sitting and standing. People generally experience less neck, shoulder and back discomfort when they spend less time sitting. Try to alternate between standing and sitting every half-hour. Just standing one more hour per day could substantially improve your health.
2. Computer Screen
Try to place your monitor or notebook computer screen about 50 to 100 centimeters away from your face (20 to 40 inches). Its height also holds great importance. Your eyes should line up with the upper portion of the display when you look straight ahead. It’s best if you can see everything on the monitor without moving your body.
Only use two screens when it’s truly necessary. This is rarely as ergonomic as using a single monitor. Center the primary display on your desk, and put the second monitor next to it. You should still follow the above-mentioned distance and eye level recommendations.
3. Office Chair
Select a cushioned adjustable chair that supports your lower back and allows you to place both feet on your office’s floor. An alternative is to use a separate footrest. This accessory helps promote healthy blood circulation. Armrests are optional; try to set them at a height that doesn’t strain your shoulders.
It’s wise to choose a highly adjustable desk light. You should be able to change the angle and move it around with ease. Overhead lighting and excessively bright bulbs often cause eyestrain. If you experience problems with glare, experiment with different monitor brightness settings and color combinations.
Light from windows can also strain your eyes. Work on arranging your home office so that there should be at least one meter or yard between your monitor and the nearest window. Consider using a combination of blinds and curtains on sunny days. Polarized filters and monitor visors can help counteract some types of glare.
5. Keyboard, Mouse
Your keyboard and mouse or trackball ought to be easily reachable. You shouldn’t have to bend your wrists or stretch out your arms to use these devices. Make sure your wrists aren’t pushed against a hard surface (like the desk or keyboard edge). If necessary, reposition your equipment or buy wrist rest(s).
Your keyboard ought to be placed at approximately the same height as your elbow. Both your elbows and knees should remain bent while you work. This is only possible at the right desk and chair heights. Optimal positioning can prevent carpal tunnel syndrome as well as shoulder and back pain.
Regardless of how ergonomic your home office becomes, it remains important to take breaks. Remember to look away from the screen and blink your eyes. Stand up for a minute or two at least twice every hour. This may seem insignificant, but it will make a difference in your health and long-term productivity.