Guide to Creating an Ergonomic Home Office
Building a new home office or updating your existing one? This guide will help you create a healthy home office setup with the right furniture and layout.
Whether you are working in the office or at home, you are prone to experiencing backaches and fatigue caused by long hours of sitting. During the pandemic, we were trained to make creative decisions about setting up our home offices, especially when we had limited space and resources. While it's virtually convenient to use what's available in your home, like your dining chair and a spare table, improvising your major home office furniture may affect your health and productivity. If your chair hurts your back and keeps you unfocused, it's time to make your well-deserved upgrade.
What is Ergonomics?
A sedentary lifestyle such as what you usually do when you work in your office affects your overall wellness. If you spend your day sitting and doing minimal movements, you compromise the health of your spine. Ergonomics helps you balance sitting and movement while supporting your body in doing so.
Ergonomics is the science of designing things based on how the body works. Have you ever experienced adjusting your car's seat to support your posture and keep your feet comfortable? An ergonomic office chair does the same thing as it provides lumbar support and adjustable features to fit your personal needs.
Choose a Suitable Office Chair
Spending eight to nine hours a day sitting or doing repetitive tasks can take a toll on your body. Lack of lumbar support may cause chronic back pain and more severe injuries. Additionally, poor seat design can affect your job performance due to pain and distractions.
An ergonomic office chair is one of the essential parts of an ergonomic office. This furniture not only provides a comfortable area to sit on, but it also supports your neck, shoulder, back, and lower body when you sit.
How to find the right ergonomic office chair?
When changing your current chair, it's important that the new one is an upgrade of your old furniture. Here are some qualities to consider when buying your ergonomic chair:
Take note that your feet must lay flat on the floor while sitting on an ergonomic chair. Moreover, your thighs must be placed parallel to the floor, and your knees must be bent to 90 degrees. Ergonomic office chairs are adjustable to cater to people with different heights.
One of the most important features of an ergonomic office chair is its lumbar support. When sitting on an ergonomic office chair, your back must be contoured by the padding or mesh material of your chair. This reduces the pressure on your back, preventing back pains and injuries caused by the lack of lumbar support.
Your seat's armrests must support the length of your forearm while providing support to your shoulders. Some office chairs don't have armrests which is okay, especially when the armrests don't support the right sitting posture. This also helps if you don't have enough space in your office. A chair without an armrest can easily be tucked under the table.
The length of your seat pan must be long enough to support your thighs without hitting the back of your knees.
Get the Right Office Desk
If you are an office worker who spends most of your time at your table, it's important to choose an ergonomic office table that will support your posture and is spacious enough to get through your tasks.
How to find the right ergonomic office table?
Like your office chair, your table should support you based on your body's requirements and the nature of your tasks. If you currently use your dining table to work, you are contributing to the distraction of your body. This is because dining tables are usually taller to support dinnerware than a laptop.
Your desk must not be too high or too low for your seat. Something that is too high will affect the comfort of your arms, while a desk that is too low will hurt your back. The right desk height must allow your legs to be tucked under the table even in a cross-legged position. When resting your arms, the angle of your forearms must be at 90 degrees, ensuring that your arms and shoulders won't suffer from fatigue.
When buying an office desk, note that there are varieties with adjustable height that can support both seating and standing. These are called standing desks. If you want to purchase one, make sure to set it up at your elbow level when standing, forming a 90-degree angle. This is to prevent your arms from straining.
Fix Your Monitor Placement
While it's essential to get the right ergonomic office chair and table, you should not overlook the importance of your monitor placement.
Aside from back and shoulder pain, employees who work for hours in front of the computer suffer from eye conditions and neck pain. To avoid slouching and straining your eyes, position your monitor 20 inches to the front, 20 degrees from your eyes. When looking at the monitor, ensure that its upper part is at or below eye level. This is to prevent your neck from looking up at an uncomfortable height.
To protect your eyes from too much exposure to blue light, do the 20-20-20 method once in a while. Once exposed to your computer screen for 20 minutes, look away for 20 seconds to let your eyes rest. A better option is to look as far as 20 feet away from your monitor. Also, stand once in a while and take some breaks.
A good solution to lessen your exposure to harmful radiation is to wear glasses that eliminate blue light. Invite natural light into your room to give you a good view of your workstation and prevent your eyes from straining.
Get the Right Storage and Equipment
Your office is not complete without the right tools to help you accomplish your tasks. Remove the clutter from your home office and organise your files with suitable office storage solutions. For a compact office, a mobile pedestal is a good choice to keep your files in place. You can also buy a desk with built-in storage. If you need bigger storage, choose a filing cabinet to keep your files and equipment in place.
Working from home comes with many limitations, especially within your flat, where you can't simply install everything you need is truly challenging. But having the right office furniture and making a few adjustments in your surroundings can make your work from home experience worthwhile.
For more design tips, tricks, home and office furniture solutions online in Singapore, connect with us at Megafurniture.sg.