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Jun 17, 2021
In recent years there has been an upward trend of people in all types of industries working from home more and more. When the recent COVID-19 pandemic struck, a whopping 51% of full-time employees reported working entirely from home. While the pandemic certainly impacted these numbers, a celebrated Stanford economist has discussed the extreme likelihood that the continuation of working from home will continue long after the pandemic ends.
With working from home comes new considerations for home office setups. We’re taking a look at creating an inspiring and ergonomic workspace at home that protects your overall health and boosts productivity.
What Is An Ergonomic Workspace?
Ergonomics is the science of altering your workspace to maximize comfort. In addition to being comfortable, however, it has also been shown to increase productivity, boost morale, and amp up efficiency. As we move into a new era filled with more work from home opportunities than ever before, it’s important to create an ergonomic workspace setup that will cater to your needs.
An ergonomic workspace setup is more than just having easy access to what you need to do your job. Creating an ergonomic workspace is about creating an environment in which your productivity is maximized through consideration of your health, workflow, and even the design of the tools you use.
How to Create Your Ergonomic Workspace Setup
So then how do you go about creating an inspiring and ergonomic workspace at home? It’s easy! Simply design your home office with you in mind. You may want to consider heated massage chair benefits for back pain, creating a setup for good posture, and any accessories that may help protect your physical and mental health while you work.
A few easy ways to make an ergonomic workspace setup include:
- Choose an ergonomic office chair
- Adjust your home office desk
- Set monitor positioning appropriately
- Choose the right home office tools
- Organize your home office workspace
Choose an Ergonomic Home Office Chair
To kick off our exploration of creating an ergonomic workspace setup we’re taking a look at arguably the most important element for your home office: your chair. Choosing an ergonomic home office chair isn’t just about comfort, it’s also about how it supports your body. Does it provide lumbar support for good posture? Is it the right height from the floor for an ergonomic setup?
For a traditional office chair, you want to make sure your feet are able to sit flat on the floor with your thighs roughly parallel to the floor, as well. This is an appropriate height for your ergonomic workspace. Additionally, you may want to choose a chair with armrests that adjust vertically as well as inwardly to support the full length of your forearm. For a traditional office chair, having lumbar support and a back that reclines slightly is also important.
As home office setups modernize, choosing an ergonomic home office chair hair evolved, too. If you’re using a laptop, for example, you’re no longer limited to a chair that will fit directly under your desk. Instead, consider an ergonomic massage chair as a unique alternative. Combined with the proper laptop desk accessories, a massage chair is perfect for your ergonomic workspace. Not only do these provide the support and comfort you need, but the massage chair benefits for health are ones you won’t want to miss.
Full body massages reduce stress (who hasn’t had a stressful day at work before?) and can even help boost energy levels to keep you at peak productivity throughout the entire workday. Aside from making great alternative ergonomic home office chair selections, some luxury massage chairs can continue to make your life easier by connecting to smart home devices. While not strictly part of ergonomics, per se, learning how to make your home a smart home can go a long way in optimizing your home office setup for your needs!
Get an Adjustable Office Desk for Your Ergonomic Workspace
Perhaps the second most obvious and critical component of creating an ergonomic workspace setup is a home office desk. For a truly ergonomic workspace, get an adjustable office desk that you can change to fit the perfect height.
In an ergonomic workspace setup you should be able to get your legs comfortably under the desk with enough room to cross them. Typically this ranges in height from 25 inches to 30 inches. While working at your desk, the angle between your forearm and upper arm should be roughly 90 to 110 degrees. Current ergonomic standards suggest adjustable office desks as you can change the height throughout the day to force different posturing and avoid fatigue.
So why all the fuss about desk height? If your home office desk is too low, you’ll find yourself subconsciously leaning forward and craning your neck downward to work. This can lead to back and neck pain as time goes on. Conversely, if your desk height is too high it can cause strain on your forearms as you type or use your desk throughout the day.
Another benefit to having an adjustable office desk as part of your ergonomic workspace is that you can alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day. Even if you’ve opted for choosing a massage chair to work from, studies have shown standing periodically throughout the day helps keep your blood circulating and can reduce adverse effects of sitting all day such as increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
Choose the Best Computer Monitor Position for an Ergonomic Desk Setup
If you’ve ever felt pain while working at a home office setup you might not have realized it could be coming from how you have your computer monitor arranged. Poorly placed computer monitors can lead to neck and shoulder pain as well as headaches, back pain, and a number of other health ailments.
In an ergonomic workspace setup, the top of your monitor should be at or below eye level. It should be at arm’s length away from your face and tilted at an ideal angle of 10 to 20 degrees. This computer monitor positioning optimized your view while preventing you from having to angle your neck or bend your back to work.
If you’re wanting to consider all the factors for an ergonomic workspace, your monitor brightness should also be 100-150 cd/m2 for offices with typical brightness between 300 and 500 lux (a unit of illumination created by the International System of Units). While it may seem like a minute detail, these standards for ergonomics workspaces help prevent eye strain and muscle fatigue as you continue your workday.
Get Ergonomic Workspace Home Office Accessories
Creating an ergonomic workspace doesn’t stop at learning how to choose a massage chair as an office chair alternative or buying an adjustable office desk. An ergonomic workspace needs to have the right home office accessories, as well. These tools are meant to help increase your productivity and maintain your efficiency throughout the day. For example, having blue light blockers is essential to protect your eyes from muscle strain and fatigue. They can also help prevent headaches that are often associated with staring at screens for too long.
Another home office accessory you may want is a laptop desk. This allows you to move away from your regular adjustable office desk and work from another spot without sacrificing ergonomics. If you’re wanting to use a massage chair, for example, you may have a difficult time fitting it against a traditional desk. Instead, a laptop desk lets you use it while simultaneously experiencing the benefits of owning a massage chair such as heat therapy benefits, light therapy treatments, or even reclining in zero gravity position to help with back pain prevention.
Other ergonomic home office accessories you may consider getting include an ergonomic keyboard and mouse combination. This can save your wrists from pain and help prevent potentially serious development like carpal tunnel syndrome.
Organize Your Home Office Workspace for Efficiency
Last up in our checklist for creating an inspiring and ergonomic workspace at home is to organize your home office workspace for efficiency. Experts at the Occupational Safety and Health Association have recommended organizing your home office desk into reach zones. These zones are defined by which items you’ll need throughout your day.
The first zone is meant to be within arm’s reach and is reserved for items you need constantly throughout the day such as a keyboard and mouse. The next zone is defined as able to be reached without having to bend at the waist and is meant for frequent use items like stationery or a notepad. The third ergonomic reach zone is defined as items you can reach for by bending at the waist but without standing up and should be items you don’t need very often.
Beyond these ergonomic reach zones should only be storage. Any items that you need for your day should be within one of the three primary ergonomic reach zones for optimal efficiency and health.
Hopefully this exploration of creating an ergonomic workspace at home has inspired some ideas for your home office setup! When it comes down to it, making an ergonomic workspace setup is about protecting your health and increasing your productivity. Even while you’re working it’s important to take care of yourself and be mindful of your movements and posture. So try out an adjustable office desk or choose a massage chair to relax your body as you work and see what home office setup works best for your needs.
Massage chairs are great for more than alternatives to traditional office chairs. Take a look at these resources to see how they can improve your lifestyle all around: