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Working from Home? Let’s Make Home Office More Ergonomic

When we get something new, may it be a gadget, clothes, or a vehicle, we put it through paces. We check its materials, how it will hold up to some benchmark test, and some even break it in.

We can even imitate some reviewers online and do whatever they do just to test it for ourselves. 

However, there are some things that we are taking for granted all this time. You may not be starting to see its effects on your body yet, but one of these days, it will

Whether it be through work or play, we all subject ourselves to some type of physical exertion. Even some mundane tasks, if done repeatedly, can result in some kind of affliction.             

Now that we are working from home that does not exempt us from the same condition we go through when we are at the office

Speaking of the office, as mentioned earlier, even if you do not do much physically intensive work, you can still suffer from stress and fatigue.

Mitigating and implementing something for our working from home setup would help in the long run.

An effective way to do this is by applying ergonomics.

Why does Ergonomics Matter?

Ergonomics is the science of designing and arranging interaction between people and objects most efficiently and safely.

Comfort and productivity are the two crucial factors when it comes to ergonomics.

When we talk about comfort: what we ought to understand is the absence of pain. That meant preventing and stopping any sort of pain while we are at work or anywhere, we may be, for that matter.

That is because it has some connection with our productivity. When we are experiencing any pain, our thoughts are not on what we are doing but the urge to ease the pain or have access to any medicine or otherwise that would alleviate discomfort.

However, years of studying the relation and interaction of humans with objects have resulted in a science that is ergonomics.

Things To Remember

The rule of thumb here is our body must always be in a “neutral posture.” It should not be a constraint and hyperextended because either way will cause pain. Nothing must be tilted or exert some pressure. 

Here are some pointers we should consider:

  1. Head and neck

If you are using either a laptop or a desktop, chances are you are looking down at the screen, and your heads and neck are both facing downward. That will be a source of pain in the long run.

  1. Hand and Wrist

When typing, the hand and wrist must also be in a neutral posture. All your extremities from the elbows, forearms, wrist, and hands must be flat on the surface of the table. There should never be a hinge on your wrist. Moreover, the arms must not be either bend out or across the midline of the body.

  1. The Right Seating Postures

The seating position must be slightly leaning back. If you are sitting at a 90-degree angle, you are doing it wrong

  1. Behavior

Productivity does not always mean working straight hours and only stopping on the usual breaks. Experts advised us to take frequent short breaks.

How to make your work from a home office ergonomic

To achieve the abovementioned rule of thumb, you must follow the succeeding guides:

  1. Desk

The quick method to find the most comfortable position to work with is to take measurements of your elbow relative to the ground. That is for the desk standing. Measure the elbow flat on the surface as you will place it on top of the keyboard and mouse. That will be a factor in choosing the proper chair height for you.

  1. Chair

The key here is to have a chair with adjustable heights. Once you get the measurement prescribed above,

It is also advisable to have a chair with lumbar support. There are also separate lumbar support products there.

  1. Monitor

You will be staring are the monitor longer than you are typing or clicking the computer mouse. It is only proper to have a neutral posture for your head and neck. Having the monitor elevated is the best way to achieve this. The top of the monitor ought to be at your eye level to accomplish this.

That is also applicable to those who choose to have a multiple-screen setup.

  1. Keyboard

Elbows and the surface of the table should be the same height.

  1. Computer Mouse

As mentioned above, the wrist must never be a hinge on your wrist. To help maintain a flat hand and wrist, use a mouse pad with wrist support.

  1. Headset

Having a headset is the best way to properly hear and interact with others during calls and conferences in working from home situation. It will be better if you use a wireless headset.

Switch Connect offers optional extras like Microsoft Teams certified phones and headsets. They also have a Bluetooth-connected headset, which will be better since it is less cumbersome. This goes perfectly with a VoIP system.

Conclusion:

Whether it be in the office or working from home station, proper ergonomics should always be applied. 

Alan Hedge, a professor emeritus at Cornell University, advised those planning or are currently using a sit-stand desk to apply his 20:8:2 work ratio.

He is advocating 20 minutes seating, eight minutes standing; and, two minutes break. That is all in 30 minutes.

Hedge, who is connected with the department of design and environmental analysis at Cornell University, added:

“From the research, we have done, the ideal routine is about every 20 minutes; take a short break where you stand up, stretch out a little bit, maybe for a minute or two. Or even better, walk and make a cup of tea or coffee.”

In a nutshell, a proper driving position is the optimal way of describing what we should strive for to achieve ergonomic work from home setup should be.

Everything is within reach of both our left and right hands. But we are not seated in a 90-degree position; we are tilted. Plus, there is lumbar support to support our back. And because of this proper driving position, we can drive for miles.

If you can drive for long hours with proper ergonomics, we can also apply it with our work and be productive for hours on end.

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Ashley Halcomb

Ashley Halcomb is a researcher and a freelance content writer for CloudBanking and Switchconnect. She is an ongoing learner and always curious to learn new things. She uses that curiosity, combined with her experience as a freelance business owner, to write about subjects valuable to merchants on the CloudBanking and Switchconnect blog.

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