The pandemic affected all aspects of our lives, especially our work settings, by quickly turning our homes into our offices. Although working from home has its advantages, not everyone has the proper ergonomic conditions. The table might be too high, and the chair might be too low, causing discomfort and pain by the end of the working day. If this discomfort continues, you can end up with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), back injuries, headaches and migraines, stiff neck and even with “trigger finger”.
Luckily, there is ergonomic equipment on the market designed to make working at a computer easier and comfortable while preventing the risks caused by prolonged sitting. This type of equipment consists of specialised foot rest ergonomic products, ergonomic keyboards, chairs, mouses etc., Below I’ll look into each product separately and its benefit to our health, but first, let’s try to understand what ergonomics is.
What Is Ergonomics?
According to the International Ergonomics Association, “Ergonomics is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimise human well-being and overall system performance.” This science-based discipline ensures that the designs of the products will help the users and not the other way around. The ergonomic equipment mentioned above is beneficial for the employees as well as the employer since healthy employees are much more effective and productive.
Products to Make Your Home Office More Comfortable
Are foot rests good for you? Well, if you’re someone who’s sedentary for most of their working day, then they are usually essential. The foot rest ergonomic products on the market are designed to provide your feet and the rest of your body with proper support while sitting for a long time. Sometimes when working from home, you may have a fixed-height table and while adjusting your chair is not a problem, you end up with your feet dangling from your chair. But, don’t worry since the same issue can happen even at work where the desks and chairs are adjusted for the average person. That is why this product is crucial for workers with smaller statures.
When sitting for a long time, you can experience unpleasant muscle stiffness. Furthermore, prolonged sitting with incorrectly placed legs and feet can put a strain on your spine, and you can suffer from poor blood circulation, pain in the leg, knees, and lower back. Poor blood circulation can cause medical conditions such as blood clots, pain etc. Due to this, ergonomic footrests are great for correcting your posture and minimizing the discomfort of prolonged sitting. The ideal way to sit is to have your knees a little higher than the hips.
Since every worker’s needs vary, there are many types of footrests that you can choose, like stationary, rocking, etc. However, you should always have a high-quality ergonomic footrest. Also, if you get tired, some footrests encourage stretching by providing padded leg support and can be set at different heights. You also have ergonomic leg rests that can be height and angle adjustable.
With the adjustable footrests, you are in control and can tweak them to your preferences and needs as you type away. You can put them higher or lower and rest your legs, and you can also improve your circulation and encourage movement with the free-floating platform.
Besides relying on a foot rest, you can also massage your legs and move them while working, boosting your health and productivity at the same time.
Nowadays, most of the office work requires sustained sedentary time. However, according to WHO, a prolonged sedentary lifestyle can be detrimental to anyone in the long run and increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, lipid disorders and many others. The same problem applies to the home offices as well.
Luckily, standing desks offer a way to break the same sedentary pattern throughout the day. There are electric height-adjustable desks that lift the desk from the minimal height to your standing height with just a press of a button. If the soles of your feet feel tired when standing, there is also an anti-fatigue mat to ease the problem.
It is worth investing in such an upgrade when working from home too, especially since the choice of desk has such an effect on your health.
Many office workers experience back and neck pain and orking from home can increase the pain if you do not have any ergonomic equipment, especially an ergonomic chair. But why is it so important, and why do you need to invest in one? Well, the ergonomic chair allows you to be comfortable even when sitting for a long time while supporting your natural posture. And one of the reasons you may experience back pain is having a bad posture when seated. Every slouching or slumping put immense stress on your lower posterior muscles, hurting your neck.
Finally, remember to stand, stretch or walk at least a minute throughout the day because no matter how comfortable you are, the sedentary lifestyle is not part of our nature.
Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse
Have you ever experienced wrist pain while typing or pain in the back of your hand while scrolling with the mouse? If the answer is yes, then you might consider upgrading these essentials. There are many ergonomic keyboards you can choose from, including split keyboard, contoured keyboard, angle split keyboard and many others. Their whole purpose is to better fit and assist your hands in the constant typing process since the average keyboard might be too small and cause a strain on the wrists and forearms.
One crucial thing to remember is to have your wrists floating above and avoid typing with your wrists tilted up or down. Next is the ergonomic mouse, which fits your hand perfectly and prevents any strain or discomfort. There are a few options such as a wireless mouse, roller bar etc.
The traditional mouse causes wrist strain and can cause pain and soreness around that area.
Lastly, one essential tool that helps your eyes and body is a monitor stand. Of course, there is a laptop stand as well, raising the laptop to your eye level and preventing any strain on your neck and back.
To sum up, even at home, constant sedentary work can be uncomfortable and lead to a number of medical conditions in the future. However, with just a few upgrades, you can make your own ergonomic home office and say goodbye to the pain.