Before I started this blog, I rarely spent more than a couple of hours at a time sitting at my desk. As much I enjoy working on WorkingNaked.com, after several hours at a stretch, I have to admit that sometimes it’s a pain in the neck…literally. I’ve made a few changes in my office to give my back, neck, wrists and even my eyes a break.
If you’re feeling the wear and tear of sitting in front of a computer all day, there are a few simple changes you can make.
Use an adjustable office chair
If you’re reading this blog post while sitting in a chair from your dining room or kitchen set, considering making a chair change today. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a chair that adjusts to the right height and reduces the strain on your body. Make sure that whatever chair you buy has a few options including:
1) Lumbar support to reduce the strain on your lower back
2) A waterfall seat where the front edge of the seat is rounded to help you prevent any problems with circulation and to reduce the compression of nerves behind your knees
3) Seat height and back height adjustments
4) Tilt mechanisms and tilt lock to reduce strain and fatigue of your leg muscles
5) Tension control that adjusts to your body weight for easier reclining. (Steelcase chairs are reasonably priced and usually fit the decor of any home office.)
Avoid back strain
Keep frequently-used equipment and supplies within reach to avoid straining your back. Rather than play a game of Twister to grab what you need, store items logically and within reach. You can add shelves above or near your desk, or a desktop holder to keep supplies nearby.
Choose the right lighting
A good way to reduce eyestrain and fatigue is to use one or several types of lighting. Your options include ambient or general lighting, natural lighting, and task lighting. The type of lighting you use depends on the tasks you’ll be doing. Use one or a combination of these types of lighting to give you the right amount of light for your home office.
Find the right tools
You’ll reduce the risk of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome by using an ergonomic wrist rest, mouse, and adjustable and articulating keyboard. Wrist and mouse rests — Fellowes is one of my favorite brands — are made from foam-like and gel materials, and are available in interesting colors and patterns. If your monitor is too low, use a monitor riser to bring it to a more comfortable level. The first clue that your monitor or laptop are at the wrong height is when you feel a constant pain in your neck.
Along with making ergonomic changes to your home office, take breaks throughout the day to give your wrist (and your entire body) a break from being in the same position for a long period of time. After all, working from home is supposed to be pleasurable, not painful.
What do you do to make working from home more comfortable?