The growing trend of working from home (or the corner coffee shop) that began before the COVID-19 pandemic has become an involuntary reality that many of us have been living for over a year now.
The alarm still goes off at 7 AM, you put the coffee on, walk the dog, and down a quick bowl of overnight oats. But, rather than hop your freshly showered self on a smelly, cramped subway car, your smelly self sits down to work at the home office. By the time 5 pm rolls around, the ache in your backside has nothing to do with the workday.
Ergonomics is the study of interactions between the human body and other elements of a system: in layman‘s terms – how your butt feels after sitting in a chair for eight hours. When you think about it, are you ever sitting in the same position in your chair for eight hours?
The answer is almost certainly, no. Our bodies need movement, even small changes in position or small motion are important to our circulatory and metabolic systems. So if you’re feeling a decade older by the end of the day, you may want to consider some of these options.
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“Treat your body like a temple.’ we’re guessing the first thing you probably thought of is your office chair. Many elements go into making a good, ergonomically sound chair. The recline and tilt of the backrest, the lumbar support (aka, lower back support), the seat depth, armrests and footrests, and the material.
Office chairs range so greatly in price, from under $100 to the thousands. So many small details go into the best designs. There are literally furniture engineers who create these designs – it is a science! Do your research, find a model that will suit your needs, and make sure you’re feeling fab for happy hour.
Do you ever find yourself, in the middle of the workday, just thinking “My butt is numb”? Well, you should be ordering your new chair soon, but have you also considered standing up? Not being cheeky (pun-intended) – this is an actual suggestion that you may just love.
Actually, standing desks are something that is getting more and more attention because of how effective they can be for people who tend to spend hours working. That’s right. Stand up and get your work done. No need to lean over your computer in a modified king dancer pose (yoga pose, look it up).
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And with the ability to adjust the height to suit your needs, these desks facilitate an environment that works for you, not the other way around.
Whether it’s because you’ve been working from home or your company is keeping up with modern trends, there’s a pretty decent chance that you are doing work on a laptop.
Desktop models are built with ergonomic design in mind, but, as the name implies, laptops sit below our natural vision line. Try it right now.
You’re probably looking downward at your laptop or phone while reading this. Keeping your eyes fixed on your screen, move your laptop or phone, or device and slowly lift it upward- and notice the change in your neck and shoulders. A laptop stand can help you to find a more comfortable height and angle.
If there’s one thing that often goes overlooked by the DIY home office design, it’s lighting. Lighting does more than set the mood; science shows that the right lighting can impact the quality of the work you do as well as the level of your productivity.
Getting the lighting right also limits the likelihood of experiencing Computer Vision Syndrome(CVS); symptoms are blurred vision, headaches, and dry eyes. you should consider the light and dark spaces in your environment.
Did you ever sit too close to the TV as a kid and your grandparents told you to scoot back or you’d hurt your eyes? We’d move our faces closer to screens than ever before.
Thankfully, the tech geniuses have come to the rescue, with programs that can be easily installed onto your computer to limit the time exposed to blue light. There are also lots of blue light glasses that are practical and will make you look like the cool, nerdy type.
These are just a few of the ways that you can make your at-home office more enjoyable and sustainable.
The pandemic played an inevitable role in the work-from-home direction the world has taken, with employers everywhere realizing the many benefits for both the company and the individual. It looks like even when we’re all vaccinated up, the at-home office is a space worth investing in for the future.