Whether you work from home fulltime or you just need an office where you can take care of household paperwork, bills and keep your records, setting it up the right way is important. Ergonomics are generally thought of as being a workplace consideration, but that’s far from the truth. Any office space should be set up ergonomically, and anyone using an office area will find that doing things the right way can protect them from serious harm. Here’s what you need to know before you start.
Plan Your Space Effectively
Whether you’re setting up a home office in a separate room or you’re making use of your living or sitting room area for an impromptu office, you need to plan the space effectively. Part of your considerations here should be to ensure that traffic can flow through effectively. Obviously, this is more important in an office that will share space with other uses, but even an office set up in its own room needs to maximize space.
Light is a very important consideration for any office environment. Ideally, you’ll set up your office in an area with plenty of natural light. Set your desk so that sunlight comes in behind the computer monitor, though. Setting it up so that the monitor actually faces a window will force you to fight a glare, leading to eyestrain. If your office area doesn’t have any windows, make sure you invest in good lighting. Several lamps should be used to provide illumination even in an office where you’ll be primarily working with a computer (with a lighted monitor).
Avoid the temptation to buy a cheap office chair. While a good chair will set you back $100 or more, it’s important that you invest in a quality chair with an ergonomic design. Look for an office chair with good padding in the seat, adjustable armrests, adjustable seat height and good lumbar support. The chair should allow you to sit with your feet flat on the floor and your arms at the same level as the desk. If you cannot keep your feet flat on the floor, invest in a footrest or opt for a shorter desk (or a desk with an adjustable height work surface).
When setting up your computer workstation, it’s vital that you have the right amount of space and the right alignment. The monitor should be between 20 and 36 inches from your face, and it should be slightly below eye level when you’re seated in the chair. Your keyboard and mouse should be positioned just under your hand level (with a negative tilt), and if you’re using a keyboard drawer, it should be large enough for both the mouse and the keyboard.
These simple tips will help ensure that you’re able to set up a home office that keeps you comfortable and prevents serious injuries over time. As far as décor and style go, feel free to go nuts.
What do a traditional office chair, computer, keyboard, and desk all have in common? These are all long-established, staple products found in almost every home office in the United States. A desk is a key component for any home office as a surface to work on as is a computer and keyboard for getting your work completed. This being said, one would assume the same should hold true in the case of having a traditional office chair to sit on while getting your work completed. While this might have been true in the past, there are now many alternative seating options available to choose from for your home office that offer many distinct benefits that regular office chairs do not offer including affordable pricing, improved posture, and a unique sitting experience.
It is important to discuss what constitutes an alternative seating solution before discussing the benefits these chairs have to offer. An alternative seating solution is a unique piece of office furniture unlike any traditional office chair that you are accustomed to seeing in both design and functionality. There is not one standard alternative seating solution; there are many different makes, models, and designs available for purchase with each offering similar benefits. Most alternative seating chairs are quite different from your typical office chair with most having a backless design and require you to focus on how you are sitting throughout the day. They can be used as your primary seating solution or be used in conjunction with your current office chair. Some of the most common alternative seating solutions include kneeling chairs, saddle stools, ball chairs, rocking stools, sit stand stools, and balance knee chairs.
Alternative seating chairs are generally much more affordable in price compared to an ergonomic office chair designed for sitting up to eight hours a day, typically on average costing between $75-$200. Higher end options that include memory foam or a specialized design might run a little more than the average price, however almost any alternative seating solution will be less than $400 in price. This is considerably less compared to a typical high quality ergonomic office chair that can cost upwards of $600. If you are wary about purchasing something other than a traditional office chair to sit in, consider trying a cheaper kneeling chair to test out. This leaves little risk and a lower return cost than if you were to splurge on a more expensive knee chair or active stool, and you can always upgrade in the future.
Perhaps the greatest benefit that will be gained by sitting on an alternative seating chair is improved posture and core strength. The primary purpose of alternative seating chairs is to force the individual to sit in an upright position and also makes it more apparent when slouching or hunching over. This is mostly attributed to their unique backless designs that deliberately teach you how to maintain proper posture while sitting for extended periods of time. A health benefit that is gained by sitting with proper posture is reduced back pain which is a prominent reason why people make the switch from their standard office chairs or why they may take a break for a few hours at a time by switching to an alternative seating chair.
Sitting in an alternative seating chair is a unique experience that will be unlike your previous experience sitting in any other office chair. You will have the freedom to move around and stretch throughout the day which is often forgotten when sitting in an office chair, and you will see improved posture over time. Your spine is also forced into proper alignment when sitting correctly leaving you with less aches and pains that are normally experienced when sitting for extended periods of time. While these chairs do take some getting used to, especially if you have been accustomed to sitting in an office chair for years, and require you to start sitting for only a few hours a day gradually making your way up to a full 8 hours as the weeks progress.
Home office users usually spend only a few hours a day sitting while at home, which will be a nice break for your back if you are required to sit in an office chair all day at work and then will be coming home to work even longer. Home office users also have the freedom to choose the exact furniture they want in their house rather than having to adhere to corporate specifications in their work environment. Alternative seating chairs also have a smaller footprint over a regular office chair allowing for space-saving which can be useful especially in smaller home offices. No matter what reason you have for considering making the switch from an office chair, there is little risk and much to gain from trying an alternative seating solution.
When searching for office chairs for your business most people will have the same requirements in mind: a comfortable, adjustable chair that will support your employees and keep them working productively in a healthy work environment. The same can not be said when it comes to choosing home office chairs as people will have different wants and needs for their own home. Choosing a home office chair is a much more personal selection where the owner has the freedom to choose exactly what they think will feel and fit in best with their home. Home buyers have the flexibility to make their own choices rather than having to adhere to company rules and standards, allowing for increased flexibility in their decision making process. With that being said, most people do not know where to start looking when searching for a home office chair with the abundance of choices available both online and in the retail space. There are a few things to consider before purchasing including the capacity the chair will be used in, the average time that will be spent in the chair, and the chair’s upholstery. If you take into consideration our tips for purchasing a home office chair it may help save you the hassle of having to return a chair you do not like or that does not work for your home office.
The first component to take into consideration when starting your search for a new chair for your home office is the capacity the chair will be used in. Will this chair be used in a home office space that is a separate room designed solely for working at home? Or will this chair be used behind a desk that is already incorporated into your home design? Depending on the space your chair will be used in will largely determine which chair you will purchase. If you will be using your chair behind a desk that is in your living room or kitchen area you will most likely opt for looks over comfort as this will be what your guests see when they enter your home. If you will be using your chair in a home office that is a separate room in your home you will have more freedom to choose what chair will keep you sitting comfortably without having to worry as much about the attractiveness of the chair.
Perhaps the most important factor to consider is the average time that will be spent sitting in the chair as this will greatly impact both your comfort and health, two vital pieces to a happy sitting experience. If you will be spending a considerable amount of time sitting in your home office chair, say for example you work from home, then you will want a highly adjustable ergonomic office chair that will keep you sitting comfortably for hours at a time with adequate back support. You may need to make more of an investment if you will be spending multiple hours daily sitting in your chair, however this investment will save you from unnecessary back pain and other strains that can occur from sitting in a cheap office chair. If your home office chair will only be used occasionally or for an hour or two a day, then you will be able to choose from cheaper options that do not offer as much adjustability.
Upholstery always tends to be an option that is often overlooked when it should actually be well thought out before making a purchase decision. If you have children in your home it is best to stay clear of upholstery materials that can be easily stained like fabric and look for a chair that can be upholstered in a more durable stain-resistant material such as vinyl, leather, or mesh. If you live in a more humid environment contemplate a chair with mesh upholstery as these chairs are much more breathable and the material allows the user to feel more cool even in unpleasant warmer temperatures. If your house has wooden furniture, an antique wooden bankers chair would be a perfect addition as they compliment wood furniture quite nicely and come in different color wood finishes to match your pre-existing furniture spot on.
There are a number of things to consider before purchasing something for your home, especially an office chair that will be spending years to come sitting in your personal space. You will be the final decision maker for the chair you will be spending your time sitting in; it is ultimately up to you to determine which home office chair will work best given your circumstances. If you take the aforementioned tips into account when making your purchase decision it will surely lead you in the right direction towards finding your perfect home office chair.
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You already have an ergonomic set up at your work office where you spend the majority of your time, so do you really need to have your home office ergonomically equipped too? Most would probably speculate no, especially for those that spend little time in their home office except for the occasional few hours after work or on the weekend. Outfitting your home office with proper ergonomic equipment is just as important as your work set up at your job, particularly for those who work from home. When you are at work, you may have little say in regards to which office chair you get to use and what office furniture gets purchased. However, at your house, you are the boss of your office furniture, and therefor get the freedom to determine exactly what you want and need in your home office. With this freedom, you can ultimately decide what you want and need in order to make working at home a pleasant and pain-free experience.
- ergonomic office chair that is fully adjustable to meet your body’s needs and keep you sitting pain-free. The Office Chair – Perhaps the most critical piece of office furniture in any work environment is an office chair; the most used piece of furniture that can greatly contribute to your overall comfort. If you only use your home office chair for a few hours a day, you will want to make sure that your chair is comfortable and has at least a little bit of adjustability. Ideally you will want a chair that has seat height adjustment, reclining capabilities(typically known as tilt lock and tilt control), and some level of lumbar support for your lower back. If you work from home or use your home office chair for more than a few hours a day, you will want an
- keyboard tray is a beneficial ergonomic accessory useful in any office environment where hours of typing at a desk is required, whether you are at work or at home. The Keyboard – Ever experience aches and pains in your wrists or forearms while typing? This is the result of a poorly positioned keyboard and can lead to serious health injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome if not addressed. Your computer’s keyboard should not be placed on top of your desk as this will cause strain to your wrists. It is best to have a keyboard tray installed underneath your desk as this allows for the most natural typing position with your shoulders rested and arms in a comfortable position. A
- monitor arm which allows for quick and easy adjustment. Most monitor arms are designed to fit any monitor of any size and come with an easy to install clamp or mount that does not cause any damage to your desk. If you use a laptop in your home office, consider purchasing a laptop dock to avoid neck pain from tilting your head down to read your computer screen. The Computer Monitor - Your computer monitor should be properly adjusted so that the top of the monitor is at eye level or slightly below. You should not have to look up at the monitor because this will put strain on your neck and upper back. An easy way to properly position your computer monitor with minimal effort is with a
- footrest is a necessary addition for any office where your feet can not be firmly placed on the floor when sitting in your office chair. This may be the case if your desk height is higher than normal or if you are a shorter individual whose chair can not be adjusted low enough. A footrest is also a nice office accessory to have if you want to rest your feet or have something to prop them up on when reclining in your chair. While you may not find a footrest in every office you enter, it is a nice addition to have if you need a break from keeping your feet flat on the floor, especially if you have a movable footrest that encourages movement of the legs to help avoid cramping or stiffness. The Footrest – A
- task light should be placed on your desk close to your computer monitor so that you have proper lighting when looking at your computer screen. Task lights are a relatively inexpensive investment and are an important accessory to have in home offices where the lighting usually is not as adequate as it should be. Task Light – More often than not, the lights in our houses are not adequate for reading especially for long periods of time. Bad lighting can cause eye strain and an uncomfortable work atmosphere. Just as you would have a reading light for your books, a task light is a great office accessory to invest in when working at home. Your
Setting up an ergonomic home office requires minimal effort and time, however it can sometimes be more of an investment than one would hope for. The benefits you will receive from having an ergonomic home office will greatly outweigh the costs by saving you from unnecessary medical ailments that can occur from purchasing cheap office furniture or trying to cut corners in order to save money. Your overall health can be affected from having an improper work set up and can lead to serious medical issues down the road. Your home is where you feel most comfortably so your home office should not be any different.
To view Sitbetter’s comprehensive site of ergonomic office chairs and ergonomic office accessories please click here.
Walk into just about any home or business in the United States and you are bound to find an office chair. With the ever present need for office chairs, just about everyone owns one. Most of us spend at least some portion of our day sitting down doing work, and it is important to remember that no matter how much time we spend working in a chair it should always be comfortable and supportive. With the notion of proper work ergonomics becoming more widespread, many are making the switch from traditional office chairs to highly adjustable ergonomic chairs. While ergonomics and proper posture certainly are important and should be enforced in both businesses and homes, there seems to be one demographic that is being left out of this ongoing movement. Children are often disregarded in office chair purchasing decisions, when it is just as important that they own office chairs as well.
If you think about it, children from the ages of 5 and older spend the majority of their days sitting, just as we working adults do. They spend at least 7 to 8 hours sitting at school learning, and then come home to sit even longer doing their homework. While most schools have updated their classroom furniture to be a little more modern and comfortable than the chairs we used to sit in(anyone remember those wooden desk chairs?) most school seating is still not the most as supportive as it could be. Having to come home and work on homework at a kitchen table with a wooden chair is not an ideal workspace set up, no matter what age you are. This being said, it is equally as important that kids have a comfortable and supportive chair to sit in while sitting at home.
Finding a chair for a child is very easy, by simply going online and searching for chairs for kids you are certain to find hundreds of different options with varying prices. Just as there are all different types of standard office chairs out there, there is a myriad of different kids chairs available that come with basic features or others that come with high adjustability. When determining which chair will be suitable for the child in your life, it is best to start off by considering how much time they spend sitting in a chair during an average day. If they only sit in an office chair for a few hours will doing homework, having a chair with a wide range of adjustments probably is not necessary and a chair with comfortable foam padding with seat height adjustment will suffice. If your child spends hours at a time sitting at a computer playing video games, surfing the internet, or doing homework it is important to make sure their chair is equipped with all the necessary adjustments to prevent aches and pains.
Another great benefit most chairs for children possess is their fun, modern, colorful design options. Many kids chairs come in a variety of different colors and fun prints to please any child’s tastes. A creatively designed children’s chair will look great in any home office space or room and with all the color options available, you are sure to find one to fit into your home’s current color scheme. Whether you want the chair to be the focal piece or simply coordinate the room’s décor, there are plenty of options available on the internet sure to please both you and your child.
No matter which children’s chair you end up choosing, it is important to remember kids need the same support as adults maybe even more so they do not develop back and neck aches prematurely. A comfortable kid is a productive kid!
To view Sitbetter’s extensive catalog of chairs just for kids please click here.