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.
With a sharp increase in computer usage over the past decade, a vast majority of the United States population generally uses some form of a keyboard to type on their computer at some point everyday. This is especially true for the workers that are considered to be full time employees whose average work day consists of 8.4 hours, according to the American Time Use Survey Summary. With the increase in working such long hours typing and sitting in front of a computer screen, ergonomic keyboard trays are becoming more popular and more common as the number of daily computer users rises. A keyboard tray is a piece of ergonomic computer furniture that is designed to hold your keyboard and mouse and is generally used to move the location of such input devices, either moving to a fixed position or being adjustable to the users specific needs. Ergonomic keyboard trays are made to comfort your wrists while you are typing in order to take the strain off the muscles in your wrist, which are used the most when you work continuously at a keyboard.
The benefits that result from buying and installing a keyboard tray are numerous. An adjustable keyboard tray is one of the many ergonomic devices you can utilize that can help prevent common injuries and conditions resulting from daily computer use. Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is the most common and most often diagnosed computer-related injury people develop. Perhaps the most well known repetitive stress injury is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which effects your hands, wrists and forearms. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome leads to paresthesias, numbness, and muscle weakness in the hand. Frequently repeated tasks, such as typing on a keyboard or using a mouse, are the main cause for these types of ailments, and installing a high quality tray is a surefire way to reduce tension in your shoulders and arms.
Keyboard trays are designed to install under a computer desk, with the ability to pull out the keyboard from under the desk when it is needed and put the keyboard away when not at the computer. With a keyboard tray installed under the desk rather than on the desk itself, this allows for more free space and a cleaner desk area. Proper adjustments are needed in order to ensure healthy posture and positioning of your wrists. Make sure the keyboard tray is not too high, or you will strain your shoulders by having to raise them in order to lift the arms up. If it is too low then it will result in bent wrists when you are typing. Distance should be adjusted that the forearms and floor remain parallel to each other and elbows rest close to the body.
Most importantly, keyboard trays are created to give the end user the most comfortable typing experience possible while providing healthy typing at the same time. When working strenuous hours on end everyday, it should not have to be any harder by using improper or uncomfortable devices which can be ultimately eliminated with a keyboard tray. They also come in stylish looks and designs perfectly suited to any working environment whether you are using one at home or in your work office. If spending multiple hours in front of a computer is part of your everyday routine, a keyboard tray will be a worthwhile investment for your home or office; especially in the long run.
After making a flickr account today, I got the idea to take mass amounts of pictures of my workplace so everyone could see how Sitbetter operates and where us Sitbetter employees work everyday. So enjoy this short little picture tour I created and get to know us a little bit better!
What are ergonomic accessories, and how do we assess their value in an era when the “hot” term in the office is ergonomics? Everyone wants a piece of them, and everyone wants to charge a lot for them, but before you dive headfirst into “ergonomicafying” your office, let’s get a deeper understanding of what will and what can work for your work environment.
Ergonomic accessories can be classified into 3 general categories: Monitor Arms, Keyboard Trays, and Footrests. Some mice are included in this conversation, but only a few. Anything else is really an office accessory, including CPU holders, glare filters and task lights. While not disputing the fact that these office accessories are valuable, they are not focused at providing the same benefits to one’s body at work like the aforementioned 3 ergonomic categories.
Monitor arms became increasingly popular with the decrease in price of flat screen monitors – at first a tool for the hip, now a tool for comfort. Not only do they allow for more desk tabletop space by freeing up valuable real estate, but the true ergonomic benefit comes in the ability to position the monitor at the right height for the computer’s user. Ideally, the top of the monitor should be level to users line of sight – this dissuades slouching or leaning to read the screen. If you use two monitors, a dual monitor arm may be employed, and the second monitor should be aligned an arms length in front of you and to the right of the main monitor. If you have a laptop, you can still use a monitor arm – you’ll just need a monitor. By using a laptop tray, you can use your laptop monitor effectively without using a monitor arm.
What does “not slouching” do? Basically, your mother was right. (Funny how we always hear that as we grow older). The monitor arm prevents slouching, which means you are going to be in the optimal sitting position most of your work hours. Your back is going to be where it should be – leaning against the backrest. Why is leaning against the backrest good, aside from feeling good? Let’s look at the shape of the chair to the shape of your spine. Notice the S shape of your spine and how it rests against the S shaped backrest? Most ergonomic chairs will have such a shaped backrest, so leaning all the way back allows your back to appropriately meet the backrest.
Keyboard trays also encourage proper ergonomics by keeping your arms at an even level. This posture of your arms will reduce the strain on the wrists that is commonly associated with constant and repetitive typing. Keyboard Trays are becoming more popular and are usually a more commonly bought accessory – installation requires only a few screws and the benefits are immediate. There are many different types of keyboard trays – they all pretty much function the sames so quality is where the price differences arise.
So getting a keyboard tray is effective in relieving wrist related stress while typing, but like the monitor arm, it has a practical use as well – it frees up valuable desk space. While the paperless office has been attempted, lets face it, paper will always be around. Might as well have more room to spread your clutter!
You may be one of the many people that employ a laptop. As I write this from a laptop, I can tell you that having a laptop is no excuse to eschew ergonomics. There are utilities available to take advantage of a keyboard tray and monitor arm with a laptop, such as this nifty Laptop Docking Station (which is the one I use, by the way):
Lastly, the ergonomic footrests. What is the benefit of that? None if you don’t use it right. (Like anything). An ergonomic footrests is generally made for two purposes – one, to give users a place to rest their feet on high chairs or seating areas or two, as an accessory to encourage movement of the feet while sitting. This constant motion won’t burn many calories, but it will promote bloodflow, which in turn reduces fatigue. And that’s always nice. They even have some with massage balls – so you can get a nice massage in the workplace, provided your feet don’t, well, smell.
The idea behind ergonomic accessories is to add overall comfort to the user’s workplace atmosphere, and that is a goal that is not to be overlooked nor understated. The modern work lifestyle has evolved to the point where these items are not a luxury anymore- with people spending more and more time on a computer and on the Internet these days, being comfortable for a prolonged period of time is critical to overall well being.
Just think of how many hours a day you’d spend working in front of your computer, slouching forward and trying to make sense of the small text on the screen. (Make the font bigger, if you keep squinting!) A good monitor arm/keyboard tray/footrest combo will quickly and, if chosen right, inexpensively make your or your employees work days more efficient and better over the long run. All of the accessories sold at Sitbetter are quality items – nothing that will fail within a week or even a year, and if it does, it is a good thing you bought it here, because we have your back. It’s ok to drink our ergonomic kool-aid – we do.