How to Create an Ergonomic Workstation
There are many benefits that people discuss when talking about ergonomics in the workplace. Working at home is no different. If you look at the benefits of ergonomics in most offices, many of the same benefits apply to the home office. Admittedly not all of the benefits apply, but many do. If you take a look at a home office space, you really should be comfortable in it. So where to start on how to create an ergonomic workstation. Well I am no doctor and don’t pretend but let’s start with my story.
I starting working in the field very early in my career. In fact, my first job out of college was in the field. I was an insurance adjuster. I was rarely in the office and had my own office at home and working out of my car. Setting thing up so that I could be the most productive I would obviously be important.
My thoughts were if I could lay out my office well I would have to make less movements to get the same job done. Okay that makes perfect sense. The other thing is with an ergonomic office you tend to feel better throughout the day. You have less pain and fatigue. By eliminating those you will actually do more work in a shorter period of time and have a more consistent level of productivity during the entire day. Perfect, a light bulb went off. Okay but lets get back to my story.
Being productive was important as I stated and I thought that if I was comfortable in my home office I would get more work done. I could work longer and feel less tired and sore. I know when I first started working at home, nothing was organized or comfortable. It was hard to stay in my home office. I wanted to move to the couch, that turned into turning on the TV or radio. Then before I knew it the day had almost passed by without getting done what I needed to get done. This was very frustrating. I couldn’t blame anyone but myself. So I battened down the proverbial hatches and put in long hours.
What I found is that I started getting very sore after about an hour. I started looking for other ways to increase the time of work while making it less painful for me. First I found that getting up at least once an hour and getting a drink of water. Even walking around the house for 1-2 minutes helps. I found that it was important to get up and move rather than just sit there for what seemed like at an eternity, at times. This helped my muscles feel better.
Later I heard about standing desks. I won’t go into it much here, but the basic premises are just like it sounds. It is a desk that you stand at instead of sit at. Before you knew it I had a standing desk and a sitting desk. I could comfortably move back and forth between the two and get even more work done in a shorter period of time.
This process let me skip the walk around the house and then have to pick up where I left off. I could literally, turn around and move my laptop and keep on going. When I am using my desktop I could just move my wireless keyboard and turn on the duplicate monitor and then I wouldn’t miss a beat. This was helpful when I was in meetings or conference calls online. I found this also allowed me to stay focused while at work in my home office. Those little aches and pains started to go away. When I first heard about the idea of a standing desk I thought it was crazy. Well, I am glad I continued to looking into it.
Another great little find that I discovered was an adjustable footstool. I am a tall guy 6’ 2”. This was another thing that I thought wouldn’t make a difference but was pleased when I decided to give one a try. Being able to move your feet to different heights without crossing and uncrossing your legs all the time was actually very nice.
Now another quick and easy fix for ergonomics is getting an ergonomic keyboard. I only use it on my desktop, I don’t know I never tried to use it on my laptop. The real time saver, like I mentioned, was being able to just turn around and use it on my standing desk in a matter of seconds. I had a second monitor on the other desk that duplicated the main monitor so it really was awesome. Not to mention my wrists thanked me for it.
Wrist Rests and Mouse
Never did I think a wrist rest would make that big of a difference. Almost all keyboards that I look at now days have a built in wrist rest. But if you don’t want to get a new keyboard, the $5 to $15 spent on a wrist rest is well worth it. Another common thing people forget about is their mouse, an ergonomic mouse can really change the way your wrists feel at the end of the day.
Getting proper seating is essential to being able to put in long hours at the office. If it is at home or in a real office, it is important to have proper seating. I joke around with my family that my office chair is possibly one of the most comfortable chairs in the house. Having a comfortable chair lets you work longer and have less fatigue. I think changing my chair made the biggest change how I felt. After all, having trouble sleeping at night is what drove me to start looking into an ergo office.
Well these are just some of the things I decided to use and was very happy I did to set up a better workstation. I hope I was able to show you some things on how to create an ergonomic workstation. Maybe also some reasons why. So to get started you should check things that you can do first. The chair and standing desk were expensive but well worth it. If you cant afford the big ticket items go for the smaller ones first and save up for the others.
Please leave any comments, questions, suggestions or your own personal experiences below. I love to hear from my readers.