You’re possibly working from home now, and while you are, you should be comfortable. Whether #GetThrifty DIY or ordering from Amazon, let’s talk about ergonomic essentials for your home office a.k.a. the dining room table.
So you’re working from home now… Possibly something you’ve wished/hoped for (under better circumstances than a pandemic with a robot name). Maybe not. Regardless, it’s many people’s new reality. And I can almost guarantee that your back is killing you and you might not be feeling super productive.
How do I know this? Because when I first started working from home last July, I felt the same thing. Why? Because I was sitting at my desk, on a hard dining room chair, for 6-7 hours a day. Not the cushy, ergonomic chair I had at many office jobs as an executive assistant. No amount of stretch breaks, yoga or ab work were helping. It didn’t matter that I had a monitor, monitor riser and Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. My chair sucked and I needed some lumbar (lower back) support.
So I bought a lumbar cushion on Amazon, and I cannot tell you what a difference it made. And when I decided to buy a proper office chair? You should have heard my back sing with joy. Studies have shown that a good ergonomic setup can vastly improve your working experience.
So, here are some home office ergonomic essentials that can help make working at your kitchen table—or whatever your setup is—more comfortable and elevate your work from home game.
1. Lumbar cushion
A lumbar cushion will make a huge difference for any chair. Depending on your torso length and the height of your desk/table, you might also need to sit on a cushion to get rid of feeling hunched up.
#GetThrifty: A thick cushion also works well as lumbar support.
2. Adjustable desk chair
If your budget allows, I’d suggest getting a proper desk chair that you can adjust to your body. My lower back sang with joy when I bought my chair. It’s similar to ones I used to have in offices I’ve worked at and was decent price point. Amazon is out of stock of the one I have, but this one is similar and lists a variety of alternate options (cheaper and more expensive) in the “products related to this item” section.
If your budget allows, it’s a game changer to be able to plug your laptop into a monitor. Less hunching over, bigger screen. Happier neck, shoulders and back. It doesn’t need to be super fancy or expensive, but it’s worth making a bit of an investment. Mine is an ASUS monitor and it was under $200. (My budget doesn’t extend to a Mac desktop right now, but ONE DAY!)
If you didn’t bring home your work monitor (and you’re not in quarantine), see if your boss would be cool with you picking it up so you can use it from home.
4. Monitor stand
Super important to elevate your laptop or monitor screen to a height where your eye line meets just above the middle of the screen. (Your neck will thank you!) Mine is similar to this one for my laptop and I have another that I have my big monitor on (similar to this one). It’s not the prettiest setup, but it makes my work life better.
#GetThrifty: Yoga blocks or a stack of your old textbooks will do in a pinch. Before I officially started working from home, I used my CD binders. (Yep, I still have CDs…)
5. Bluetooth keyboard and mouse set
This makes a huge difference for laptop users, especially if that laptop is on the aforementioned monitor stand. Your wrists and hands will be happy. I promise. I have an Apple magic keyboard and a non-Apple Bluetooth mouse (which don’t match, but oh well), but here’s a mouse and keyboard set that I would buy if I needed one. There are also super ergonomic options available for anyone with wrist or hand issues.
You can #GetThrifty on this purchase, but I wouldn’t go super cheap on it. And if your work can provide you with your regular desk setup, all the better!
6. Yoga mat for your stretch breaks
While a yoga mat has nothing to do with your desk setup, it’s where you can work out the kinks when you take your stretch/movement breaks. (Make sure to schedule these in your calendar!) My main home mat is the Essential Studio Mat from Halfmoon Yoga—super good quality and a fab price ($35). If you don’t have a mat, a towel on the floor also works well.
Once you’ve got it all…
Set yourself up for ergonomic success! Below is a great visual of how we should be sitting at our desk (or table). It can vary by person, but these are some great general guidelines from Ergonomic Trends.
I hope these ergonomic essentials and tips help you with your home office setup. They’ve certainly helped me with mine. I’d love to hear how you’re setting up your work from home space. I’m also in need of a new desk, so I’d love some recommendations. Let me know in the comments!
And please wash your hands.
The way you sit is no minor thing—pain is what an uncomfortable workspace will bring!Unknown