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Setting Up a New Home Office? Get the Ergonomics Right

The past year has brought on the new trend of working from home full time, which has led to many setting up fully functioning official workstations. This has brought on a new level of importance to home ergonomics. Although dining tables, chairs, kitchen counters and the sofa are convenient and immediately available, they wouldn’t be comfortable for an extended period. And work done in discomfort is not the best work. Commercial office furniture that provides a functional workplace will ensure that the one is focused, energised and gives their best performance anytime.

Why Does Ergonomics Matter?

Ergonomics is the science of arranging and designing products that provide the most efficiency and safety to their users. Take, for instance, a person sitting at a desk working on his laptop suddenly gets neck pain. Now, his entire focus would be on the pain and not the work, making the person less productive. Ergonomically optimised commercial office furniture ensures that the person works safely and efficiently and prevents them from getting recurring pain or injury. This would eventually make the employee’s performance and wellness better. The National Occupational Health and Safety Commission and the Commonwealth of Australia have developed a checklist verifying the principles of office ergonomics and selecting the right furniture and equipment for safe and efficient work.

Create A Home Office Ergonomics Plan

If one does not set up a home workstation with ergonomics in mind, they might suffer from poor posture, chronic stress and pain. Some symptoms show immediately like neck, back, shoulder pain, cramping, burning, tingling, and numbness. But some symptoms like constant trauma and damage from the chronic strain accumulates over weeks and months resulting in an injury to the spine, the muscles and the blood flow.

The acronym N-E-W is helpful to remember and follow the basics of office ergonomics.

●     N- Neutral Position

The first thing to keep in mind is to keep the shoulders and the neck straight and loose, the lower back well-supported, elbows placed at the right angle and the wrist straight. A proper alignment with a 90-degree positioning at the knee and hips is essential. People must keep their feet well-rested and flat on the ground. One must make sure to follow these alignments while using laptops too to prevent body problems.

●     E- Elbow and Eye Height

May it be standing or sitting desks, one must make sure to keep their computer or laptop keyboard and mouse at the elbow level and the monitors or screens to be slightly below their eye level to experience maximum comfort.

●     W- Work Area

Create different zones in the workstation depending on their reach from the seat to get maximum efficiency. Keep the often-used materials like pens, notepads, phones, headphones, mouse etc., in the primary work zone. Other objects used less, like printers, file cabinets, scanners etc., can be at arm’s length or a few feet away.

Essential Furniture for an Ergonomic Workstation

●     Chairs With A Back Support

A chair that provides strong back support, armrest and adjustable height ensure that the person does not slouch and keep his feet comfortably on the floor. This not only improves their posture but also reduces neck pain and increases alertness and blood flow.

●     Movable Desks

These desks help keep the workstation open to movement, easing the blood flow. This helps maintain health and productivity in the long term.

●     Task Lights

Lighting in the workplace highly influences the mood and creativity of the employee, and it is true in a home office setting as well. Using specific desk lights can help reduce strain in the eye and boost alertness.

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