Ever since work has moved to the home setting, many employees and students have made drastic changes to their home setup to improve their home-office experience. I’ve had times this summer where sitting in front of a screen for hours at a time has changed my posture, reduced my energy levels and left parts of my body feeling strained. This is not unfamiliar to many people during this new work-from-home reality. So how can we better take care of our bodies and improve our home-office experience?
Ergonomics has become a large theme in today’s home-office environment. For some, this means making small adjustments whereas for others, this may mean larger changes to improve their experience. Larger boosts to your efficiency may mean actually changing your schedule or being mindful of your posture, mood and energy levels throughout the day. I wrote an article last week exploring some of these larger productivity changes. In this post, we’ll explore smaller fixes that can boost your productivity but also help you feel comfortable in your own shoes (or socks).
While strange to the touch at first, these mice actually re-orient your hand such that it is in a more natural position when your forearm is resting on the desk. This adjustment has made my remote work a lot more comfortable. Especially if my right hand is parked on top of my mouse for hours. The unnatural position of the hand hugging the standard mouse can be hard on the wrists as well. Since changing this set-up, I have experienced less wrist aches and pains.
Getting a chair with lumbar support is very important to ensuring your lower back is supported the entire time you are sitting. In the early days of the pandemic, I had a poorly designed foldable chair that would leave my back aching after just an hour of sitting down. Luckily, I was able to upgrade to a desk chair that has adjustable height, forward and backward lean so I could optimize the chair to suit my needs. If you’re someone who completes a lot of remote work online or if you’re an AU student completing courses online, having an ergonomic chair will go a long way. This is an investment that will be valuable for the long-term.
Desktop Screen Lift
Another change I’ve recently made was lifting my laptop screen higher than it would normally sit on a desk. Having to hunch over my laptop for hours had lasting effects on my posture and energy level. While I saw many options online for beautifully-designed laptop lifts, I decided to use the budget-friendly option of propping up the monitor with a few textbooks. This has worked wonders in keeping the screen at eye-level.