After the lockdowns due to covid 19 pandemic, it has become very important to work from home with best ergonomic setup. The ergonomic workplace is one of the major highlighting terms in modern times. As people tend to spend more and more time in the workplace in this competitive corporate world. It is becoming much more important to ensure an ergonomic working environment to ensure maximum productivity with comfort. Because of the COVID 19 pandemic, thousands of people are working from home. And the challenge is- how to manage work from home with the best ergonomic setup.
What Is an Ergonomic Workplace?
The word “Ergonomics” came from the Greek word “ergon” and “nomoi“. The Greek word “ergon” means work and “nomoi” means natural laws. So, ergonomics means the natural way of work. To understand better we can say, ergonomics is the best natural posture for working, the best working environment including the sound, light, air, and all the surroundings. As it works with the most comfortable option for the hearing, sight, temperature, and posture of humans for ensuring the best productivity. So, ergonomics can be called human factors engineering.
Benefits of Ergonomic Workplace
There are a lot of benefits to an ergonomic workplace. Both physical and mental benefits are there. Some might think of it as an additional cost. But the study proved that it is actually beneficial from the economic side as well. Let us check the benefits –
Physical Benefits of Ergonomic Workplace
- The ergonomic workplace will protect you from the majority of the musculoskeletal disorders caused by the faulty seating arrangement of the workplace.
- It helps to maintain a healthy posture to save you from lower back pain, neck pain, and other bad body postures
- Ergonomics improves blood circulation in the body
- Muscles will be stronger, especially of the back
- It will allow you to burn more calories even when you are working
Psychological Benefits of Ergonomic Workplace
- An ergonomic workplace leads to better productivity
- It enhances the mental alertness as the body feels better
- Because the planned breaks and good practices, it can reduce mental fatigue
- Breathing will be also improved because of a good posture and practices
- It boosts the mental energy level too
Economic Benefits of Ergonomic Workplace
- An ergonomic workplace reduces a lot of physical health-related problems and thus saves a huge amount of indirect costs. These costs could be 20 times higher than the investment for ergonomics.
- Ergonomics improves productivity also. Increased productivity means more efficiency and more value for the investment.
- Because of the comforted body and mind, the quality of the output dramatically improves.
- Motivation and engagement to the work improves also
Work From Home with Ergonomics
Though the majority of the top-notch organizations are very much aware of the benefits of the ergonomic workplace. Most of those organizations have their own team working for ensuring the best possible ergonomics in the workplace. They ensure the best possible work experience for the highest productivity and safeguard the health of their employees.
Meanwhile, COVID 19 pandemic has changed the whole situation. The majority of the countries are struggling because of this high-speed spreading of the novel coronavirus. Without any future preparation or plan, organizations had to let their employees work from home for an uncertain period of time. So, the importance of ergonomics when working from home has become an issue. All are looking for ways to manage the work from home with the best ergonomic setup.
Easiest Ways To Work From Home With Best Ergonomic Setup
Since many of us working from home for quite a long time now. And considering the present situation, it is quite uncertain how long we will need to work like that. Many organizations are even so comfortable now with the working from home strategy, that they might even rethink the importance of having the costly office premises. Whatever the reason, if you are working from home it is really important for you to ensure the best environment in a healthy and productive way. Here we have some tips for you to ensure work from home with the best ergonomic setup. Please use the ergonomic work from home accessories. And working from home ergonomics checklist is as below –
It’s Not Just About The Chair
While trying to figure out the best possible ergonomic setup for working at home, keep in mind that it is not just about the chair. An ergonomic chair can help you to manage the majority of the requirements to work from home with the best ergonomic setup. But it does not mean that you just need the chair or the chair is the prerequisite.
In reality, there are many other ways you can manage an ergonomic seating arrangement. All you need to do is some small adjustments to the existing seating arrangements so you can have the best possible posture for your body while working. So, read this full report to understand the things you can do to manage an ergonomic workplace.
Organize Your Workstation Into a Productive Work From Home Setup
You must organize your workstation based on the requirement of your job. But it the same time it should be organized in a way so that you can access the things based on the priority. You must ensure there are enough light and air in your workstation. So that you can work comfortably. You can segment your workstation into zones based on the frequency of your need for that material. A well-organized workstation will reduce stress and will help to increase work satisfaction and engagement.
Try To Change Your Posture More Frequently
One good practice you need to follow is whether you are working in the office or working from home. And that practice is to build a habit of changing posture every now and then. We often get into our work so deeply that, we forget to move or change our posture. As a result, in some areas of our body, blood circulation gets disturbed, and muscles can get stretched. And by the process, you might experience back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, etc.
However, the solution is simple. Just practice changing your posture every hour. The best way to change the posture is to change the seating position or the place. If you can make your working place portable like moving to a different table or a different chair while working on your laptop. Even in the same workplace, you can try different ways to change your posture. We will discuss some of those ways and the best position to work from home in later parts.
Taking Break And Moving Your Body Will Help
Another easiest tip to work from home with the best ergonomic setup is to take breaks frequently. Also, the fact is supported by many studies by reputed agencies. A human can not keep his concentration on a single matter for long. It will be disrupted by other thoughts.
So, for both the physical and the mental well we should make the habit of taking a small break after intervals. Depending on the job type and the requirements the interval could be from 20 min to 1 hr. Break would depend on the interval size and could be from 5 mins to 30 mins. And we will discuss the things you can do in the break time in the later parts.
Elevate Your Laptop Or The Desktop Display To Your Eye Line
It is really important to maintain the best possible posture while you are working at home. The display of your laptop or PC should be straight to your eye line. So that you don’t need to look high up or below for a long period. In that way subconsciously you might hurt your neck muscles.
The best solution is to get an ergonomic chair for working at home and that will allow you to adjust the chair height. But one simple tip you can follow in your existing workplace is that you just make sure the display of your PC is straight to your eye line. You can make sure that by using an additional stand or some available big books below the laptop or the desktop monitor.
Put a Pillow/Cushion On Your Seat
As we were discussing it is really important to align the display with your eye line, regular chair or the desk at your home might not allow that. But you can solve that by adding a suitable cushion or pillow on your chair. That added 1 or 2 inches might help you manage quite a lot of neck or shoulder pain.
If you are seating on a wooden chair and keep working for a very long period of time, your buttock might feel the pain. Adding a suitable cushion can help you with that too. But it is really important that you choose the right type of cushion based on the chair you are using. Also, the main purpose is to align your eye line with the display. By adding an additional cushion if your eye line goes up against the display then it will not help. Rather it will be more harmful.
Put A Proper Lumbar Support
While working from home, most of us don’t have a proper ergonomic chair. And we often have to work for longer hours. As a result at the end of the day, we feel much discomfort in our back area and legs might feel restless. Perfect lumber support can give you the support your back needs to maintain the posture you should maintain.
There are lots of options for portable lumbar support you can choose from any online shop. These portable lumbar supports can be added in almost every type of chair to give support to your back. Another easy solution can be the rolled towel or pillow which you can make by yourself at home. You just need to place that properly in the right position. You can go through this report for easy instruction for making lumbar support at home.
Put Your Feet Up
While seating on your home work station, adjust your position to suit you. The chair height and the foot position should be in a way that the buttocks are well back in the seat to allow the knees to bend at a right angle. A proper footrest can help you with that issue. A bunch of old books or similar hard boxes can act as adjustable footrests easily. Supporting your feet on an elevated surface will increase blood circulation and you will feel nice.
Standing Desk Converter Is A Good Option
If you want to change your posture completely then a standing workstation can be a really interesting choice. Because of the completely different setup, your experience of working in a standing workstation would be much different than the regular workstations. In this setup, you will get much more freedom for movement. But the challenging part is the standing workstations can be expensive. And standing posture is recommended for a maximum of 20-30% of your total working hours of a day.
While you are trying to manage work from home with the best ergonomic setup, this format is not easy to manage. But if you have a suitable bench or a stool with a hard surface and perfect height you might easily place your laptop on top of that and use it as a standing workstation. However, the most important part is to make sure the display must be at your eye line. Your lower back must be straight and the shoulders should not be slouched.
Workouts Help In Many Way
Workouts help in every case of maintaining good health. As we mentioned earlier that you need to take small breaks between the time intervals. You can utilize those breaks for some very easy workouts. There are many easy freehand workouts you can do at home without any instruments. Even stretching your hands, legs, and shoulder seating in your seat can also help you reduce the muscle stretch. You can go through the video to learn some easy stretches.
Best Chair for Working at Home- Buying Guide
If you really want to buy a chair just because you are having to work from home, then you should think a few factors. You can ask around your friends and relatives as many might have a spare chair or portable lumbar support or other things that might help you out.
But if you have to buy anyway and you made up your mind to buy one then you might check out what is the best option. There are hundreds of chairs available in online stores like Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba. You can buy some standard ergonomic chairs from $100 to $400. But the price has no limits as there could be many more exclusive options to choose from. To select the right chair, you might want to check the below points before buying –
- A proper ergonomic chair should have the best lumbar support technology. There should be the comfortable lower back support
- There must be enough adjustable options for the chair height, height of the armrest, and the angle of the backrest
- The fabric should be breathable to ensure enough airflow.
- There should be enough cushion to support the person sitting on it without feeling the hard base of the chair
- Any ergonomic chair should have the rotation ability. So the user can reach different areas of his or her desk without straining.
- Rolling is important to reach things that are out of reach for a little distance. So the ergonomic chair should have a wheelbase to prevent you from stretching to get something out of reach.
If you are working from home and also worried about the uncertain future because of the pandemic situation you might read our exclusive report on Career Tips For Employees In Lockdown.