Whether you work at home or office, you need to take a closer look on the ergonomics of your work space. I neglect this, and I’m suffering from back problems.
I am working at home and I thought that by doing so, I can work where ever I want – in the kitchen table, in the dining table, or in anything that has a flat surface to rest my laptop on. I was wrong.
I never thought about the ergonomics or my workplace, and this result in constant pain in my back and neck. I even suffered from CTS (carpal tunnel syndrome) – thanks to the repetitive movements using the mouse; not serious, but it’s really painful.
The “costs” of this is not only medical treatment costs, but also impacted to my business in term of productivity – I can’t work properly with my back problems.
I use a wrist rest to “fix” my CTS problems. Now I need to do so for my aching back and neck. I was thinking about using a back brace, such as those of Aspen Medical Products, but that would not be fit for long term – I need proper ergonomic design implementation to remedy the pain and reduce the risk of worsening injuries caused by repetitive movements and lack of back support.
How to set up an ergonomic workspace
Here are some tips for you to set up an ergonomic workspace easy:
1. Buy a mouse pad with wrist support
If you work with a laptop or PC as much as me, I strongly recommend you to get a mouse pad with gel wrist support to prevent CTS – believe me, it’s darn painful!
2. Desk setup
You need desk that allow you to put often-used items within arm-reach. This will help you get things done faster while preventing you for the strain caused by stretching and bending to reach things.
3. Chair setup
This is probably the most important ergonomic element of all – this also fails my back big time. If you can invest in a good, ergonomic chair, do it. It’s probably your best office equipment investment of all. You need a chair that support your back and arms right. You also need to adjust the height to allow you lay your feet flat on the floor to reduce strain to your back.
4. Keyboard and monitor setup
You need a proper keyboard and monitor setup. Consider investing in ergonomic keyboard. Or if you are typing on a laptop, you need to invest in an ergonomic laptop rest that can be adjusted to reduce strains when typing and viewing on your laptop. As of the laptop screen and PC monitor, you need to adjust it so that the top of the monitor levels to your eyes – this is important in reducing both eye and neck strains.
Sure your laptop is back-lighted. But you still need a proper lighting setup to reduce eye strain while working on and off your laptop. Desk lamps can offer you a solution when natural lighting is lacking, and a proper office furniture setup can help you getting natural light without the glare.