Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have found ourselves trying to navigate working from home. It can be difficult to juggle work alongside your kids, pets, and household chores. Having the right home office setup can make all the difference in you getting your work done or feeling like your day has been wasted.
Having a seat cushion in your home office can make your days much more healthy and comfortable. Read on to learn more about how to set up a work from home space and what to look for in your seat cushion.
Work from Home Best Practices
Many of us have only started working from home this year, and it’s not as simple as it may seem at first glance. It’s important to draw divisions between your home life and your work life, and maintaining those while managing a family can be challenging, to say the least. But there are some best practices you can follow to make your at-home work more productive.
Stick to your same morning routine as you would before going into the office, including getting dressed. Make sure you set specific work hours both so your family knows when you are and aren’t available and so you don’t wind up working all hours of the day. And, most importantly, have a dedicated home office you use for work, even if that space is just a desk in a corner.
Importance of a Good Home Office Setup
Having a home office setup does a few things to help your at-home productivity. For one thing, it signals both you and your family that, when you’re in this space, it’s time to work. This can help to minimize both internal and external distractions and keep you on track with your productivity.
A home office also helps to draw lines between your work life and your home life. When you’re working from home, it can be easy for the two to become blended so you never feel like you’re truly off work and able to relax. As long as your work is confined to one specific space, you can keep healthy boundaries in place in your life.
Common Home Office Pitfalls
There are a number of common pitfalls people encounter when they’re setting up their first home office space. For one thing, your couch is not an acceptable location to work from home. Yes, it may be comfy, but it’s terrible both for your focus and your posture.
You also need to make sure your home office is in as quiet a location as possible. Your dining room table isn’t a great option, since your family is going to be moving around you, making it difficult to concentrate. Try to set up a desk in an extra bedroom, in a large closet, on a wall of your bedroom, or even on your back porch, weather permitting.
Setting Up a Home Office
When you’re setting up your home office, it’s important to invest in a few key pieces of furniture. If you’re working on a tight budget, shop Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist for more affordable options. You could also consider renting furniture if you think your work from home situation is likely to be temporary.
First and foremost, you need a desk that will work for your space. You may need to invest in some noise-canceling headphones to minimize distractions and some blue light blocking glasses to save your eyes. And it’s very important that you have a good desk chair that supports you and keeps you comfortable throughout your workday.
Importance of Good Posture
When you’re working from home, it can be easy to wind up slumped on the couch in your pajama pants, typing on a computer set on your lap. But maintaining good posture isn’t just something you should do at the office, and it’s not just about good first impressions. Bad posture can actually have a huge impact on your health and the amount of pain you live with every day.
When you practice bad posture, it places strain on your back and joints, causing pain. You may begin to practice even worse posture to compensate for that pain, placing further stress on those areas. Over time, the muscles that are supposed to hold you upright will weaken, making it impossible for you to stand up straight without pain.
Impact of Back Pain
Many of us may think of a little back pain as no big deal; after all, we all ache a little more as we get older, right? And short-term back pain may be no more than a mild inconvenience for a few weeks. But chronic back pain can be a serious issue that impacts nearly every area of your life.
When your back hurts, you may not want to go out and participate in the activities you once loved to do. You may start to feel isolated from your friends and family, and your pain may make it harder to get your work done. Over time, this can increase your risk of developing anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts.
How a Seat Cushion Can Help
Having the right seat cushion can help improve your posture and alleviate some of your back pain. Oftentimes, as we shift positions throughout our workday, our hips can wind up sliding down in our seats, putting strain on our low backs and causing us to slouch. Many office chairs don’t have the support you need to keep your hips in the proper position throughout the day.
A seat cushion helps to realign and support your hips in a healthy position throughout the day. This keeps your low back in a healthy curve and removes pressure from your upper spine and neck. Your hips and knees will also feel the difference thanks to the additional cushioning and support they’re getting.
Specialized Seat Cushions
Most seat cushions are somewhat u-shaped with a ridge down the middle to separate and support each of your thighs. But if you have a special injury or condition, there are some seat cushions made specifically to accommodate your needs.
Coccyx cushions have a cutout in the area where your tailbone would sit on the cushion. This can be an ideal setup for someone recovering from a broken or bruised coccyx or someone at risk of injuring their tailbone.
You can also find seat cushions designed for people who have lost one or both of their legs. These cushions have an extended portion on whichever side your amputated limb is on to help support and cushion that leg.
Combo Back Support Seat Cushions
Having a seat cushion is an amazing first step towards making your home office more comfortable. But getting some back support, especially for your lumbar region, can also be incredibly important for alleviating pain. A lumbar support pillow helps to maintain the natural curves of your spine and support your back muscles.
You can find some seat cushions that come with an attached lumbar support cushion. These are ideal for people living with a lot of back pain or who have very unsupportive office chairs. If you have to choose two cushions to make your workspace healthier and more comfortable, these are the ones to opt for.
What to Look For
When you’re shopping for a seat cushion, there are a few things you may want to look for. First of all, look for a seat cushion with a good no-slip base on it. This will help to keep it in place in your chair so you aren’t sliding all over the place on a cushion that’s supposed to be supporting you.
You should also look for a seat cushion with a removable, washable cover to make laundering easier. Cooling vents can be an important feature to keep you from getting overheated during your workday. And most importantly, you need to look for a seat cushion made from memory foam.
What Is Memory Foam?
We’ve all heard of memory foam before, but what is it? Memory foam is a kind of dense polymer foam that can be molded into a wide variety of shapes. You may hear it referred to as “viscoelastic foam,” but that’s just a fancy way of referring to memory foam’s two most remarkable qualities.
Memory foam has the amazing ability to both flex under your weight (elastic) while still retaining enough structure to mold to your shape (visco). It’s also designed to soften as it gets warmer. This means that as it absorbs your body heat, memory foam will give way under higher pressure points while still supporting lower pressure points on your body.
Benefits of Memory Foam
There are a number of benefits to having a memory foam seat cushion. For one thing, it can help to remove pressure from your hips, tailbone, and other high-wear spots. This can be especially important for people living with osteoporosis or arthritis.
Memory foam can also help to improve your blood circulation. Because it redistributes your weight evenly across your entire seat, it prevents blood vessels in your legs from getting compressed or closed off entirely. This can lower your risk for deep vein thrombosis, a dangerous clotting disorder than can lead to a stroke or even a pulmonary embolism.
How to Clean Memory Foam
Even if you do get a memory foam cushion with a washable cover, you’ll still need to wash the cushion itself from time to time. Start by filling a sink or tub full of lukewarm – not hot – water and mixing in some gentle laundry detergent. Immerse your cushion in the water, squeezing it to make sure it gets fully soaked.
Once your pillow is completely soaked, drain the sink or tub and fill it with cold, clean water. Rinse your pillow until the water runs clear, and then wrap it in a towel. Squeeze out as much excess moisture as you can and then allow it to dry for at least twenty-four hours.
Setting Up Your Seat Cushion
It’s important that you set up your seat cushion properly in order for you to get the ergonomic support you need. Start by taking a look at your pillow; it should have a ridge to separate and support your thighs on the top front and a no-slip base on the bottom. If you have a coccyx cushion, it will have a notch at the back where your tailbone will sit.
Set your cushion in the seat of your chair with the back of the cushion all the way at the back of the chair. You may need to adjust it some to get it in the right position for your chair and your body. When you’re sitting down, your hips should be at a 90-degree angle to your body, and you should be sitting upright.
Additional Home Office Supports
There are some additional support pillows that can make your home office setup even healthier and more comfortable. For one thing, if you’re on the shorter side, you may want to look into getting a footrest. Placing a seat cushion on your chair can raise your hips a few inches higher, and you don’t want to wind up with your feet dangling, placing strain on your knees.
You might also want to consider getting a neck pillow to provide a little extra support to your head. These help keep your uppermost spine aligned and support the muscles in your neck. The travel pillows you may use on airplanes are a popular choice for an office neck support.
Get a Seat Cushion for Your Home Office
Setting up a home office comes with a unique set of challenges, but it’s important to make sure your setup is as productive and ergonomic as possible. Make sure you set up a dedicated workspace with office furniture that will keep you comfortable and healthy. Then add a seat cushion that will keep your back and hips aligned and you comfortable throughout the workday.
If you’d like to find more tools to make your life more comfortable, check out the rest of our site at Everlasting Comfort. We offer everything from memory foam pillows and cushions to essential oil diffusers and humidifiers. Shop our collections today and start living your best pain-free life.