At the end of a long day at work, do you find yourself fighting various aches and pains? Do you have to stop at lunchtime to take a couple of ibuprofen? Do you come home in the evenings exhausted, in pain, and dreading returning for another day of work?
Proper ergonomics in the workplace can make your every day happier and healthier. Read on to discover some of the best tools for workplace ergonomics so you can start living a pain-free life.
1. Ergonomic Keyboard
Many of us spend most of our days working on a computer, and traditional keyboards are some of the least ergonomic tools around. Most keyboards are narrow enough that you can’t sit with your arms in line with your body. But in order to align your fingers on the keyboard, you have to bend your wrists, creating an odd angle between your elbow and your wrists that can lead to carpal tunnel over time.
An ergonomic keyboard helps to put your wrists and elbows back in proper alignment. These keyboards are often split so you can spread them out and keep your arms aligned with your body. Some keyboards can even mount on the arms of your chair so you can maintain a more natural angle for your hands while you work.
2. Ergonomic Mouse
Computer mice were also not designed with ergonomics in mind. Many of us have to curl our hands up over them so the heel of our hand can maneuver the mouse and our fingers can still reach the buttons. And clicking the same button hundreds or thousands of times a day can lead to repetitive motion injuries.
Ergonomic mice are designed to more fully support your hand and maintain a more natural position. They are longer and may be angled to keep your hand in a more natural line with your wrist. Many of them also have trackballs that you can use to navigate your screen so you can spread the work of clicking out over a few fingers.
3. Computer Stand
For ideal ergonomics, you want to be sitting up straight in your chair with your head aligned over your neck, looking straight forward. Unfortunately, laptops are small enough that we wind looking downward to see the screen. Over time, this can place strain on your neck and cause you to start to hunch.
A computer stand places your laptop screen on the level of your eyes so you don’t have to look down to see it. You will need an external monitor and keyboard in order for this to work, but those are better for ergonomics anyway. A computer stand can be as complex as a model with adjustable height and angle controls or as simple as a stack of books.
4. Monitor Arm
If you have a desktop, you may have a little easier time looking at your computer without craning your neck. But many desks aren’t deep enough for us to get as far away from our monitors as we should be. And some monitors may still be lower than they need to be for proper ergonomic alignment.
A monitor arm hooks to the back of your monitor and acts as a mobile stand for it. You can shift your monitor back, angle it how you need, and make sure it’s at the proper height no matter whether you’re sitting or standing. A monitor stand can also make it easier for you to show people you’re meeting with what’s on your screen without having to destroy your office setup.
5. Computer Glasses
You may not be surprised to learn that staring into a brightly lit screen all day every day isn’t very good for your eyes. You may notice at the end of a long day that your eyes are itching, burning, or tired. The effects of the blue light computer screens put off can also mess with your circadian rhythms, making it harder for you to sleep well.
Computer glasses help to protect your eyes from harsh monitor glare and filter out some of the blue light. You can get them with any prescription, including no magnification adjustments at all. You may even be able to have your optometrist put a blue light filter on your regular glasses, transforming them into computer glasses.
6. Good Lighting
Good lighting is another key to reducing eye strain at the office. For one thing, working on a computer in a dark room can increase eye strain since the increased contrast heightens monitor glare. But even when you aren’t working on a computer, poor lighting can make it hard to see what you’re working on, placing additional strain on your eyes and causing headaches.
If you work in an office with no window, be sure to get a good area lamp that will illuminate your workspace. Try to get daylight LED bulbs that mimic the look of natural sunlight and provide a gorgeous glow. Also make sure you get task lighting to illuminate your desk when you’re handling paperwork, reviewing documents, or doing other non-computer work.
7. Proper Chair
Your office chair is one of the most crucial parts of your ergonomic workplace setup. Your chair will impact your posture, placing or reducing strain on your back, neck, hips, and legs. A bad office chair can leave you aching and fighting problems like sciatica or blood clots.
Your office chair needs to have adjustable armrests and an adjustable headrest. It should have strong lumbar support and a seat cushion designed to keep your hips in proper alignment. It also needs to be height adjustable to ensure your thighs stay at a 90-degree angle to both your hips and knees.
8. Seat Cushion
If you don’t have a very ergonomic office chair and can’t get a new one, don’t worry. Memory foam seat cushions can give you the posture and support you need without you having to convince your company to buy new office furniture. Memory foam also helps to increase circulation, reducing your risk of blood clots and other health issues.
A memory foam seat cushion can help pull your hips into proper alignment and make sure your lower spine gets plenty of support. It can also help to redistribute your weight, reducing pressure on specific points like your tailbone and hips. These cushions may have separate supports for each leg, making sure you have proper cushioning for everything from your hips to your knees.
9. Lumbar Support
A lumbar support cushion is another great way to turn your ordinary office chair into an ergonomic joy. These pillows sit in the curve of your back, helping to support your spine and maintain the natural curvature you have there. This can reduce strain on your low back and give the muscles around your spine time to heal.
Memory foam lumbar support cushions mold to your shape, providing support where you need it and without placing additional strain on your spine.
In combination with a memory foam seat cushion, this can help to keep your low back and hips aligned, reducing muscle strain and improving your posture. Many of these cushions are also light enough that you can carry them with you, ensuring you never sit through another painful meeting.
10. A Footrest
Once you’ve done all the work of getting your spine and hips in line, you don’t want to mess it up by letting your feet sit in the wrong position. If your chair sits too high, your feet may dangle, placing strain on your knees and ankles. And even if your feet touch the floor, they may not be at a proper angle to support the weight of your legs.
A footrest can help keep your feet in the right position, ensuring you stay comfortable all day. Adjustable models can be ideal for shorter people since they allow you to get the height you need. The right footrest should keep your hips and your knees both at right angles when you sit back in your chair.
11. Standing Desk
More and more people these days are turning to standing desks instead of working in office chairs. Standing while you work can help improve your circulation and may even help you to lose weight. Standing is also a more natural position for us, and a standing desk can help keep your spine aligned from tip to tail.
You want to make sure you use your standing desk in conjunction with an ergonomic keyboard and mouse as well as a computer stand. Your monitor should still be at eye level, and your elbows should sit comfortably beside your body at a right angle. Make sure you have plenty of wrist support and always focus on practicing good posture when working at a standing desk.
12. Desk Pad
If you plan to stand all day at work, you need to make sure you don’t place extra strain on your feet and joints. Standing on a hard concrete floor covered by industrial carpeting can be very hard on your knees and hips. A desk pad can reduce fatigue, making a standing workspace more comfortable and keeping your joints in good shape.
Make sure you find a desk pad that’s thick enough to support your weight without giving too much. If you plan to transition from sitting to standing, make sure your desk pad is easy to move so you can shift it out of the way as needed. It’s also important to measure your workspace before you buy a standing mat to ensure it will fit under your desk.
13. Good Shoes
Good shoes are a crucial part of an ergonomic work setup, especially if you plan to work at a standing desk. Your shoes impact how your weight gets distributed, which can change how you hold your hips and curve your back. Shoes with the wrong kind of support can throw off your whole posture and make a standing desk setup painful and unmanageable.
Look for shoes that provide plenty of support, especially for your heels and arches. If you have to wear a certain kind of shoe to work, consider getting memory foam insoles to help redistribute your weight properly. If at all possible, avoid wearing heels all day, even if you have to keep some under your desk to change into before important meetings.
14. Essential Oil Diffuser
An essential oil diffuser may seem like an odd thing to include on a list of ergonomic desk accessories. But remember, your emotions have a strong impact on your physical health. If you’re stressed, tired, or unable to focus, you may notice more strain in your neck, shoulders, and back.
Get a small oil diffuser to keep in your office space and find a few essential oils that work for you. Peppermint can help improve focus, lavender can relieve stress, and lemon can raise your energy levels. If you work in close proximity to other people, make sure you check that they don’t have any scent sensitivities before you begin using your oil diffuser.
15. A Window
You may be surprised to learn that having a window in your office is actually a great way to improve workplace ergonomics. Natural light plays a crucial role in maintaining our circadian rhythms and improving our mood. Sunlight can help to improve your mood, keep you awake, and make it easier to focus on work.
When you’re happier at work, you’ll be able to get more done. Both of these can help to reduce stress, which reduces muscle tension. And less muscle tension makes it easier to maintain good posture, keeping you healthy, happy, and pain-free.
Discover the Benefits of Ergonomics in the Workplace
We spend more of our waking hours at work than in any other single place. It’s important that your work setup provides your body with the support you need, improving your posture and reducing strain on your muscles. The accessories we’ve mentioned here can help keep you pain-free, happy, and productive so you can have your best day every day.
If you’d like to find tools to keep you productive on the job, check out the rest of our site at Everlasting Comfort. We have memory foam pillows, seat cushions, and more to give you the support you need. Shop our collections today and discover the benefits of ergonomics in the workplace for yourself.