Author: Brett Weiss PT, DPT, CEAS (Physical Therapist & Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist)
Setting Up an Ergonomic Home Office from Scratch
Many of my patients have emailed me asking for recommendations on how to set up a healthy home office. After 7 years of experience as an ergonomic specialist my recommendation is simple…DON’T GO CHEAP. These days the price of good ergonomic furniture has come down significantly. No longer does it require thousands of dollars to set up a healthy home office. Take pride in your workspace. Make it a space that calmness, physical wellness and fosters creativity. Think about all the elements when purchasing your products and ask yourself one question each time you’re about to click “checkout”…how adjustable is this item?
Adjustability is key! The more pieces that adjust the more you can tailor the item to your own body and your own space. Here are the top 4 home office solutions to get you going.
The Ergonomic Chair
Perhaps the most important part of the space is your chair. Even if you plan to stand, the average person spends 6-8 hours a day sitting, according to a recent study. Think about how much money you might spend on a seat flying from NY to LA…your chair should cost more. On average you’re going to spend just under 6 hours of your workday here. If you’d like more information on what to look for in a chair click here (link blog post 1: Key Features of Ergonomic Chair).
Set Up a Sit-Stand Desk Combo (Desk, Monitor & Monitor Arm)
Being able to stand to work has many health benefits. Get yourself a desk that can easily rise and fall with the press of a button. These desks will allow you to move throughout the day, because even the best ergonomic chair shouldn’t be sat in for the entire workday. When purchasing a standing desk make sure you get a monitor arm to attach to it. This is extremely important in ensuring a proper fit as the appropriate monitor height when sitting is often different then standing. Attach a monitor so your laptop can connect to it and be placed off to the side.
The Bluetooth Keyboard & Mouse
This one is pretty straightforward. Get an external keyboard and mouse if you’re a laptop user. There is no ergonomic way to use a laptop. The monitor and keyboard are far too close together. Plug in the laptop to the monitor, set up the external keyboard and mouse and you’re on your way!
The Anti-Fatigue Mat
Although standing is a great way to limit your sitting, standing too long is tough on the major joints of the body. Get yourself an anti-fatigue mat and your back, knees and feet will thank you. These mats set off your balance just a small amount, enough to keep you shifting weight back and forth thus distributing your weight through different areas of the body as you work. They can also help circulation of the legs due to the constant movement and muscle contractions in the legs.
You’ve got the pieces…Now learn how to set it all up
Half the battle is getting the right tools…now it’s time to talk about how to use them. How does it all work in your space? All these questions and more can be answered during our Virtual Ergonomic Assessments. For more information on our virtual home office assessments reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Brett Weiss, DPT, CEAS
Physical Therapist & Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist