Ergonomics is the study of designing machines to fit the way humans interact with them. It is concerned with the way computers and electronics, as well as furniture, are designed so that they enable maximum productivity and keep the user in good health. When humans interact with machines, it should be as positive an interaction as possible. Repeated movements or keeping your body in the same position for long periods of time can lead to a variety of health problems. Ergonomics seeks to reduce the potential consequences for the user as much as possible.
If you have poor ergonomics in your workspace, it could be diminishing your work capacity. If things were designed just a little better, you might be able to get more done. Also, poor ergonomics can lead to health problems such as arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, back and neck problems, chronic pain, and more ailments. If you have a home office, it’s important to pay attention to the ergonomics of its design. Here are some ways that you can improve the ergonomics of your home.
When sitting at your desk, which you probably do a great deal in your home office, your feet should be touching the floor, with your legs bent at a 90 degree angle. If you can’t touch the floor with your feet from your properly-adjusted desk chair, use a footrest.
You can purchase an ergonomically designed chair, and you should make sure that your desk chair follows certain characteristics. It should be adjustable so you can get your legs at the proper angle. The back should be large enough to support the natural curvature of your back and your lower back, and so that you are sitting with proper posture. The seatback should be at a 90 degree angle. It is recommended that the chair have armrests that are adjustable, also, so your arms can rest comfortably, close to your body and without additional strain on your shoulders. It should have wheels for easy movement. Overall, you should be comfortable sitting in it for long periods of time.
Your arms should also be held at a 90 degree angle, also. You should get a chair with adjustable armrests, so your arms can be supported close to your body and with no additional strain on your shoulders. However, you shouldn’t use your armrests while typing or using the mouse.
When you are typing at your keyboard, your wrists should be straight. Adjust the height of your chair, and use a wrist rest pad in front of the keyboard to help elevate your wrists to a level position. If your arms are at the proper angle, it will be easier to find the correct alignment of your wrists.
Your face should be at least 20 inches away from your computer screen, and it should be about 15 degrees below your eye level. If you have a desk with adjustable shelves, it will be easier to achieve this.
Your office should be properly lit to reduce eye strain while you’re working. Use a combination of natural and artificial light, and invest in a quality desk lamp. Also, reduce the glare from your computer monitor – you can put a glare filter on it if necessary.
Terry Ford loves her home office and is always looking for solutions to work better and have improved results. In addition to ergonomics she selects great web tools like Grammarly grammar checker.