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How to Set up an Ergonomic Workspace at Home

Many of us spend a lot of our time sitting at a desk in front of a monitor, particularly when we are at work. Sometimes this can lead to us feeling twitches, sensations and aches that may not have been there before. You may have heard of the term “ergonomic” before, a highly functional approach that it is essential to apply to your work space to make sure you don’t cause yourself unnecessary strain or even pain. This applied science concerns the objects around you and how you can interact with them safely, and should always be applied to your working environment.
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Having an ergonomic office can do wonders for your health, from discouraging bad back posture, to preventing Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) before it begins. If you’ve decided to work from home, here at Furniture Village we have a few handy tips for you to make sure that your work space is ergonomic and to help prevent any injury you could sustain from an improperly set up desk.

Looking at your chair

The best place to start when redesigning your home office for ergonomic purposes is with your chair. You need one that is comfortable to sit on, with breathable fabric if possible. You will be spending many hours at a time sitting on this chair, so making sure that it’s cushioned is a must. Preferably the chair should come with arm rests set low enough that your elbows bend at 90 degrees, and your shoulders feel low and relaxed (tensed shoulders contribute to muscle strain).

With the added benefit of an adjustable chair, you can change its height to make sure your posture is ideal for working. Your feet should be flat on the floor, with your thighs parallel to the floor to ensure you are in a proper sitting position. If your chair has additional lumbar support, this is a valuable added bonus. If not, lumbar support can be emulated with a support cushion or by using a towel tied around the bottom of the back rest to encourage you to sit up straight.

One of the other important aspects of a chair is movement. Ideally your chair should have the ability to swiveland tilt. Movement is the key to preventing pain occurring from sitting in exactly the same position for long periods of time.

Desk – mouse and keyboard positioning

The desk is the focal point of almost any office. Whether it’s tucked away in the corner to save space or placed prominently in the centre of the room, all desks can benefit from an ergonomic set up. Only the frequently used items should make their home on your desktop within easy reach. Tidying less used items away allows you to work more easily without unnecessary obstruction, a clean and highly prioritised workspace is always a good idea.

Your keyboard and mouse should ideally be shoulder distance apart and as level as possible. This is more easily achieved with a keyboard without a number pad, otherwise the centre of your keyboard is thrown to the left upsetting the ergonomic balance. Use a wrist rest to help elevate your wrists to the optimum height when typing, to prevent RSI from developing.

Suitable storage facilities

Having suitable storage helps improve your workplace from a functional perspective. Make sure that your home office is organised in such a way that all of the equipment you tend to use often, is in an easily reachable place. The belongings you use less often should be tucked away higher up.

Having a functional office doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice on aesthetic. Whether a bookcase or a statement shelving unit would suit your office style best, there are plenty of different styles to choose from in our collection. Discover one at the optimum height to fit into your ergonomic design.

Being aware of your own posture

Finally, being aware of how you’re sitting at your desk will certainly help you feel more comfortable whilst you are working. Taking regular screen breaks to stand up and have a few seconds away from your desk will help to stretch your body and combat the issues of prolonged sitting.

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