Designing Your Home Office Ergonomically

April 11, 2012 Comments Off on Designing Your Home Office Ergonomically

We often think about interior decorating as a purely aesthetic, stylistic practice whose principal purpose is to make your home interior look amazing. It’s easy to forget that a large part of decorating is functional—that is, designing something so that it will operate better, optimizing it so that it will work at higher levels. And what could be more functional, more important to someone’s workflow than physical comfort? Many interior decorators base their tactics on increasing the comfort of homeowners and this applies to the home office as well. More and more people who work out of a home office are looking to overhaul their furniture and office design in order to be ergonomic, both for health reasons and productivity reasons. Whether you’re redesigning your current office or are moving abroad or to a new state or city and need tips for building an entirely new home office, here are a few factors that weigh in on an ergonomically designed home office:

*Get an ergonomic chair that will provide you with bodily support. You can buy one, although high-end ergonomic chairs can be pretty pricy, or you could design your own. Focus on acquiring a comfortable cushion, arm rests, adjustable seat height, adjustable back rest, lumbar support, and swiveling capability. Many of these can be accomplished with small cushions, but the important thing is that your spine is curved inward so that your vertebrate are properly aligned.

*Keep your mouse and keyboard close together. Make sure the keyboard is situated in the middle of your desk with the “B” key directly in front of you. You’ll want your elbows to be bent at 90 degree angle, which protects your wrists from elbows from tendinitis.

*Create or buy a monitor stand so that your monitor height and tilt is adjustable. The monitor should be an arm’s length away. Strategically place lights if you have to to avoid glare, which often causes people to squirm and contort their bodies in order to see better.

*Keep necessary items within an arm’s reach. This will prevent you from reaching and possibly pulling a muscle. If you frequently reference the same documents time and time again you should posterize them or pin them on a corkboard so that they can be placed within eyesight.

*Create a space in your home office for stretching and pacing. No matter how good your posture is, it’s not healthy to sit all day. You need to stretch your arms, legs, back, and neck frequently throughout your work hours. Ideally you will be able to carve out a section of your home office that will be free of clutter. This will be your sanctuary, where you can stretch, pace, meditate, or do jumping jacks.

Interior decorating is not just about style, it’s also about functionality. And what could be more important to our functionality than the health of our bodies? That’s why designing your home office to be ergonomically conscious is a great thing to keep in mind as you overhaul or build anew your work station and the space it occupies.

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