So you’re working from home now, or maybe in a hybrid model, working remotely two-to-three days a week. This is all well and good, but here’s a question: Do you have an ergonomic home office setup?
Working from home is fantastic, but the right home office setup is important for spine health and keeping your mind productive. Studies have shown that a good ergonomic setup can vastly improve your working experience, particularly with desk-dwelling jobs like accounting. (Especially during the busy periods of the accountancy year!)
Here are some ergonomic home office essentials* that can help make working at your desk — formerly known as the dining room table — setup more comfortable.
*Note: Your current (or future) employer may offer an allowance for office equipment at home. Or they may simply provide you with what you need. Check your contract and the employee handbook.
1. Lumbar cushion
A lumbar cushion will make a huge difference for any chair. Depending on your torso length and the height of your desk/table, you might also need to sit on a cushion to get rid of feeling hunched over. A thick cushion that you already have in your home also works well as lumbar support.
2. Adjustable desk chair
If your budget allows, consider purchasing a proper desk chair that you can adjust to your body. At the very least, you want a padded seat and back, adjustable lumbar support and adjustable seat height. Working on your core strength? Ergonomic alternatives to a chair that encourage abdominal engagement include an exercise ball and a saddle chair.
If your budget allows, it’s a game changer to be able to plug your laptop into a monitor. Less hunching over plus a bigger screen equal a happier neck, shoulders and back.
4. Monitor Stand
It’s important to elevate your laptop or monitor screen to a height where your eyeline meets just above the middle of the screen. (Your neck will thank you!) Yoga blocks or a stack of your old textbooks will do in a pinch. (One of our team members used to use CD binders. Yep, CD binders.)
5. Bluetooth keyboard and mouse set
This makes a huge difference for laptop users, especially if that laptop is on the aforementioned monitor stand. Your wrists and hands will be happy, we promise. There are also ergonomic options available for anyone with wrist or hand issues.
6. Yoga mat for your stretch breaks
While a yoga mat has nothing to do with your desk setup, it’s where you can work out the kinks when you take your stretch/movement breaks. (Make sure to schedule these in your diary!) If you don’t have a mat, a towel on the floor also works well.
Other things to consider are good lighting and keeping your most used tools and equipment to hand.
Setting it all up
Once you’ve got it all… Set yourself up for ergonomic success! Below is a great visual of how we should be sitting at our desk (or table). It can vary by person, but they show some solid general guidelines from Ergonomic Trends.
We hope these ergonomic essentials and tips help you with your home office setup. They’ve certainly helped us with ours!
The original version of this article first appeared on the Accountants’ Growth Club blog.