How to Setup Ergonomic Home Office to Make You Feel Your Best
The past year has changed so much of our daily routine. Many of us started working from home without much time to prepare, and with that, the remote work mayhem began. If the situation were ideal, you'd re-create your usual office setup at home. In reality, without a dedicated workspace, we began transforming bedrooms and kitchen tables into temporary home offices.
Without proper desks, chairs, or monitors, we’ve been left hunched over countertops or, even worse, taking Zoom calls from our couches and beds.
To put it lightly, you’ve been working in a less-than-ideal ergonomic home office situation. This might leave you feeling less productive, with excessive neck and back pain, not to mention the added pressure on your spine. Ouch! If you’re trying to reduce the harmful effects of all that discomfort, you might want to consider a standing desk for your ergonomic home office setup.
You may think, but what on earth is a standing desk ergonomic workstation anyway? What are the benefits of a standing desk? Is a standing desk better than a sitting desk? We rounded up some of your burning questions to help you get the most out of your ergonomic home office situation and stay pain-free while doing so.
Here are 4 important questions and answers:
How can I stand while working from home?
First things first. Sitting for an extended period is never good. Studies have shown that people who sit on their job are more likely to develop various health problems, including obesity, increased blood pressure, and high blood sugar. But, don’t lose your hope just yet! Using a standing desk may be the solution to your problems.
At its most basic, ergonomics means creating a working environment that is best suited to help a person do their job. An ergonomic home office can increase your productivity, reduce the severity of work-related disorders like muscle strains or lower back injuries and lessen muscle fatigue. With that said, to get the most out of your standing desk, it’s essential to customize it to your body needs.
No matter how you choose to arrange your office space, here are some tips on how to stand while working from home properly:
- Maintain proper posture - It’s best to keep your head, neck, and legs in line and vertical. Shoulders need to be relaxed, with arms hanging and elbows held close to the body. Make sure to keep your knees slightly bent while standing.
- Set up your computer/laptop correctly - The desk should allow you to keep your wrists straight and your hands at or slightly below the level of your elbows. If you’re using a monitor, place it directly in front of you, about an arm's length away. The top of the screen should be at or slightly below eye level.
- What about your keyboard and mouse? - Your mouse and keyboard should be on the same surface. Keep them at a distance that allows you to keep your elbows close to your body. While typing or using your mouse, keep your wrists straight, and your hands at the level of your elbows.
- Don’t forget the accessories - Keep everything from office supplies to your phone at arm’s reach to prevent excessive stretching. Pro tip: Use a speaker if you type and talk at the same time to prevent soreness in your neck.
How long should you stand at a standing desk per day?
We’re creatures of habit, no doubt. Many of us are so used to sitting through a typical 8-hour workday. Therefore, when you first begin working in a standing desk environment, one question you might have is: how long should I stand at a standing desk?
If you’re a newbie in the ergonomic home office area, here’s an important tip to keep in mind: owning a standing desk doesn’t require that you should be standing behind it all day. Quite the opposite, you should work towards standing for two hours in the beginning and gradually work up to four hours, shifting from sitting and standing positions throughout the day. Some factors like strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health may also affect how much time you spend standing. Regardless, standing for more than 4 hours a day at your workstation is not recommended, and could be counterproductive – which brings us to our next question.
Fact check: Is standing for 8 hours bad?
Standing for over eight hours at a time is defined as prolonged standing. According to studies, some adverse health outcomes are associated with prolonged standing, like low back pain, physical fatigue, muscle pain, leg swelling, and tiredness. But, before you revert to hours of sitting instead, it’s worth noting that just like standing all day can harm your body, sitting for eight or more hours a day can be harmful as well.
When creating your ergonomic home office, you may want to consider a convertible standing desk that allows you to switch the height of your desk from standing height to sitting height. These standing desks are highly convenient for shifting your standing and sitting positions during the day, aiming for a maximum of four hours of standing time per day, as mentioned in the previous section.
A quality standing desk mat like the Sky Mat Antifatigue Mat acts like your personal cloud. Soft foam relieves pressure in your knees and muscles, and its waterproof and stain-resistant construction makes it a perfect addition for your kitchen, office, or more. And with nine color and design options to choose from, you’re sure to find a mat to match your office space style.
Convertible desks are a great solution for staying comfortable and productive throughout the day, but there are other ways to ease into your new workspace. One great addition to your ergonomic home office space includes a standing desk mat. If you find yourself standing for longer, a mat encourages you to make regular small leg movements to improve blood flow and reduce potential discomfort. Some are designed for muscle stimulation, while others are soft for added comfort.
Home Office Ergonomics Verdict
The sooner you realize your ergonomic work area is a necessity rather than a luxury, the better you’ll be able to focus on your tasks. To get the most out of your standing desk, we suggest using a standing mat. This Sky Mat Anti-fatigue Mat is a real game-changer. You’ll get the perfect ergonomic office zone setup which, in turn, will make you feel lighter on your feet and more energized to work in the long run.