The global coronavirus pandemic resulted in a change of lifestyle for many people around the world, as measures were put in place to try and slow the spread of the virus.
One thing that changed for multitudes was their work situation. Social distancing and temporary lockdown measures meant that anyone who could work from home was encouraged to do so, at least temporarily. However, prior to the onset of the pandemic, there had already been a shift towards more home working.
Between 2012 and 2016, the number of flexible working arrangements increased by around 12.3%. As the pandemic has shown it is viable to have large swathes of the workforce engaging in their duties from home, it could be that home working becomes much more normalised even as the vaccine rolls out and going back to the office becomes acceptable and safe.
Creating a comfortable and ergonomic home office space is therefore a priority for more people than ever before. Furniture At Work provides a comprehensive range of office furniture designed to protect and maintain the health and wellbeing of employees and workers everywhere.
Most people who work from home or in an office will spend up to eight hours a day or more sitting in the same chair. Therefore, it is essential that the chair being used is as comfortable as possible and designed to provide the necessary support to prevent problems with posture that can lead to aches and pains.
Most office chairs today are designed ergonomically, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution. At a minimum, a good office chair will provide lumbar support in the form of cushioning or a curved back rest to prop up the lower spine.
The height should be adjustable to make it suitable for any user, and the arrests should also be adjustable so they can be moved to the correct position. Comfortable fabric padding made from breathable materials can also help keep users cool during the summer months.
Setting Up the Surroundings
Getting the chair right is a key component of office ergonomics. However, if the rest of the environment is not set up properly, the benefits of a good chair may become moot. The desk should be positioned so that the keyboard sits at right angles to or slightly below the level of the arms when they are resting comfortably on the arm rests of the chair.
The computer screen should be at a height that allows the user to look slightly down at it. As a rule of thumb, if the arm is extended directly ahead while sitting in a properly adjusted chair, the middle finger should almost touch the very centre of the screen.
All commonly used items should be kept in easy reach and the lighting should be bright enough and placed correctly to prevent eye strain. This may involve adding a desk lamp to the home office set-up.
Just like in the office, taking short and frequent breaks is also essential to maintain proper health at work. Screen breaks should ideally be taken for a minute or two every 20 to 30 minutes. Ideally this will involve getting up and stretching to benefit the whole body as well as the eyes. Repetitive actions can also cause harm over the long-term, so try to break the day up into sections that involve different activities at different times, such as typing for an hour then making phone calls for the next hour.