By Diana Mosher
With work-from-home extending into the new year, creating an optimal home workspace has become a priority for professionals determined to start 2021 on the best foot possible. According to the experts at Humanscale, a leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance ergonomic products, your home office can probably do better.
“The average home workstation setup is exponentially worse than workstations found in traditional offices,” says Jonathan Puleio, MS CPE, of Humanscale Consulting, a division dedicated to helping home office users achieve effective spaces.
“Already we’re seeing musculoskeletal symptoms on the rise and the need for medical treatment will increase as will the number of injury claims in the coming year, as a result from 2020 work-from-home experiences. This will impact insurance rates, lost work time and productivity rates,” adds Puleio. “The best way to counteract these risks is through education and proper workstation design.”
Humanscale has designed and manufactured ergonomic solutions for over 35 years. By leveraging new technology in minimal designs, Humanscale transforms traditional offices into active, intelligent workspaces. This is how to create a personalized and healthy workspace at home:
1 Get the Right Task Chair
The best ergonomic task chairs promote spontaneous movement and are easy and intuitive to operate. Look for a chair that automatically adjusts to your body’s needs with dynamic recline and lumbar support. Humanscale’s Liberty chair (pictured above) provides lumbar support for all sitting positions.
Or Humanscale’s new World One chair which features a signature weight sensitive recline while offering personalized ergonomic support in a cost-effective design. Armrests that connect to the back of the chair—so they move with you during recline—are also a valuable feature.
2 The Case for Articulating Keyboard Support
Keyboard supports form the bridge between the user and the computer. They help prevent wrist pain and carpal tunnel syndrome, allow the upper body to relax, and maximize the function of an ergonomic task chair by enabling the user to work while fully engaged with the lumbar support. Look for keyboard supports with negative tilt adjustability to keep wrists straight and protect them from injury like Humanscale’s 6G System (pictured top) which ensures ergonomic alignment.
3 Selecting Task Lighting
An often-overlooked ergonomic essential, the task light provides the right amount of light necessary for viewing hard copy documents and helps prevent glare and Computer Vision Syndrome—a condition affecting up to 90 percent of computer users.
This syndrome causes eyestrain, eye fatigue, dry eyes, light sensitivity, blurred vision, headaches and other symptoms. Humanscale’s Horizon 2.0 (pictured top), meets these needs by providing glare-free light that intuitively adjusts for a range of activities, from reading documents to writing emails. Task lighting has even been linked to boosts in mood and productivity, and it allows lower levels of ambient lighting, yielding significant reductions in energy usage and associated costs.
Humanscale’s Nova task light with the new Wireless Charging Base also adds brightness to any workspace and can wirelessly charge a phone at the same time, making it the ultimate WFH accessory.
4 Monitor Arms Maximize Workspace
Monitor arms serve double-duty in the ergonomic workspace. In addition to enabling the correct positioning of the monitor, monitor arms clear valuable desktop space for other users and can make smaller workspaces more productive. Likewise, laptop holders allow for the ergonomic use of a laptop computer by propping the monitor up into an easy-to-view position and requiring the use of an external keyboard and mouse.
Humanscale monitor arms like the M8.1 are designed with simplicity, adjustability and durability in mind, so users can find the best configuration for their needs.
5 Standing Desks for a Change of Scene
Incorporating height-adjustable solutions into your workstation is essential for a balanced and healthy way of working. The benefits of sit/stand go beyond increasing our well-being and reducing the risk of injury. Research has shown that standing for just 15 minutes every hour boosts circulation, takes pressure off the spine and balances muscle use. This simple refresh of the body and mind can enhance productivity and reduce fatigue.
For example, Humanscale’s Float desk has an integrated counterbalance mechanism that accommodates varying weight loads. So with the press of a streamlined lever under the work surface, raising or lowering the desk is as quick and easy as sitting or standing and doesn’t interrupt the workflow.
Visit Humanscale to learn more about optimal ergonomics at home, and download Humanscale’s Guide to work-from-home ergonomics here.
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