The pandemic brought with it a lot of changes, and one of the most dominant ones is working from home. You might have set a small space in your bedroom, sitting room or had a separate room to work as your home office.
However, after working from home for more than a year, your body is probably feeling the effects. You might have experienced back pains, neck pains, or wrist pains, and they may have been contributed to by the following factors;
Most of the people who work from home spend a lot of time on their computers, and they may have attained unhealthy positions with time.
That may range from a slouched position with a flattened low back curve, looking at the keyboard with the neck bend, or having the hands in non-neutral positions.
That involves being in one position for too long or working in non-traditional workstations like the couch, bed, or dining table.
This includes your forearms resting on the edge of your desk, the back of your knees pressing against the seat pans, having chair arms that are too high, or resting your arms on a wrist rest while typing.
The increased stress level that comes with the pandemic also plays a role in physical hurts like headaches and spinal pains. Since you might be working from home for a bit longer, you might want to make your home office better and more comfortable.
There are different ways you can do that, including;
1. Buy quality furniture
The desk and chair you use while working may play a huge role in your posture and comfortability. Therefore, you have to invest in a comfortable chair and desk. Ensure that your chair has a backrest to support your spinal curves and comfortable armrests.
Adjust the armrests such that your arms rest perfectly on them without stressing your shoulders. Also, adjust the height of the chair such that your feet are flat on the floor, with thighs parallel to the ground.
You also have to make sure that it is the right height in relation to the desk and your screen. That ensures that you do not have to bend your neck and back when using the computer.
Ensure that there is clearance for your thighs and knees under the desk. If the desk is too low, adjust the height by placing blocks under its legs. If the desk is too high, you can use a footrest to ensure that your feet remain flat on the ground.
2. Equipment arrangement
You have to arrange your equipment on your desk in a way that won’t stress your neck and shoulders. Place your screen directly in front of you, almost an arm’s length away. The screen’s top should be at or faintly below your eye level.
Have your screen such that the brightest light source is not in front or behind it but at the side. Place your mouse and keyboard on the same surface close to each other.
3. Align your body
Use your mouse with your wrists straight to avoid stressing it. When using the keyboard, keep your arms at your side and bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle. Use the armrest to ensure that your arms sit properly without any stress to the shoulders.
Also, keep your elbows on the same level as your keyboard. If you use bifocals and view your screen from your lens’s bottom, consider raising your screen to the same level as your elbows. Also, use an external full-size mouse and keyboard if you are using a laptop.
You also need to support your back to avoid lower back pain. Ensure that your buttocks are firmly pressed against your chair’s back for an upright posture. To achieve this, you can add a rolling-up towel or small cushion.
4. Improve indoor lighting
Using a computer in a dimly lit room causes eye strain, which can make you feel drowsy or depressed. Consider adding bright artificial light to the room or using natural lighting. You could increase natural lighting by having a large window in the room facing the source of natural light.
Have the window in a place where it will give you a view of the outside. That will help break the boredom as you work. Not only will the light help your eyes, but it will also boost your mood and productivity.
5. Take breaks
Sitting in one position all day will cause strain to your neck and back muscles. You have to take breaks after some time to stretch your muscles and give your eyes a break. You can take a walk outside and enjoy a shot of fresh air to re-energize yourself.
You could also fix yourself a snack to refresh and keep your energy levels going. That will be good for your body and also improves your mood and productivity.
You should also take vision breaks as you work, where you take your eyes off the monitor for a few seconds. That ensures that you do not strain your eyes so much from focusing on one thing for too long.
Nothing makes working in a home office better than the fact that you can transform it into whatever you want and make it your own. Have paintings or pictures on the wall that you could use for motivation, for example, a quote from your role model.
You could also hang up a photo that reminds you of your goals to keep you going. You could also paint your walls with your favorite bright colors. Not only will it help make the place look beautiful, but it will also open up space.
Bright colors also interact with your brain, improving your mood, productivity, and creativity. Ensure that you also have a beautiful background in case you have to make any video calls or make an online meeting.
Adding a plant will also add to the decorations and have benefits for you too. Nature is one of the things that helps us reduce stress and rejuvenate our energy levels. Since you may not always have a lot of time to go outside, you can bring nature into the office by adding some plants.
It also helps improve the air quality in your office by cleansing the air and improving the levels of oxygen.