It’s not uncommon for those of us who work from home to “make do” with a make-shift office or work space–a hard, uncomfortable chair, a desk that is not the right height, a cramped work area. We may also work for long stretches without a break, trying to squeeze in as much work as possible before the kids wake up or we have to move on to some other task. There are some things we can do, however, to make and keep our home work space safer and more “ergonomic.”
Your furniture and equipment should be set up to fit YOU. I was once told that the most ergonomic work environment is really one that fit’s the individual who is using the space. The chair needs to be adjustable and the computer, keyboard and other equipment need to be a comfortable height for your own size and build. Lighting can also be an important element in a home office work space, so you’ll want to make sure you have enough lighting, and watch the glare. I prefer to have some natural light in my work area, but I have blinds so I can adjust the glare and brightness depending on the weather.
If you do a lot of work at the computer, you should probably watch out for “repetitive stress injuries”–these are injuries and reactions from your body to doing repetitive work–working the same muscles and nerves over and over again. This happens with typing, sewing, working at the computer or other repetitive tasks. Symptoms can include aching, tenderness, pain, tingling, numbness, weakness, swelling, and decreased range of motion in the affected area. Taking frequent breaks and varying the activities you do can help to alleviate the development of repetitive stress injuries.
Keep in mind that even though you are working from a home office and may not have the money to have a “fancy” office or work space, you still need to keep yourself safe and you deserve a comfortable work environment that is perfectly suited to you!
See Also: Home Office Feng Shui for Families