It’s no secret that your girl has some serious chronic pain issues. And since I started working from home 4 years ago, I’ve definitely been through my fair share of Advil bottles, chiropractor visits, and heating pads. So I guess you could say I learned the hard way when it came to the importance of home office ergonomics…
I’ve tried just about every trick, product, and set up in the book… And now I’m sharing all of my tried & true home office ergonomics recommendations so you can stay pain-free, productive, & profitable.
The Ultimate Work From Home Office Ergonomics Guide
1. Improve Your Desk Posture
God, I hate to admit this, but OUR MOTHERS WERE RIGHT THIS WHOLE TIME… Posture is everything. Whether you’re working from home or at an external office, slouching over your desk all day is going to cause all sorts of problems. So let’s talk about some ways you can improve your desk posture, shall we?
- Prevent “text neck” by keeping your neck upright. The more you look down, the heavier your head will feel as it exerts unnecessary pressure on your neck. So, if you aren’t already using a standing desk, I recommend a laptop stand that positions your computer at eye level.
- Use an adjustable footrest or stool if you find yourself leaning forward in your chair or your feet do not reach the floor. This will help you sit up straight and place less pressure on your back if your feet are dangling.
- Avoid crossing your legs so your blood flow isn’t restricted. Not only is crossing your legs linked to varicose veins, but shifting all of your weight to one side throughout the day could cause painful misalignments in your musculoskeletal system.
- Can’t remember to sit up straight? This posture corrector keeps me in line! The straps hold my shoulders back so I can correct my posture, without having to think about it.
BEST DESK POSTURE PRODUCTS
2. Carpal Tunnel, Who?
You know what’s fun? Feeling like you need to pop your wrist all day long but no matter how much you stretch or move it, the nagging ache never goes away… That’s how I feel after 8+ hours of computer work. At first, I was SURE this pain was the result of carpal tunnel. But after some pretty basic research, I realized that the irritation radiating from my elbow down to my pinky finger was actually tendonitis, which is typically caused by overuse & repetitive tasks (a.k.a. typing & clicking). Here are a few ways I’ve managed to tame the pain.
- Use an external keyboard & mouse, instead of your laptop’s touchpad. This will reduce wrist & elbow strain from awkward hand positions while typing.
- Make sure your wrist is in a straight, neutral position. Feel free to use an ergonomic mousepad with extra wrist padding for support.
- Adjust the height of your chair so your elbow is resting on the desk at a 90 degree angle.
BEST CARPAL TUNNEL PRODUCTS
3. Reduce Eye Strain
My longest battle with home office ergonomics has been with eye strain. Before I started working full-time, I never ONCE had a migraine. Cut to 5 years later, and I have them almost daily. Here’s what I’ve learned
- Give your eyes a break. After staring at a monitor for extended periods of time, go on a walk or, at the very least, look out the window for 10-20 seconds. Staring at a tree in the distance or the sky allows the “focus muscles” in your eyes to relax, which in turn helps prevent eye strain & fatigue.
- Avoid placing your monitor directly in front of or behind a window. This will reduce glare & prevent your eyes from working 2X as hard to adjust to varying brightness levels.
- Wear glasses instead of contacts. This made a world of difference for me… Because I get so focused on my work, I don’t blink as much, which causes my eyes to dry out more frequently. So that, coupled with the drying effects of contact lenses, are no bueno when you’re racking up screen time.
- Speaking of dry eyes… Rohto eye drops are a MUST. Sure, they burn a little, but when I’m feeling fatigued & can barely keep my eyes open, these babies wake me the hell UP!
- Get blue light blocking glasses RIGHT NOW. I can’t stress enough how amazing these are… I noticed a HUGE improvement in my headaches when I switched from regular lenses to blue light blockers. If you want super cute, affordable blue light reflecting glasses, I LOVE ordering from EyeBuyDirect. You can even get non-prescription & transition lenses, too! Use code IF6SDH63K1 for $10 OFF your first order.
BEST EYE STRAIN PRODUCTS
4. Stay Inspired
We spend 8+ hours a day, 5+ days a week at our desks… Sure, home office ergonomics is important, but if you’re not adding special touches here and there, inspiration is going to be hard to come by. After years of just sitting at the dining table, I finally said “SCREW THIS” and started planning out my dream home office. Let me tell you something, it’s done wonders for my productivity & overall motivation. Here are a few ways you can spruce up your workspace:
- PLANTS!! Omg, if someone told me a year ago that I would have 40+ houseplants, I would laugh… But who knew how rewarding this sh*t would be?? Not only are they affordable, beautiful home office decor, but they also purify the air & lower your stress levels! Talk about a win, win. Plus, houseplants really do give you a sense of purpose. Watching them grow as a result of your care, or even propagating them into brand new plants, is oh so satisfying. If you think I’m crazy, just go watch Jenna Marble’s Plant Tour video and check back in a few months… If your house doesn’t turn into a Rainforest Cafe, then I owe you $100.
- Peel & Stick Dry Erase Boards make great to-do lists! Forget the hammer and nails… Just find some wall space in your home office, cut the adhesive whiteboard to the right size, and slap that baby up there! I have one next to my desk to keep track of my daily tasks and another one on the back wall for brainstorming. They’re super easy & fun to work with!
- Use crystals to create a sacred space. Some of my favorite crystals to work with in my home office are citrine to attract money, tiger’s eye to boost confidence, and amazonite for clear communication. A lot of people think that crystals are bullshit and that may very well be! Call it a placebo effect but these little gems can spruce up my home office AND make me feel some type of way… I’d say they’re worth it.
Whether you’re suffering from chronic pain like me or you just need a little productivity boost, these recommendations will set you up for optimal work from home office ergonomics. If you’re still experiencing pain or discomfort however, seek help from a doctor or chiropractor.
What are your favorite work from home office ergonomics tips?? Leave a comment below!
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