Ergonomic equipment for home office
It is a common myth that working at home means you will be more comfortable than at an office. You are still susceptible to repetitive strain injuries from working at home and your employer is still responsible for ensuring that your workstation is safe.
For employers, it is important to understand your obligations to remote employees as we discuss what is required of you to best protect employee health and wellness.
In previous articles, we have explained how the ongoing pandemic has caused a sharp rise in the number of people working remotely, and for many, remote work is now the norm.
To ensure that workers can work safely and effectively from home, businesses should put in place a number of criteria. These range from making sure they have the right information and tools to keeping an eye on their workload, mental health, and general well-being.
Owners of businesses must ensure that employees who work remotely adhere to appropriate health, safety, and work practices, just like they would in a conventional workplace.
Employers are expected to offer a safe workplace for all employees, including those who work from home, in accordance with UK health and safety regulations.
Check out an earlier article of ours ‘Wondering if you are required to provide ergonomic equipment for remote employees?’ for more information on employer responsibilities.
Everything you need to set up your ergonomic home office
As we approach winter and cases of COVID-19 are set to rise again it’s important to make adjustments for employees working remotely and to make home offices are secure and healthy places to work.
If you are working from home you can use these suggestions, to modify your workspace for little cost in order to stay healthy and productive.
No matter where you work, it’s crucial to have a pleasant and functional workspace, which calls for adopting ergonomically sound equipment. Long-term comfort can be increased, and pain can be decreased by purchasing ergonomic office equipment, and it doesn’t have to be expensive.
If you need assistance in setting up your monitor correctly, we offer professional DSE assessments with one of our ergonomics specialists.
Ergonomic equipment for home office; What to consider
While office work may not be particularly physically demanding, you should nonetheless consider ergonomics and comfort.
A stiff back from a firm chair, can cause long-term harm to your body and distract you from your work. Unfortunately, until they become more serious, which can take years, these problems are simple to ignore.
Our extensive range of ergonomic products offer solutions that can help you avoid these typical issues, whether you’re always glancing down to check your phone or experiencing a wrist ache after a full day of typing, in order to help you be more proactive about making your workspace more comfortable.
Earlier in the year, we explored how you can reduce neck and shoulder pain from sitting at a computer.
Small changes might have a bigger effect than you might think and some of the things you might want to consider are:
- Your monitor is setup wrong
- You’re using the wrong chair – In an earlier blog we offer 8 tips to help you pick the correct ergonomic chair.
- You have too much stress
- Your desk is setup incorrectly
- Your posture is slouchy
For advice on any of the above contact our friendly team today or for more information on ergonomic equipment for home office keep reading.
Ergonomic equipment for home office; using the equipment that you already have
It’s important when considering ergonomic equipment for home office what items you already have in place.
Home tables are sometimes a few inches lower than office desks, thus some people who work from home may not need a keyboard tray. Of course, the height of the table depends on the situation. It depends on your height. When sitting at your workstation, make sure that you’re able to bring both feet flat on the floor. If your knees are higher than your hips (or near them), try adjusting your chair height so that your legs are more vertical when sitting straight-legged with your feet on the floor.
A laptop with a thin keyboard can be fine if you are able to place your hands flat on the table when you sit in your chair.
You can make any home office more ergonomically sound using simple items like a laptop riser and a towel rolled up for lumbar support.
It’s crucial to think about the type of work you conduct and the tools you require. If you need further support or advice contact your employer and request a DSE assessment.
What equipment do you need for an ergonomic home office?
When thinking about ergonomic equipment for home office consider what equipment will you need to complete your tasks. How many displays are available to you? Do you frequently read printed materials or utilise actual paper? Are your feet able to sit comfortably on the floor when you are completing your tasks? Do you require anything else?
Think about what types of tasks you carry out using specific office equipment. Consider how you spend the majority of your working hours before making any alterations. For example, do you type continuously? What a person is doing with their hands has a big impact on how they are standing. When conducting an activity for a long time, adjust your setup to make it secure and comfortable for your specific role.
Ergonomic equipment for home office; equipment that you may need for your role
Everyone’s working environment is different and a workstation suited to one individual won’t suit everyone. The way someone is seated mainly relies on what they are doing with their hands. Therefore, think about how you spend the majority of your working hours before making any modifications.
Ask yourself these questions….Do you own a computer, a laptop, or a tablet? Do you use more than one monitor? Do you frequently read printed material like books? Do you require any other accessories, such as a microphone or stylus? What kind of work do you undertake with that equipment, furthermore?
Customise your setup to be safe and comfortable for any tasks you perform for extended periods of time. For instance, you might need to add a lamp to your workstation if you read printed paper.
Problems with not having the correct equipment for home working
By incorporating ergonomic equipment, individuals benefit from an improved working environment, improved output quality, and better job satisfaction.
Without such intervention the following injuries can result from workstation-related pain, which can progress onto chronic illness:
- Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)
- Headaches and migraines
- Neck strain
- Low back pain
- Upper back pain
- Leg pain or swelling
- Shoulder pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
Symptoms and signs
The start of musculoskeletal discomfort is one of the most common worries. It frequently manifests as early signs and symptoms including localised achiness, muscular tension, headaches, muscle spasms, or even paralysis.
The most common areas of difficulty mentioned by workers are their wrists, hands, forearms, and backs. All as a result of bad equipment placement, bad posture, and protracted bad chair sitting. A job injury may occur if these warning signs and symptoms aren’t treated right away.
What should an employee do if the kitchen table and chair are used as the workplace and the only equipment provided by the business is a laptop? Is the business required to do more than merely give the employee a laptop for home use?
If a qualified individual with a handicap is employed despite a known medical condition or disability, the employer has a duty to make a reasonable accommodation. For instance, a worker with a known back ailment can request a sit-to-stand workstation with medical proof as a medical accommodation. Most employers now abide by this request because it occurs frequently in the office and supply a seat.
Our Head of DSE, Chris Barlow commented;
“We have seen an array of temporary workstations appearing to support remote working including individuals using ironing boards as desks. Without the right advice, a thorough DSE assessment and accurate guidance on how a workstation should be setup we are headed for an increase in many of the injuries listed above.”
Long periods of sitting are known to be bad for one’s health. Long periods of sitting have been linked to a higher risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and circulatory problems.
Given that the majority of employees spend most of their workweek seated at a desk, this is a serious issue. Fortunately, there is a solution with ergonomic home office furniture and goods like the standing desk.
By transitioning to an ergonomic standing desk, you can improve your overall health and wellbeing. The advantage of having an adjustable height function is that you may gradually increase the amount of time you spend standing during the day until it appears regular and comfortable. It might take some time to get used to the shift. It also has no impact.
In an earlier blog, we explore the advantages and disadvantages of standing desks, view the article here.
When choosing an ergonomic chair, people are often tempted to look at the price tag or assume that all ergonomic chairs are expensive because they are better for your back or health. On average, ergonomic chairs do indeed cost more money, but the benefits far outweigh the investment.
Your body becomes fatigued and the muscles that hold your spine in the proper position deteriorate when you sit for long periods of time. When this occurs, we lean forward to compensate for our worn-out lumbar back muscles. It is therefore OK to lean or hunch forward while sitting at your desk.
Bad alignment may develop from prolonged sitting in office chairs without enough lumbar support. Your vertebrae’s soft tissues and joints are strained as a result of this.
Lower back pain and a host of other health issues might result from sitting in a workplace chair that doesn’t provide enough support. Therefore, choosing the best ergonomic office chairs and other ergonomic furniture is crucial.
For maximum comfort, it is crucial to choose the best office chairs and other home office furnishings that are ergonomic. One of the most important ergonomic pieces of equipment in any office is the chair.
Ergonomically created office chairs are made with the user in mind and are meant to support the lumbar spine. This is accomplished by having a curved, adjustable backrest that preserves and supports the natural ‘S’ curve of the spine while providing adequate support where needed.
Ergonomic Keyboards and Accessories
A simple and effective solution for your home working station is ergonomic computer accessories like keyboards, mice, and monitor arms.
A typical desk mouse is produced in a standard size. An ergonomic mouse decreases hand fatigue by conforming to your natural shape. An ergonomic mouse not only makes using it more comfortable, but it also guards against stress injuries brought on by unnatural motions.
Flat keyboard trays are chosen over ergonomic keyboards. They are regarded as some of the most crucial ergonomic office supplies. Demands from online customers are better met in these versions. Users can adjust the elevation and tilt of their desks while remaining secure thanks to ergonomic keyboard trays. Even more, assistance can be offered by combining an ergonomic keyboard tray with a keypad that enables customisation and increased comfort for customers. On the market, there are many more different computer desk accessories.
Earlier in the year, we looked at whether ergonomic keyboards really work and offered recommendations that may help you choose the most suitable one; check the article out here.
Why investment in Ergonomic equipment for home office is in the interest of employers
In order to reduce the risk of employee absenteeism, an employer should conduct ergonomic assessments for employees who work remotely and invest in ergonomically sound home office furniture.
An employer may not be compelled to pay for ergonomic equipment used at home if they are able to provide it in the workplace and an employee chooses to work from there for personal (rather than medical or employer-beneficial) reasons.
What HSE says about ergonomic equipment for remote employees
The HSE has a dedicated space for managing home workers’ health and safety that explains “As an employer, you have the same health and safety responsibilities for people working at home as for any other worker.
This guidance applies to those who:
- work at home long term
- routinely split their time between their workplace and home (sometimes called hybrid working)
Most of the time, risks to home workers will be low and the actions you should take to protect them will be straightforward.
Things you should consider as part of your risk assessment for home workers include:
- stress and poor mental health
- using equipment like computers and laptops safely
- their working environment
You should talk to your workers about their arrangements, as working from home may not be suitable for everyone. For example, some people may not have an appropriate place to work or may prefer to come into the workplace for wellbeing, mental health or other reasons.”
There is also a page on their website dedicated to employees, answering any questions that they might have about their employer’s responsibilities, viewable here.
To conclude ergonomic equipment for home office
Working from home may seem like a wonderful opportunity, but it comes with a number of complexities and problems of its own, the most notable of which is the disregard for workplace etiquette and safety precautions.
As we approach the winter months individuals may consider working remotely to reduce the risk of catching infections such as COVID-19.
Lack of ergonomic peripherals and accessories may be the main factor degrading home office morale, leading to staff weariness and growing complacent much more quickly.
If you have an ergonomics question or would like to book a FREE consultation with one of our experts email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or to pick up a bargain check out our ‘Homeworkers Sale’ with new ergonomic office furniture and accessories. This fantastic selected range is discounted by 20%* for all homeworking equipment.