In this new hybrid working world, many of us have the option to work from the comfort of our own homes. But working from home without the right equipment or ergonomic setup can be far from comfortable.
Office ergonomics is all about making sure a working environment is fit for the user: the desk worker. It covers everything from environmental factors such as temperature and noise, to the physical aspects of a workspace like chairs and screen setup.
Ergonomic office equipment can protect you and your team from work-related injuries like neck or back pain and help you create a safer, healthier and more productive workplace.
Whether you’re sprucing up your home office or advising your team how to use their work-from-home budgets, a good ergonomic office setup doesn’t need to break the bank.
We’ve rounded up the best ergonomic equipment options to suit every budget:
9 hours a day. That’s how long the average desk worker spends seated, often on dining chairs or sofas without any lumbar support. This is a recipe for developing lower back pain, which can be prevented with an ergonomic desk chair .
Top-of-the-range ergonomic chairs like the Herman Miller Mirra 2 Butterfly adapt to your individual positioning, offering the ultimate comfort and spinal support for around £1,000. The Ergomesh Ergonomic chair offers a similar design and functionality at a lower price point.
Adding a lumbar support pillow to your existing chair is an effective, budget-friendly way to protect your back for the mere price of £30.
The most important aspect of any ergonomic chair is lumbar support. Simply placing a cushion or even a rolled-up towel behind your lower back can protect the curvature of your spine in a pinch!
2. Laptop Stand
Did you know the head of a person who is looking at a screen positioned too low can put up to 400% more force on their spine than if it was positioned correctly?
Raising your screen to sit directly in front of your eyes will prevent excess strain on your neck and help you hold your head up high!
Hybrid employees typically work in multiple environments with different screen positioning requirements. Premium adjustable laptop stands such as the Moft Z Stand (£69) are light enough to fit in your backpack, allowing you to get your screen height right no matter where you work.
If you consistently work in the same environment, you won’t need to adjust your screen on a regular basis. A static laptop stand like this one from HUANUO will help you perfect your desk posture for just over a tenner!
Put that pile of books lurking in the corner to good use! Stack them up to the right height and create your own laptop riser without spending a penny.
Tools like Vitrue VIDA can assess your screen positioning (and much more!) through your webcam, providing clinically-validated recommendations to improve your posture, desk setup and overall working environment.
3. Standing Desk
A widely popular option for office and home workers alike, standing desks can help boost your productivity and curb the ill-effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
If you do use a standing desk, it’s best to alternate between sitting and standing every half an hour, or whenever your muscles and joints feel tired.
High-end standing desks allow you to programme sit-stand reminders and seamlessly switch between sitting and standing throughout the day. Options such as the FlexiSpot E8 typically cost between £400 to £600.
A standing desk converter is a cheaper way of getting the benefits of a standing desk in a much smaller package. Ergomaker has some great options for under £100.
Look around at the different surfaces in your home. An unused shelf, ironing board, or pretty much any flat surface at chest height has standing desk potential!
Mouse-clicking, touch-typing and keyboard-clattering are all part and parcel of a desk job. But if you’re not supporting your wrists correctly, you could be typing your way to Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI).
Split designs, wrist cushioning and angled key layouts are all common features of ergonomic keyboards. This brilliant model from Logitech (£89) is designed to relieve pressure on your wrists and make typing a more comfortable affair.
A gel or foam wrist rest will support your wrists when typing on your existing keyboard. At just £10, this is a cost-effective option if you need to bulk-buy office equipment or send your team some ergonomic home office accessories.
If you fancy a DIY challenge, try sewing your own cushioned wrist rest!
Feet dangling off the ground when sitting at your desk?
In the ideal sitting posture, your knees should be between 90-120 degrees and your feet comfortably supported by the floor. If this is not the case, consider using a footrest to avoid straining your knees and lower back.
Fancy rocking footrests like the Humanscale FR500 do much more than raise your feet; the gentle rocking will improve your circulation and relieve your lower back pain for around £100.
If you’re looking for a no-frills footrest to elevate your feet and keep you grounded, the adjustable HUANUO Ergonomic Footrest will do exactly that for £25 - a quarter of the price of the more sophisticated, rocking options.
There are infinite ways to make use of an old empty shoebox - turning it into a footrest is one of them!
So there you have it! A roundup of our favourite equipment and hacked-together solutions to help you improve your office ergonomics and look after your wellbeing.
Empower your team to improve their workspace and wellbeing
Vitrue VIDA is a digital wellbeing and desk assessment that takes a holistic approach to assess and advise employees on the optimal in-office or remote workplace setup to prevent physical health issues, burnout and boost productivity. If you’d like to improve wellbeing across your company in 5 minutes, test it out for free here!