As most of us have transitioned to working from home, if you weren’t previously, I wanted to do a series of posts around Ergonomics. The Oxford Dictionary defines Ergonomics as “relating to or designed for efficiency and comfort in the working environment.”
I recently learned just how important Ergonomics is. I transitioned to work-from-home back in December, before all the shelter in place orders came through. I have been really struggling with the adjustment – and I realized part of it was that by the end of the day I was in actual pain. My workstation was not only badly set up, but it was also doing damage to my body.
It took me months to face the fact that my setup at home was not working. I saw all these posts from people who worked from home and loved it. No one was talking about being in pain. So I assumed that everyone else had their shit together, except me. I was shocked at how wrong my assumption was.
As I began prepping for this series – I reached out to 20 people asking them if they would be willing to share their home work stations. I wanted to see what they were doing, so I could copy them. Almost every person I reached out to admitted that their set-ups weren’t ergonomic and they knew it. Here I was, beating myself up for not figuring this out and it turns out I’m not alone in this.
What I found by talking to my friends and colleagues is that everyone struggles with finding the right ergonomic setup. Not only that, but everyone’s setup is different. Some had home offices, while others worked on their kitchen table. Our bodies, our homes, and our day to day work – all of these contribute to what is going to work for each of us. There was no one “right” way to set it up.
Instead, what I found, was lots of recommendations. Some worked for me, while others didn’t. I reached out to a company who does corporate ergonomic adjustments for a living, and they admitted that it may take multiple adjustments before work-station is fully optimized for any one person. They also said that it is something that is constantly evolving. Some of the recommendations I put into use had an instant effect. However, more often than not, they took multiple small optimizations and a lot of active focus/re-training for me to implement.
I’ve broken down the recommendations into these categories –
- Desk/Chair Height Adjustments
- Activity & Movement
- Tool Options
I’m not a fan of super crazy long posts that try to fit everything into one post, so I will be breaking the recommendations into a series of posts. I hope the series helps you optimize your setup. Stay healthy!