CONSUMER REPORTS — Working and learning from home has become part of the new normal, so Consumer Reports wants to help people set up their home workspaces for the long haul.
“We’re not in work-from-home survival mode anymore,” said Ergonomics Expert Todd Baker.
He knows the importance of a good home office set-up and has seen a major shift in his clients’ work habits.
As people feel like they need to be in front of their screen to be accountable for work, people are sitting longer hours. It’s important that your body is in good alignment, so that you have the most energy and attention for the work you’re trying to do!Ergonomics Expert Todd Baker
Whether you have access to a full-fledged home office or have to work from your bed in a studio apartment, CR says it is important to minimize strain on your body while you’re working.
“As long as you understand some simple principles of ergonomics, you can translate those to many different work areas. And the basics of good posture is the same for kids as well,” said Rachel Rabkin Peachman, a CR investigative journalist.
Start with your chair. If your lower back doesn’t reach the back of your chair comfortably, put a pillow behind you.
If your feet don’t touch the floor, place them on a stable footrest.
Next, make sure the bend of your arms is anywhere from 90 degrees to 115 degrees. Your eyes should be an arms length away from the computer with the monitor at eye level.
“Some people prefer to adda. second monitor, both for comfort, but also for efficiency,” said Peachman.
CR said the Dell Ultrasharp 24 inch and the BenQ 23.8 inch display are the best. You may also want to consider a standing desk, but some can come with a hefty price tag.
“it isn’t that standing all day is better than sitting,” said Peachman. “It’s that a standing desk gives you the ability to move around more, which is key.”
Baker said, “It is more important than ever to find ways to change positions, to take breaks, visual, physical and cognitive breaks to change positions and stay healthy.”
To avoid eye strain, experts recommend the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break and look 20 feet away.