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Office Ergonomics - How to Work Safely and Comfortably in Under $500

09 July 2024

It's a known fact that an ergonomic workspace is essential for maximum productivity in the office. If an individual wants to do their best at the job without compromising on their well-being, they need to consider office ergonomics. On top of that, take all the necessary measures to ensure their workstation ensures optimal efficiency. For this reason, most office workers now pay attention to the guidelines for setting up an ergonomic office space. But when it comes to designing an office ergonomically, many people assume that they need to spend a hefty sum of money to achieve results, which is anything but true.

Contrary to popular belief, corporate employees can set up an ergonomic workstation without breaking their bank. Additionally, it must be noted that an office ergonomics program is more than just buying expensive, smart furniture. Firstly, there are many inexpensive alternatives to pricey furniture. Secondly, workplace ergonomics goes beyond furnishings. If you are aware of its keys and best practices, you can create a safe and comfortable workspace without spending too much money. If you don't know how to do that, here is a detailed guide to help you.

Office Ergonomics on a Budget

There are multiple ways to set up an office ergonomically without boring a hole in your pocket. Here are the top economical solutions to have an ergonomic workspace.

Lumbar Support

Office ergonomics is all about supporting the body with or without expensive furniture. Since people working at a desk stay in one position for hours on end, their body needs cushioning and support; otherwise, it will get sore and develop health problems. That's where having supportive furniture can help, but it is typically quite expensive. So does this mean you should just work with an uncomfortable chair and impair your posture? No, not at all!

If you cannot buy costly furniture items, you can purchase separate supports for different body parts to keep yourself from developing medical problems such as musculoskeletal conditions. One such article is lumbar support.

Lumbar support is excellent at keeping the spine straight and decreasing pressure from the lower back. You can easily get topnotch lumbar cushions to place behind your lower back to avoid slouching and running your back stance.

If you cannot purchase that right away, you can try makeshift accessories to support your lower back—for example, a rolled towel. As surprising as it may sound, a rolled towel is incredible at helping the back. All you need to do is take one, roll it and place it in the space between your back and the chair's backrest. If one towel is not enough, you can use multiple.

Aside from that, you can place a cushion or small pillow tucked above your tailbone when sitting at a desk while working.

Wrist Support

Like lumbar support, you can buy wrist supports to keep your hand placement right while moving the mouse or typing.

Many times, people don't realize that typing on a keyboard or using the mouse can damage their wrist and lead to conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome and another repetitive strain injury (RSI). To keep your hand hoisted right to click-clack on a laptop, you should invest in a wrist rest.

Buying one will not burden your pocket too much but will considerably impact your productivity while working.

You can also look into investing in a keyboard rest that provides both your hands a place to be while typing. It is a cushioned horizontal piece of equipment that is kept before the laptop/keyboard, and both of the user's hands rest on it when extended for working on the laptop.

Monitor Risers

Your desktop's placement is pivotal in keeping your eyes well-rested. If your screen is below or above your eye level, it will strain your eyes and force you to slouch in order to get a good look at the monitor before you. Typically, to counter that, people use an adjustable chair or desk to adjust their screen placement. But buying said furniture items might not be feasible for many as those can be pretty expensive. That's where monitor risers come into the picture to save the day!

As the title suggests, a monitor riser is a piece of equipment that is used to hoist the desktop according to the user's eye level. If you buy one, it will keep you from hunching forward to get a good look at the screen because you'll be able to adjust the monitor's height according to your eyes instead of the other way around.

If you don't wish to strain your eyes needlessly, you should look into buying a monitor riser.

Another similar piece of equipment to manage screen height is a desktop converter. As the name suggests, it converts a regular desk into a standing model without costing even remotely close to the price of an actual standing table.

All you need to do is place it atop your current desk and modify the height as you like. This way, you can keep your back and neck straight and not strain your eyes at any point.

Natural Lighting

Aside from the furniture and air quality, light in a room is incredibly important in making it suitable for long hours of work. People who work on laptops need to have the best possible lighting to stay alert and have minimal stress on their eyes. That's why having bright; natural lighting is critical in a workspace.

That said, it should fall at a 90-degree angle to your laptop; otherwise, it could create glares and cause strain on the eyes. Be sure to set up your work desk at a right angle against a window so that you get plenty of lighting without stressing your eyes.

If you don't have enough windows to allow sufficient lighting to enter your workspace, you can use bright electrical lights, but they should be bright enough to light up a room perfectly. Moreover, they shouldn't be too harsh or else they will harm your eyes. The best lighting choice for an office would be LED bulbs as they are bright and don't strain the eyes.

On top of that, LED lighting is cost-effective and energy-efficient. If you want to save money and have your lights last a long time, investing in LED bulbs is the right call for you.

Another incredible trait of LED lighting is its environmental friendliness. It doesn't contain any harmful elements such as mercury that will harm the environment. If you want to support environmental sustainability, you should surely look for LED lights for your workplace, or even home for that matter.

Right Room Temperature

Like lighting, a room's temperature is crucial to how well-suited a place is for working. Studies suggest that 71.6 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for optimal productivity in the workplace. This means if you want to perform your best at the job, you should maintain your office temp around 71 degrees Fahrenheit. That said, the HVAC system can be pretty costly, not to mention bad for the environment.

To avoid having to deal with the repercussions of using an air conditioner, you should consider leaving the windows open for a while during the day. But if you choose to do so, be sure you have screens on the windows to keep unwanted critters out.

Ending Note

Having the correct ergonomic settings for your office may seem too costly, but it isn't. If you know about the inexpensive alternatives to ergonomic guidelines, you can have an efficient and comfortable workplace without burdening your pocket.

Give the tips mentioned in this article a shot and notice a difference in your productivity levels at work.