While it’s common for companies to tout the benefits of ergonomic design – especially when it comes to office furniture – is using an ergonomic desk and chair in your home office really that important?
Can ergonomics improve your health and productivity? Or is the term simply a marketing ploy?
Well, the answer is that ergonomics is essential in your workspace. Not only will an ergonomic chair and desk increase your comfort, but they can also boost your productivity and relieve stress. In fact, setting up a home office without considering ergonomics can leave you with aches and pains, fatigue, and other health issues.
Read on to learn five ways ergonomics – specifically in office furniture – will help you create a productive work-from-home space.
Office furniture can be uncomfortable. Whether a chair’s back is too straight or a desk is slightly too low or high, uncomfortable pieces of office furniture are not conducive to productivity. However, as many of us spend a significant portion of our lives at work, maximum comfort should be a priority when choosing office furniture and windchimes.
An ergonomically-designed desk or chair can make all the difference and help your body get into the most comfortable position. While this doesn’t mean that a non-ergonomic piece of furniture will automatically be uncomfortable, ergonomic furniture is designed to support productivity.
Think of it this way: your comfy chair in the living room may be the most comfortable piece of furniture you own, but it was not designed to increase your productivity. An ergonomic office chair is designed to be comfortable while you work.
Many of the desks and chairs found in an office are not ergonomic, so they can be uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable can impact your productivity and lead to other health issues. Choosing ergonomic furniture for your home office can make a huge difference in your efficiency and wellbeing.
See here for tips for choosing an ergonomic working chair.
2. Adjustable Fit
Your average piece of furniture does not allow for much adjustment. With an average office chair, you may find yourself using extra cushions to provide more lumbar support, or you might adjust the height of your desk to compensate. On the other hand, ergonomic furniture is designed to be highly adjustable – making it easy for you to find the optimal position for your body and needs.
For instance, if you are above or below average height, an ergonomic chair would be the best option for you because it will provide superior lumbar support – you won’t have to use extra cushions or raise the height of your desk. Just like a tailored piece of clothing, a piece of ergonomic furniture can be tailored to fit you perfectly.
3. Reduce Repetitive Strain Injuries
Poor ergonomics in your office can result in musculoskeletal issues and repetitive strain injuries. Repetitive strain injuries are caused by repetitive movements – such as typing, moving your computer’s mouse, and other repetitive motions that office workers perform on a daily basis. Slouching forward or backward in your chair can also cause neck and back problems.
While bad posture may not seem like a serious health issue, the effects can often be felt within a few hours. You may suffer from back and neck pain, stiffness in your shoulders, and more. These injuries may seem like minor annoyances, but they can get worse over time and impact your productivity if you take time off to recover.
An ergonomic desk and chair in your home office will help you avoid musculoskeletal issues and repetitive strain injuries. You can dramatically improve your health and comfort with a few simple adjustments to your desk or chair.
4. Improve Mental Health
Prolonged discomfort at your workstation doesn’t just impact your physical health, though – it can also affect your mental health. You may start to procrastinate about getting work done if you are constantly uncomfortable while you work.
Physical pain and discomfort can negatively affect your mental health by causing anxiety, depression, and more. Physical pain combined with the mental stress or your job can significantly impact your wellbeing in the long term. An ergonomically-designed office chair can alleviate your physical pain and improve your mental health, so it’s definitely worth the investment.
5. Increase Productivity
You’ll be more productive at work if you feel mentally and physically comfortable. Ergonomic furniture is designed with productivity in mind, so it will definitely provide a boost.
When you are comfortable at work, you’ll not only be more productive – the quality of your work will improve as well. When the quality of your work improves, so does your work performance.
With an ergonomic chair and desk, you’ll be able to focus on your work instead of your discomfort. This is especially beneficial if you work as a freelancer because you will gain a reputation in your industry and attract more gigs.
Ergonomic furniture provides proper lumbar support, which corrects your posture and relieves the pressure on your spine, neck, and shoulders. Ergonomic furniture will also help you avoid repetitive strain injuries, meaning you won’t have to take time off work to recover from them.
The Bottom Line
As discussed in all the points above, investing in ergonomic furniture for your home office setup will boost the quality of your output, as well as your productivity and efficiency. However, ergonomic furniture is also more durable than typical office furniture.
Although you may be tempted to buy ‘bargain’ office furniture, investing a bit more for higher quality furniture will save you money in the long run. For one, you won’t need to replace your ergonomic desk and chair as often.
Cheap office furniture is notorious for breaking or malfunctioning – so the amount you’ll spend to repair or replace it frequently will outweigh the cost of purchasing high-quality, ergonomic furniture from the outset.
Ergonomic furniture doesn’t just save you money on repairs and replacements, though – you’ll also save money on doctor’s bills for repetitive strain injuries, back and neck pain, and poor mental health.