Apart from the basic desk, chair and computer there are a number of useful gadgets which can help you work more comfortably at work or in your home office. We’ve picked out a few that we think can make a real difference.
The footrest: in a previous blog ‘Are you sitting comfortably?’ we talked about getting your chair adjusted so that it is at the right height for your desk. If, having followed our guidelines, you find that your feet are then unsupported, you will need a footrest. They come in all shapes and sizes and most are adjustable in height. They are relatively inexpensive but essential to give your legs and back support.
- The laptop stand: the laptop is great for convenience but is not ergonomically ideal and can easily become the source of aches and pains. We would highly recommend only using a laptop without a laptop stand when out and about but not when in the office for any length of time. Laptop stands are neat fold away stands which place your laptop screen at the correct height and help prevent neck and back pain. If you refer to documents, many stands come with an integrated document holder. Once the laptop is on its stand it is necessary to use a separate mouse and keyboard. Many suppliers sell ‘laptop sets’ that include all three products in one package deal.
Laptop bags: there are some excellent bags on the market now that are both lightweight and either rucksack in style or on wheels – or both. There should be no excuse to lug your heavy laptop and work around on one shoulder!
Mouse: should you be unfortunate enough to develop symptoms related to using the mouse, there are a number of alternative mice on offer which change the position of your wrist and hand. There is even one that can be operated more like a pen.
- Keyboard: equally there are a variety of differently shaped keyboards on the market to suit all individuals. There are even portable roll up keyboards for use with a laptop.
- Document holders: there are several different types of document holders that can be used in conjunction with your computer. Some are freestanding and others attach to the side of the monitor or sit in front of the screen. They are all designed to cut down on the repetitive neck movements required if looking at work on your desk and then glancing up to the screen.
Telephone headsets: if you are on the phone more than 40% of your day or if your calls last more than 5-10 minutes we recommend getting a headset. These are lightweight and very comfortable to wear. They can be totally wireless and sound quality is excellent. They will free up your hands to take notes and ease the strain on neck and shoulder muscles.
Remember, if you are unsure that your workstation is set up correctly we can help.
If you enjoyed reading this take a look at our other posture related blogs!