Usually, we think of the New Year as the perfect time to make personal resolutions. We head to the gym, get ourselves on to new diets, and make promises we can never follow through on. But if there’s one place that could really use a New Years resolution, it’s the office space. After all, most of us work in spaces that are less than ideal, sticking ourselves into non-ergonomic chairs, hunching over desks that are too high or low, and typing the day away on keyboards that give us Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs).
Still, even if you want to do an ergonomic overhaul, which products will really make a difference, and which ones are all hype? Let’s take a closer look at the top trending ergonomic products to filter out the noise.
Applying a good screen filter directly to your laptop or computer screen is a great way to prevent the kind of glare that can increase the symptoms of computer vision syndrome (CVS). Even better, however, is using screen filters in conjunction with a program like F.lux, which adjusts the amount of light streaming from the screen based on the time of day, and creates a much softer, yellower light than most screens usually display. In so doing, F.lux makes it so that your computer screen won’t interfere with your circadian rhythms, and you’ll be much more likely to enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Adjustable Laptop Stand
Laptops are lightweight, slim and convenient for working on the go. But with an anchored keyboard and screen, it’s impossible to place both at an ideal height at the same time. That is, however, unless you enlist the help of adjustable laptop stand to place the screen an arm’s length away, and at such a height so that your neck remains in a neutral position. Pair the stand with an ergonomic keyboard (see below) and you’ll have an entirely mobile ergonomic workstation.
Even if you don’t work from a laptop, it’s still a good idea to opt for a dynamic monitor arm, which will allow you to move your display up, down, and all around throughout the day as your posture and task dictate.
When pairing your devices with a keyboard, it’s important not just to go with any run of the mill setup. Instead, opt for a split keyboard — scratch that, an adjustable split keyboard — to optimize your typing experience. What’s the difference? A split keyboard, as you might have guessed, is split in the middle; this makes for a much more natural keyboarding approach, as your hands won’t splay to the side like they would with a straight keyboard. However, static split keyboards only have one position, while most of us human beings have very different bodies and typing behaviors. An adjustable split keyboard, on the other hand, is fully customizable so that you can find the most ideal position for you. Doing so will dramatically reduce the risk of developing an RSI like carpal tunnel syndrome, and can also help mitigate symptoms if one has previously developed.
You’ve probably noticed that we’re big fans of standing desks here at Goldtouch. Certainly, they’re one of our favorite trends. But trending even higher at the moment are treadmill desks, which will keep you doing light exercise throughout the day, without even noticing. With your blood pumping and your muscles constantly working, you’ll feel better, keep weight off, and have plenty of energy to devote to creativity, productivity, and efficiency. Who knew the treadmill could be so much fun.
That said, if you do opt for sitting, then make sure you go for an ergonomic chair, which will provide ample support for you neck, lower back and arms. It may seem obvious, but support is important, as it provides ample resting spots, which in turn prevent you from overstraining yourself and causing injury. Alternatively, why not give sitting on a medicine ball a try? While they’re not for everyone, they can be a great way to engage your core and get you to sit up straight — if you train yourself (it’s not easy to do right out of the gate). So train yourself up, and give it a try!
If you’re sitting in the ideal position, your feet will sit flat on the ground with your knees at a 45-degree angle. Whenever your knees are strained in either direction, you can easily develop problems both locally and throughout your musculoskeletal system. If this is the case for you and it can’t be fixed by adjusting your desk or chair (more common with extremely short or tall people), then a foot rest will give your feet and your legs exactly the support you need.
Lighting can be so difficult to get right at your desk. Position them incorrectly, and they’ll create glare. Don’t add enough of it, and you’ll have to strain your eyes to see what you’re doing, all the more so if you’re switching frequently back and forth between your screen and a paper documents. Placed at the side of your desk, task lighting will provide the illumination you need to prevent eye strain. Opt for a softer light that you can adjust throughout the day, and make sure that, just like everything else in your ergonomic workspace, it is fully adjustable as you change positions. For more information and a good selection, check out our friends at ErgoDirect.
You may use your ergonomic keyboard more throughout the day, but your ergonomic mouse is almost as important when it comes to preventing carpal tunnel syndrome. Mousing on trackpads or on slim, non-supportive mouse puts too much pressure on your wrists and joints, making you tire more quickly and ultimately giving your pain. With a good ergonomic mouse, you’ll have support throughout your day, and plenty of spaces for respite when you’re no longer working. Together, these features will go a long way to keeping you happy and comfortable.
Today’s trending ergonomic products are trending for a reason: they work, and they work well. Resolving to do an ergonomic overhaul isn’t just good for your office, it’s for you, too. So the real question is, where will you start?