2019 Update: We still stand by this discussion of better ergonomics at the office — but you may also want to check out some of our other discussions on office decor, including how to make your office more comfortable.
We’ve talked before about ergonomics at work — as well as ergonomics for petites — but it’s been a while, so let’s discuss today, ladies! Have you tried to have better ergonomics at the office? What have you bought; what products did you like/not get annoyed by, and what actually made you feel better/good? (Plus, do tell: what did you get reimbursed?) What resources were the most helpful for you in your hunt?
For my $.02: I feel like I am forever buying, trying, and discarding various things to try to make my office better ergonomically. I’m typing this very post on a new split keyboard (recommended by Wirecutter as one of their top choices), and trying to relearn how to type because the numbers along the top are split (1-5 are on one keyboard, 6-0 on another), and other keyboard features that I use frequently are in a different place than my old keyboard. Over the years, I’ve bought a huge number of those lower back pillows designed to improve your posture — and about every ten years I seem to need to try a kneeling desk chair one more time. (I bought one last year and think I’m set for this decade… nope, still don’t like them.) Ergonomic products I have bought and liked:
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- monitor risers (I have double monitors so I have one for each; I like them!)
- this is the split keyboard I bought a few weeks ago — I like the mechanical keys (very clicky clacky) and the squishy wrist rest, but we’ll see if I can get past the weird Ctrl button and lack of a number pad. If you’re out and about frequently, I still like my Bluetooth keyboard also so I can avoid trying to type long things on my phone (a friend was just telling me she was diagnosed with “texting thumb,” which might also explain hand pain I’ve had for a while now…)
- I got this $30 lumbar pillow during my second pregnancy and must say I like it much more than all the other desk chair pillows/posture adjusters that I’ve had over the years (check out our recentish post on how to improve your posture, as well – lots of great suggestions from readers in the comments)
- I feel guilty saying it’s an “ergonomic” pick but it was recommended by Wirecutter as their “budget” pick — I have the Ikea Markus chair for my main desk chair. It’s ugly as sin but for $200 I’ll take it.
- Over the years I’ve also had apps installed on my computer to reduce eye strain, including one years ago that reminded me to blink regularly (I can’t find it now, but here’s a more recent article from Lifehack with free apps to help you with eye strain)
- I don’t regularly have problems with carpal tunnel syndrome, but during my first pregnancy I did for some reason — I remember loving the arm brace from my local drugstore and thinking it really helped the pain (I slept in it, I think, instead of using it during the day)…
- I need to get a nice big crate or banker’s box to put under my desk — I’ve tried and discarded a few nicer “stands” and stools over the years and just like the basic banker’s box!
How about you, readers? What products have you tried seeking better ergonomics at the office? What are your biggest complaints (wrist? neck? back? eyes? other?)
- Wirecutter Posts:
- How to Set Up an Ergonomic Workstation [CNET]
- Are Standing Desks Better For You? Not So Fast [Fast Company]
- Seven Ways to Prevent and Manage RSI [Guardian]
Stock photo via Shutterstock / Martin Novak.