Ever get a backache, sore neck, tired eyes or strained wrist after a day of work? It’s not you – it’s your office. That’s why we asked Ergonomist Diane Stinson of HealthWorks to share a few of her favorite home office gadgets and gizmos.
“Just because it’s labeled ‘ergonomic’ doesn’t mean it is or that it will work for you,” warns Stinson who says that to work it must fit the individual user. “Many products are well-designed, but they are designed for a lot of people and may not fit every individual.”
Top 10 Ergonomic Gizmos for your Home Office
Home Office Gadget #1: Cordless Telephone Headset – So you aren’t tempted to do the telephone to shoulder scrunch thing that causes neck problems, get a cordless telephone headset. Recommended brand: Plantronics CT14 DECT 6.0 cordless headset phone.
Home Office Gadget #2: Compact Keyboard – Often limited work space means the number pad on your keyboard pushes your mouse out of alignment with your hand, forcing you to reach way across to mouse. The solution? Ditch the number pad and switch to a compact keyboard. Recommended brand: X-Slim Compact Keyboard (KL-5UP).
Home Office Gadget #3: LCD Monitor – The top of the list of ‘Highly Recommended’! Get a LCD monitor with built-in height adjustability and minimum extra gadgets on the bottom that only serves to increase the height.
Home Office Gadget #4: Laptop Stand – The trouble with a laptop is it’s impossible to get the keyboard, mouse and screen in the right place. The fix? A laptop stand plus a separate keyboard and mouse.
Home Office Gadget #5: Gliding Palm Rest – Palm rests are popular choices for mousing, but standard models put pressure on the sensitive carpal tunnel. A Gliding Palm Rest doesn’t add extra pressure and moves with your hand, meaning it takes less effort to mouse preventing overreaching. Recommended brand: Fellows ES 9180701.
Home Office Gadget #6: Task Lighting – Use task lighting to illuminate documents without adding extra glare to your monitor. Avoid halogen or fluorescent bulbs and look for a dimmer switch and an adjustable arm. Recommended brands: SpaceCo Wave Light or Vision Max.
Home Office Gadget #7: Ergonomic Mouse – Contrary to popular belief, palm facing down is not a neutral hand position. Look for a vertical mouse or a hybrid version that is halfway in between. Recommended brands: Microsoft Natural Wireless 6000 (69K00007) or Evoluent 4.
Home Office Gadget #8: Footrest – If your home office is the homework station for your kids and the nighttime research station for your husband, you need different heights for different users. A footrest lets you adjust for different users and pushes you back into the chair back, helping to break habits like sitting on your feet or crossing your legs. Recommended brands: Grand and Toy Adjustable Footrest (99992) or the Yellow Pages.
Home Office Gadget #9: Document Holder – Something as simple as placing your document off to the side forces you to bend and twist your neck. An In-Line Document Holder positions the document between the keyboard and the screen. Look for one that allows you to adjust the angle. Recommended brands: 3M (DH640) or Fellows Professional Series (8039401).
Home Office Gadget #10: Adjustable Chair – There is so much to share about how to properly fit a chair that we can’t possibly include it all here (so we aren’t going to). Stay tuned for the next in our series where we get the goods on sizing chairs.
Bonus Gadget! Staple Remover – Tul Ultimate Staple Remover (TUL01916) uses a sliding motion to remove staples instead of a pinching motion (which is important if your job requires removing a lot of them)!
Thank you to Diane Stinson for sharing her work safety tips with us! Check out her site for more resources on work habits and stretching techniques!