15 ergonomic products to help support your neck and back while working from home
Protect your body while you're hard at work
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Working from home has become the new normal for employees across the nation due to the spread of the coronavirus. While some have home offices already, others have been searching for furniture, tech gear, and supplies to create their own temporary setups. No matter what your setup is at home, though, it may be vastly different from what you have in your workplace—and it could have a serious impact on your neck and back. Whether it be a comfortable chair or a mouse pad, you probably won't realize how much these things were doing for you until you find yourself at home and in pain without them.
In order to prevent serious strain on your neck and back, you'll need to make sure you're supporting them properly. That’s where ergonomic products come in. Ergonomics is the study of designing your workspace in the most efficient way to support the human body. From your desk position to wrist support, every element is designed to make movements easier, more natural, and put less pressure on your body. Whether your new workplace is a couch, desk, or kitchen table, there are ways to make your space more ergonomic so that you can work for hours on end with ease. Here are the 15 products at various different price points that will bring less strain (literally and figuratively) into your workday.
1. A chair that supports your neck and back
A supportive chair can make all the difference in your back and neck comfort. At Reviewed, we tested several office chairs and found the Herman Miller Aeron to be our favorite. Although the chair is pricey, its suspension on the seat and backrest will keep you comfortable and supported for long stretches of time. The Autonomous ErgoChair 2 is one of our favorites for its adjustable headrest and great lumbar support, though it's still not particularly cheap. For a more affordable option, this office chair at Walmart has rave reviews.
2. A comfortable pillow to support your lower back
I worked as a waitress for several years and hurt my back carrying heavy trays. These days, I make sure that my back is always supported. That’s why I bought the LoveHome lumbar support cushion and I'm obsessed. It can be attached to nearly any sized chair and relieves the pressure on your mid and lower back. It’s a great alternative if you don’t want to buy a whole new chair. Pro tip: it’s perfect to bring along in long car rides, too.
3. A balance ball chair to keep you active and focused
A balance ball chair has many benefits. It promotes proper spine alignment, relieves back pain, and can even boost energy by engaging your mind and body to stay balanced. Shoppers are obsessed with the Gaiam Classic Balance Ball Chair in particular because of its back support bar, easy-glide wheels, and an air pump to get the chair set up with ease.
4. A kneeling chair to improve your posture
Kneeling chairs may look weird, but they have several benefits that can keep your body in tip-top shape throughout your work day. The angle of the chair keeps the spine aligned, reduces back and neck strain, prevents hunching, and reduces muscle fatigue. The Flash Furniture Kneeling Office Chair is highly-rated and loved by reviewers for its comfort level, sturdiness, and stylish appearance.
5. A seat cushion to protect your tailbone
If you don't intend to buy a whole new chair, but still want to have a comfortable seating arrangement, consider getting this top-rated gel seat cushion from Staples. It's made from non-slip orthopedic gel and memory foam and people love it. It's said to support your tailbone and relieve pressure on your back, making it especially worth it for people with sciatica.
6. A standing desk to ensure you’re not sitting all day long
It can be uncomfortable sitting for hours at a time. A standing desk is a great alternative that will help to keep you moving throughout the day and boost your energy and focus levels. Our favorite standing desk that we tested is the iMovR Lander Desk. It takes less than five minutes to assemble and once it’s set up, it feels incredibly sturdy. The height and keyboard tray are adjustable to fit your comfort level, plus it comes with features like USB ports and a monitor arm. A more affordable option that we liked is the Varidesk ProPlus 36. It comes completely set up and transitions smoothly between heights.
7. A mat to enhance your standing desk experience
If you’re getting a standing desk, a mat can provide additional support. The best one we tested is the Ergodriven Topo. It has various slopes and slants that allow you to cross your legs or stand straight while taking the pressure off your heels, back, and legs. If you’re in the market for a less expensive option, we prefer the Royal Anti-Fatigue Mat for its affordability and comfort.
8. A footrest to improve your leg circulation
Making sure your feet are positioned properly can help you to maintain overall comfort throughout the day. This top-rated foot rest is raved about by reviewers because of its adjustability, pebble-textured surface that provides instant foot stimulation, and convenient swivel feature.
9. A keyboard that reduces strain on your wrists
If you type a lot for your job, sore wrists are often a warning sign that carpal tunnel syndrome could be laying in wait. Ergonomic keyboards reduce strain by allowing your hands and arms to type in a more natural position. I won’t lie, there’s a real learning curve if you’ve never used one before. But ever since I made the switch to a Microsoft ergo keyboard eight years ago, I’ve never looked back. A note of caution, however, if you’re sharing a workspace: It’s a bit loud.
10. A good mouse for comfortable scrolling
When looking for a great mouse, you want one that makes scrolling quick and easy and doesn’t put extra strain on your wrist. That’s why ergonomics were top of mind when we tested different wireless mice. The best mouse that we tested was the Logitech MX Anywhere 2S. It can pair to three different screens and move seamlessly between them. It even has the ability to switch between a click-style scroll and a smooth scroll by just pushing a button. Our favorite budget pick is the HP Wireless Mouse X4000. It can connect to five devices and worked well on all the surfaces we tested.
11. A mouse pad to cushion your wrist
A cushioned mouse pad can make all the difference in reducing strain on your wrist. The Belkin Gel Mouse Pad has great reviews because of the added comfort and support it offers. The mouse pad is lightweight and durable, and the non-slip rubber base holds it firmly in place.
Get the Belkin WaveRest Gel Mouse Pad at Walmart for $7.39
12. A keyboard wrist rest pad for additional support
A wrist rest pad is ideal for long hours of typing. It improves hand and wrist posture, which releases your elbows, shoulders, and joints from stress. The Gimars Wrist Rest Pad boasts high ratings because of its smooth, breathable and durable memory foam material. Plus, it comes with an additional wrist support cushion just for using your mouse.
13. A stand to bring your screen up to a healthy height
Laptop and monitor stands are great for two things: bringing your screen up to eye level and providing additional storage space. The Mind Reader Monitor Stand is perfect for doing both jobs (and reviewers agree!). It raises your monitor to a comfortable viewing height, in turn reducing strain on your neck and eyes, and it is incredibly sturdy. The stand also has a drawer that provides storage space underneath the monitor, in addition to two storage pockets on the side that can hold office supplies.
If you’re working on a laptop, this Rain Design laptop stand is loved by reviewers because it can raise your laptop to the ideal height while simultaneously keeping your laptop cool.
14. A large monitor to reduce strain on your eyes
Working on a second, larger monitor instead of your tiny laptop screen can reduce strain on your eyes and neck. When we were testing computer monitors, we found the HP VH240a to be our favorite because of its large, bright screen and its portrait orientation capabilities. A less expensive, but still top-performing option is the HP Pavilion 22cwa. While it's a little on the small side for computer monitors, 22 inches is still a big step up from most laptop screens, and it delivers great resolution.
15. A monitor arm to adjust your screen position freely
A monitor arm can help you adjust your screen with ease and allows for more freedom than a stationary computer stand. This VIVO monitor desk mount stand is a crowd-pleaser because it can fit two monitors at once, can be put into portrait or landscape mode, and is super easy to install.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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