Taking care of my body when working remotely

Reading a Dilbert's book I found this really funny comic strip about remote work and personal well-being:

Dilbert on remote working

Until half a year ago I didn't do much remote working, mostly because previous jobs didn't allowed me to and I wasn't so eager to try it. But past months things have changed and now I really appreciate it as a way to improve concentration and squeeze more from time the day for other tasks (mostly as I save on commuting). But, there is one thing where at meast I have to be careful now: ergonomic and proper sitting position.

Ergonomic seating basics

I sometimes tend to cross my legs, other times to curve my back, and sometimes I get wrist pain (not strong, but enough to annoy)... so I've been improving my home working area as now I work an average of two days per week from home. This is the setup I currently have:

An old, grey and white IKEA Fredrik work table with up to two optional shelves above it, plus cable cord "rail" and a keyboard handle. It is wide and big enough for my laptop, monitor, a study area (for books, writing...) and even a PS3. The cable holder rail is so nice to avoid having tons of cables laying under the desk. It is also high, so with a small box below (with drawers to store things inside) I have the monitor at the correct height to always look upfront and not lower the head.

IKEA Fredrik

A decent (but not expensive) chair, with a net-like back so that my body can "breathe", and of course armrests, to keep the arms in proper angle. I modified the keyboard handle of the table to be at the proper height so my arms form a proper 90º angle. A SteelCase or similar brand might be awesome, but they are so expensive that while I can find cheaper alternatives I'll stick to them.

Ergonomic chair similar to mine

A 24" 1920x1200 monitor. People go a bit crazy IMO and maybe for a designer 27" or 30" are nice, but at least I don't need so many inches. I have a 30" monitor but after some daily use I moved it permanently to being my gaming PC screen and instead use something smaller but good enough display for my daily tasks. I'd love to have one that rotates to portait mode (so nice for coding, I had one like that at a previous job) but while this one works I won't change it. 2 Monitors might also be interesting but I'd need a dell docking base and my table is not huge, plus I'm so used to alt-tabbing that I don't need them.

Dell 24 inches monitor

I use an ergonomic keyboard for everything except gaming. I have two Microsoft Natural Keyboard 4000, one at home and one at work, but recently I switched (at home) to the newer and smaller Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic, because I get more free space from the (separate) numeric keyboard segment and it is great, with soft keypresses and definetly a good improvement. Ah, it is in english, I'd rather learn where are the ñ and accents when I need to write in Spanish but enjoy the quicker code writing of a UK layout (I've never used a US layout but as anyway would be harder to get from Spain, I directly don't care).

Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic for Business

I recently tried and now use a footrest platform. I bought a Kensington Solemate Plus because is cheap but allows to adjust the inclination and height, plus the feet don't slip.

Kensington Solemate Plus

As I play videogames, ages ago when I bought my gaming PC I did it with a good laser gaming mouse, a Razer Diamondback. After serving me for around 4 years, I decided to buy another one for the gaming rig and I've been using this one for coding for around anoher 4 years. It is very precise and my hand doesn't gets tired of using it, so I'll probably keep it until breaks. Probably any ergonomic mouse will do, but I'd go for a mid-high gaming one as usually are the best ones.

Razer Diamondback

For a distant future, I'd have to test a standing desk, but I don't see where I could setup one at home so for the time being is on hold.

Add to the list a good illumination, quiet environment and now that I have air conditioning nice temperature even in the summer, and the truth is I feel really comfortable working from home. Any additional suggestions, ideas or elements you'd add?

Tags: Offtopic

Taking care of my body when working remotely article, written by Kartones. Published @