9 Must-Have Ergonomic Office Accessories
Ergonomic equipment can make a significant impact on your overall workplace productivity. The
word “ergonomics” refers to the science of designing environments that increase efficiency by
working with human physiology instead of forcing it into unnatural and uncomfortable positions.
Unfortunately, few people pay sufficient attention to this detail — until it’s too late. Letting aches
and pains fester results in expensive medical interventions. Companies and employees alike
absorb these costs in copays and sick days.
Fortunately, the right tools can support positive physical and mental health by helping you avoid
overuse injuries and strains and preventing conditions like low back pain. Here are nine must-
have ergonomic office accessories that can supercharge your performance.
A Quality Chair
Many office workers spend most of their time sitting. Doing so in a chair that doesn’t fit your
body is a surefire recipe for back, shoulder, and hip pain. The wrong angle can create an
unnatural spinal curvature, a condition called kyphosis.
When requesting a new chair from HR or furnishing your home office, ask yourself the following
questions to determine the best fit:
● Does the height adjust? You should be able to place your feet flat on the floor with
your knees bent to 90 degrees.
● Is there adequate lumbar support? The best chairs support your lower back’s natural
curve to prevent pain.
● Are there armrests? Armrests ease pressure on your vertebrae, which is important if
you have degenerative disk disease.
● Does the seat feel comfortable? You want something where you can remain cozy for
hours at a stretch.
A Variable-Height Desk
Have you heard the saying, “sitting is the new standing?” While the two behaviors aren’t exactly
comparable, remaining stationery for more than six to eight hours a day increases your chances
of premature death. However, many office workers pull shifts that are 10 hours or longer.
Fortunately, variable-height desks offer a solution, allowing you to move from sitting to standing
throughout the day. You’ll increase your overall calorie burn and productivity, and many users
report that these devices also help them ease low back pain.
Our favorite height-adjustable desk.
A Monitor Arm
Eye strain is a severe problem among office workers who spend long hours at the computer. It
can lead to dryness, redness, and pain and trigger headaches and migraines.
A monitor arm allows you to adjust your screen for easy viewing. It can also decrease back pain
associated with eye strain — no more hunching forward to read the fine print.
Do you have poor blood circulation? If so, you might find it more comfortable to kick up your feet
than to keep them planted on the floor for hours. However, even those who telecommute should
avoid working on the couch, as it encourages poor ergonomics, like slouching.
Instead, invest in a quality footrest. Do you want to increase your calorie burn while encouraging
circulation? Consider opting for an under-the-desk cycle that lets you pedal in privacy while
keeping that blood flowing to your brain and other organs.
An Ergonomic Mouse and Keyboard
Contrary to popular belief, working on a computer all day doesn’t cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
However, it can prompt other disorders. Upper extremity conditions resulting from keyboard use
are the second most common reason for work-related disability — finding the right model is
Look for one with an adjustable tray that allows your forearms to remain parallel to the floor
when you bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle. Your wrists should form a straight line with
your forearms. You may find wrist supports more cumbersome than not using them, so listen to
your body. Find a mouse that feels good in your hand, ensuring it works with your dominant one
to prevent strain.
The Right Light
Lighting can influence your mood and cause physical pain in some. For example, migraine
sufferers have long complained about the invisible pulsing produced by overhead fluorescents,
If possible, embrace natural light by locating your desk near a window or under a skylight to
reap the following benefits:
● Improved performance: 70% of employees self-report productivity improvements in
● Fewer headaches: Those in such environments have a 63% lower risk of headaches.
● Less eye strain: Natural light reduces eye strain by 51%.
● Increased alertness: Workers in naturally lit spaces report a 56% reduction in
Natural light might also reduce your suffering if you have seasonal affective disorder. If you can’t
get near a source, consider an over-the-counter sun lamp that mimics the outdoor wavelength.
A Pair of Specs
You might not need glasses to see your screen. However, your sleep hygiene may benefit from
a pair of specs.
Many screens emit blue light, the same wavelength as a sunny day. Too much exposure can
disrupt your circadian rhythms. A pair of glasses that cuts this frequency can keep you
A Standing Mat
Cashiers and warehouse workers know too much time on concrete floors wreaks havoc on your
knees, hips, and back. It can also aggravate plantar fasciitis.
They know that the right standing mat eases the pressure. It creates a more forgiving surface,
minimizing stress on your joints.
Our favorite mat.
An Inflatable Fitness Ball
An inflatable fitness ball works wonders as the occasional chair replacement. Consider these
● Bounce: You’ll burn more calories while working your leg muscles.
● Core: Holding yourself upright unsupported strengthens your abs.
● Stretch: Lean back over the device and feel a glorious stretch on your lumbar spine.
Must-Have Ergonomic Office Accessories
You might not pay much attention to workplace ergonomics — until pain develops. Ongoing
discomfort can disrupt your productivity and lead to sick days.
Instead, request these must-have ergonomic office accessories from your HR department or
invest in them for your home office. You’ll produce your best work when your workspace
supports your health.
About the Author
“Rose Morrison is a home-living writer with over five years of experience. She is the managing editor of Renovated.com, a home living site where she loves to cover home renovations and decor to inspire everyone to live their best DIY life. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find her baking something to satisfy her never-ending sweet tooth. For more articles from Rose, you can follow her on Twitter.”