• Dawn Chau

Ergonomics and Interior Design

Ergonomics generally refers to the support and comfort provided by a piece of furniture in relation to a person's efficiency in their work environment. We hear this term many times in a description of office chairs or desks. It's also an important factor in interior design ... it looks at the shape of the room, the furniture, the people – how many people there are and how they’ll interact with the space. Designing an interior ergonomically will optimize a client’s comfort, whether it’s a workplace or a home.


Now that many of us are spending more time at home, we may be finding some issues in our own homes regarding both of these definitions of ergonomics ... the comfort of the spaces and furniture in our homes we've adapted into office spaces as well as the overall flow and comfort the spaces we live in. Let's talk about both of these today and how we can make some adjustments that will make a big difference.


Did you have a home office already set up for the work you are now doing? Many of you didn't so you've most likely set up a makeshift office on your kitchen island, at your coffee table, or even hanging out in your bedroom. Short term this is probably fine, but the longer you're working from home in this setting, the more likely there will be physical results. Before the back pain or sore shoulders and neck set in (if they haven't already), let's talk about what we can do starting today as well whether you need to make an investment in an ergonomic chair.


1. Set up your "desk" so your monitor is easy to view and you aren't having to stress the neck. Raise your monitor or laptop if needed with books or boxes.


2. Vary your sitting position regularly. Adjust your chair if possible, change your seated position regularly - don't spend too much time in the same position.


3. Take frequent breaks. Do some quick exercises, take a walk, plan a 10-minute yoga break, stand up at least every 20 minutes.


4. Pay attention to your posture. Slouching puts pressure on your back and is a sure way to bring on back pain when working from home.


5. Purchase a lumbar support pillow or chair cushion - if back pain is already an issue for you, a lumbar support pillow or cushion can be purchased for under $50 and may alleviate some of the pain.


6. Make the investment of an ergonomic office chair and set up a home that will be a healthy space for you. If you have somewhere in your home to make this work, now may be the time to make that change. Office chairs can range from just over $100 to over $1000 ... here's a good article with information on chairs in all price ranges.


Now regarding ergonomic interior design, this is where I can help!

As we've discussed before we are continuing to offer services through Facetime, Pinterest sharing, Mood Boards, Designer On-Call, and other E-design services. Now that you're having more time than ever to see how your spaces work in your overall home design, it may have come to light that there is some room for improvement or even a need for some big changes. I would love to help you plan that new home office space or work with you on other problem areas in your home. Feel free to email me and let's get started!

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