As someone who has worked at home for many years, I find home office furniture to be both rather mundane, yet at the same time, important. Mundane, because it's just stuff. Important, because it's stuff we need to help us be more productive and comfortable. However, sometimes the need leads to problems that can plague us, and even alter our lives. I am talking about physical difficulties like carpal tunnel and back pain. Nobody should have to put up with furniture that causes pain.
One of the central pieces of home office furniture that has given people more grief than perhaps any other is the office chair. We plop down in our favorite leather office chair and assume the position. Rounded back, slouched, head cranked back. Wow! Perfect. Yeah, perfect for back and neck problems. I am currently dealing with the effects of sitting for too many years in front of a computer without paying close enough attention to my posture. I am in pain all the time. My upper back suffers from postural kyphosis and I am searching for an answer. I am but one. There are thousands, if not millions, of people who can relate to what I am saying. So what is the answer?
I don't know what the solution is for everyone's postural related pain, but I do know that there are some home office furniture options that can be considered. One of them is to get rid of your chair and replace it with something else. Give it to someone, throw it away, donate it to charity, or whatever. Instead of using a desk chair, get an alternative of some sort. When I first identified my chair as a problem, I bought a large exercise ball to use. Using this instead of a chair is supposed to increase core strength, which is supposed to help align the back and neck. Great. I found that that was the case for approximately two seconds. Maybe I just didn't try hard enough, but I found that before I knew it I had figured out a way to return to my old familiar, damaging, posture.
My acupuncturist suggested a kneeling chair. This is sort of a unique piece of home office furniture that was in vogue a few years back. I see why these would be good. Knees lower than hips, no back to lean back against, and an angled seat that pretty much forces one to sit upright. I remembered that my Grandpa had one of these so I borrowed it and gave it a whirl. I soon realized that, while it did solve some of the problems inherent with regular office chairs, it also had a few of its own. I didn't like the pressure on my knees, and I found the tendency to lean forward to be irritating and distracting.
A unique piece of home office furniture that I am seriously considering is a standup desk. This would mean that I would no longer sit to work at all. I would have to get used to it, but from what I have read, this is worth the discomfort in the end. My work surface, keyboard, and monitor would all be at standing level. Sounds pretty cool.
Home office furniture is what we make it. It is best if we make it serve us as effectively as possible, with as little negative impact on our health as possible.
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