For those of us working in home offices, it's essential we take steps to make our office as comfortable and ergonomic as possible. When you are spending 8 hours a day in a chair (often longer for Photoshop enthusiasts) it's critical to take care of your body. As photographers, our bodies do tend to take a certain amount of on-the-job abuse, so it's critical that we take care of our bodies as much as we can to prevent injuries later. Here are some of the best tips for photography home offices.
Adjustable High Quality Chair – the most important office item you can invest in is your chair. You spend hour upon hour in that chair. You want to be as comfortable as possible. Avoid those chairs from the big box office stores. They are not designed for all day sitting. Some of them will have comfort rating such as 2-4 hours of use at a time. That isn't going to work for a full time home office. Invest in a proper chair and your body will thank you. Here are some of the things to look for: adjustable height, adjustable back and adjustable seat.
Monitor Screen-the top of the screen should be level with your eyes. You can adjust the height with a monitor stand, or you can simply place books under the base to get it to the right height. The monitor itself should be arm's length from you.
Keyboard-I highly recommend the ergonomic keyboard. If you haven't used one before, it may take a while to get used to it, but it is shaped to reduce strain on your wrists. When typing, you want your elbows at a 90 degree angle. A keyboard tray is the best option to create the right height and angle. Plus it saves desktop space. If you are using a laptop, it is critical to have a separate keyboard and mouse.
Adequate Lighting-Looking at images all day, task lighting is essential. Make sure that you have extra daytime lighting as needed, as well as lighting for evening hours. We use full spectrum lighting in order to reduce eyestrain and headaches, as well as creating the most natural lighting environment possible for looking at images.
Avoid Eye Strain-when working on production tasks like editing, color correcting or album design, be sure to look away from the computer every 5-10 minutes to keep from putting too much strain on your eyes.
Miscellaneous Tips-Get up and stretch frequently. If nothing else, do this. Our bodies are not designed to be in one position for hours at a time. Place tools such as phone within reach distance so you aren't straining to reach them. To get exact measurements for your monitor placement, chair height and keyboard tray, go here and enter your height:
Have other tips for making your home office more ergonomic friendly? Please share them in the comments below.