The VariDesk Essential 30 is 30 inches wide and requires no assembly. It has a two-tier design, so you can put your monitor or laptop on the top deck, and your keyboard on the lower deck. The spring-assisted rowing lift makes it easy to raise and lower the desk (or kitchen table) to the right height.
Staring at your small laptop can strain your eyes, as well as your back and neck. “The BenQ 32-inch curved monitor is my recommended choice for computer ergonomics, since this type of monitor has visual and structural ergonomic features,” says Dr. Allen Conrad, B.S., D.C., CSCS at Montgomery County Chiropractic Center in North Wales, Pennsylvania. “It has an angled screen, which helps with eye glare, and other benefits include its low blue light and brightness intelligence settings, which can be customized to each user.”
Allen says that structural ergonomics involve how the monitor can be customized to your eye viewing level. He adds, “This model has a tilt function of 5 to 20 degrees, which can help prevent neck and shoulder strain for those on the computer for long hours.” In addition, the monitor can be raised up to 2.4”, which Allen says can help center the screen in your viewing area. As a bonus, the monitor is also great for streaming or video games, since it has a high refresh rate.
If you don’t have space for a large monitor, Sapna recommends the Lepow 15.6-inch portable monitor. “This product is a good addition for those who work a lot on smaller screens such as their phones, including students,” she says. The monitor, which includes dual speakers, can also add real estate when positioned next to your laptop screen in either landscape or portrait mode.
“Prolonged use on a smaller screen, especially phones, can have negative impacts on the eyes, as it can be tiring to work on them for prolonged periods of time,” Sapna explains. “Another good application for this is to encourage students or even travelers and those who doomscroll on Instagram a lot on their phones to sit at a proper desk and use a bigger screen instead of holding their phones and commonly flexing their necks, which is something coined ‘text neck.’” She warns that text neck can lead to neck injury, neck pain, headaches, migraines, and even nerve injuries.
It’s important to raise your monitor or laptop off your work surface to bring it closer to eye level. “Many monitors do not have adjustable heights or tilt functions, and the user tends to develop neck and shoulder pain from a poor ergonomic computer workspace,” Allen says. He recommends the Grovemade wood monitor stand as a good option for a riser. “The Grovemade wood stand is lightweight, which makes it easily movable and doesn’t take up much desktop space.” The stand can hold up to 200 pounds and has space below to hide your keyboard when not in use.
Even with the best ergonomic desk setup, you need to be active, especially if you’re no longer getting the benefit of walking around in an office environment. “I commonly prescribe home-fitness exercise programs for my patients, and I recommend the MYX II connected bike,” Allen says. “It’s the latest in home fitness and includes a stationary bike that comes with a large 21-inch color screen, ergonomic pedal design, and many features that will make your home workout everything you were looking for.”
In addition, the bike can also monitor your heart rate, distance, calories burned, and is compatible with the Apple watch, making it a win-win for your health and your productivity. Allen adds, “The bike has access to MYX II online fitness trainers and also includes other types of classes, like kettlebells, yoga, HIIT, kickboxing, sculpt, and meditation.”
An ergonomic keyboard can help with the hand and wrist pain commonly associated with working at your computer for extended periods of time. Allen recommends the Logitech MX Keys keyboard, not only because it is lighted and has a sturdy design. “Its greatest ergonomic feature is that each keyboard button has a concave-dished top, which is created to match your fingertips.” He explains that this type of design is more natural when you’re typing, making it quieter and more comfortable, while helping reduce typing errors.
“The Logitech MX Master 3 mouse may be exactly what you have been looking for in a computer mouse,” Allen says. “Its sleek design is specifically contoured to your hand, and the new Magspeed electromagnetic scrolling can move 1000 lines on your screen in one second.” Apparently, the mouse is also almost effortless to use. “The side thumb wheel can help you navigate around the computer screen with less wrist and arm movements,” he adds. “Anything that reduces the time needed to be typing on the computer can help prevent back and wrist pain commonly associated with prolonged repetitive typing motions.”
Whether you commute to work or you work at home, Allen assures that the Marshall Mid ANC headphones are a solid choice. Headphones tend to be heavy, but these are lightweight (only 7.33 ounces), so your ears won’t start aching if you wear them for a long time. “Since they are wireless, you can move about while listening to music, which will reduce the amount of time sitting hunched over a computer,” he explains. “They also have active noise cancelling (ANC) and a Bluetooth aptX function, which will help with a seamless sound experience, so you can focus on your work.”
A well lit desk space is essential to your well-being. “If the space is too dark, you may end up squinting or straining, and similarly, glare is just too difficult on your eyes,” Sapna warns. “This can lead to headaches, migraines, etc.” She recommends natural light whenever possible, but when that’s not an option, Sapna likes the BenQ desk light. “A lamp that has various light settings is beneficial for ensuring one can adjust the settings to match the lighting needs of the room and the user’s eyes.” The Ben Q has a range of cool and warm temperatures that you can adjust as well as an anti-glare light that does not flicker. In addition, it automatically adjusts in brightness depending on the room’s ambiance.
Our final recommendation for an ergonomic home office setup is the Fluidstance balance board. It looks like something a teenager might use—and they can—but it can also be used by adults. “It helps work on your core muscles for stabilization, and also helps promote proper balance and posture,” Allen says. “This reinforced yet lightweight balance board has a study durable design, which helps the spine remain in a neutral position, while you perform your computer work tasks.” Plus, it might add a little fun to your workday.
Enjoy getting your home office ergonomics in tip-top shape.