As a group that sits (or stands) at our home-office desks at least five days a week, we at Wirecutter know how important it is to be comfortable as you work. Collectively, we’ve spent well over a thousand hours testing more than a hundred pieces of gear that encourage ergonomically healthy posture and won’t leave you feeling achy and sore at the end of each workday.
Small changes: You don’t have to spend a lot of money on gear to avoid straining your arms, wrists, fingers, or neck.
4 picks, $36-$100
Keyboards are shaped the way they are because it’s what people were used to when they came over from typewriters. An ergonomic keyboard looks funny but can be more comfortable because your hands and wrists can rest in a more natural position.
Best for most people
Best Bluetooth for Windows
Best Bluetooth for Mac
Must have for the Freestyle2
Read the review: The Best Ergonomic Keyboard
2 picks, $80-$90
A trackball isn’t as accurate as a mouse. But either a finger- or thumb-operated model is worth trying if you have nagging wrist or arm pain from using a traditional mouse or trackpad.
Best finger-operated trackball
If you prefer thumb-operated
Read the Review: The Best Trackballs
2 picks, $40-$65
Being comfortable at your desk starts with ensuring you’re not hunching over. Putting the top of your laptop screen 2 or 3 inches above your natural eye level encourages good posture, reducing neck and arm strain.
The sturdiest, most adjustable stand
A budget option
Read the Review: The Best Laptop Stands
Don’t stare at a computer screen in a dark room. Adequate lighting relaxes your eyes, reducing eyestrain and headaches as you work or read. It can also prevent squinting and awkward posture.
Position light where you want it
A classic look
A great LED bulb
Read the Review: The Best LED Desk Lamp
Bigger investments: These costly upgrades are worth the splurge if you want to really dial in your workspace ergonomics.
3 picks, $510-$949
A well-built office chair with fully adjustable height, tilt, seat depth, and armrests is the foundation of good desk posture. Although costly, it’s the most important work-related investment you can make in your daily comfort and long-term health.
The best office chair
A more breathable back
For a different look
Read the Review: The Best Office Chair
3 picks, $226-$525
A large, crisp display is easy on the eyes. But just as important is the fact that it allows you to adjust it to your eye level so you’re looking straight at your work, not craning your neck up or down throughout the day.
4k resolution for fast computers
A 27-inch model for older computers
For a smaller screen at a lower price
Read the Review: The Best 4K Monitors
4 picks, $99-$209
Ergonomic experts recommend keeping your the top of your screen 2 or 3 inches above your eyeline. A monitor arm lets you position your monitor at the right level for you to see most of your screen without craning your neck.
The best monitor arm
If you’re over 6 feet tall
For more color options
If you have two monitors
If you need a dual monitor arm, the AmazonBasics model offers a design nearly identical to pricier competition.
Read the Review: The Best Monitor Arms
1 pick, $495
An adjustable desk lets you switch between standing and sitting so you don’t stay sedentary for too long. But even if you never stand, being able to adjust the height to exactly the right fit for your body and chair improves comfort.
Offering the best combination of stability, operation, features, and design options, Uplift’s standing desk is notable for a lack of major flaws.
Read the Review: The Best Standing Desks
Standing desk mat
2 picks, $37-$89
If you want to stand at your desk, or to switch between standing and sitting, a supportive mat will help you do so comfortably. The best standing desk mats encourage movement, which gets blood moving through your muscles.
Best for regular movement
A lower-cost option
Read the Review: The Best Standing Desk Mats
Things to skip
A good ergonomic keyboard has a built-in wrist rest that positions your wrists at a natural angle for typing.
Put money you’d spend on this toward an adjustable office chair, which will let you position your knees at a comfortable, 90-degree angle.
Although good for building core strength, an exercise ball lacks the lumbar support you need for proper sitting posture. Get a high-quality, adjustable chair instead.
Read the original post on The Essential Ergonomic Gear for Your Home Office.