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How to Set Up an Ergonomic Home Office for Studying

An at-home workspace

As the United States continues to combat and monitor the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic, more Americans are working and learning from home than ever. Whether you've been nestled in your home office since March or recently transitioned to your new setup, take advantage of the following best practices to help you stay focused, comfortable, and productive while studying and completing assignments from home.

Get the Right Equipment

Think about the things you'll need to complete your coursework—go beyond the basics! Pretty much every recent laptop model has a webcam, but screen sizes can differ, which can be especially frustrating if you're a graphic design student. Reduce eye strain by purchasing a large monitor and blue-light blocking glasses. It may seem like a minor improvement, but using an external keyboard can also help reduce hand, wrist, and elbow pain. As a rule of thumb, when sitting in your chair you should be able to place your hands flat on your desk or table if you're using a thinner keyboard. Although it may seem easier to repurpose another chair currently sitting in your home, carefully consider seating that offers enough lumbar support and is the appropriate height for your study surface.

Create the Right Angles

Pay attention to your position as you read, write, type, or watch lectures: whether you're seated or using a standing desk, ensure that your head is vertical to your neck to prevent strain. While sitting, you don't necessarily have to be positioned at a 90-degree angle. In fact, finding a seated position that allows you to slightly lean back while still being able to view the screen is better for your back. While you may perceive sitting upright as a more active position, allowing yourself to adjust every so often can help reduce stiffness and soreness over time. Keep your shoulders relaxed by using your armrests instead of leaving your elbows suspended in the air.

Take Breaks Regularly

Help prevent burnout by allowing yourself adequate rest. Even if you've created a perfect ergonomic desk setup, you'll grow tired at some point. Take some time away from your desk to move around, stretch, or even take an extended walk to get some fresh air. Experiment with taking 15-minute breaks as often as you need until you find a rhythm that works with your schedule and keeps you productive.

While earning your degree from home, an ergonomic home office setup and online learning resources from Tulane School of Professional Advancement can provide you with the tools you need to succeed. Tulane SoPA is a leading institution in online learning for higher education, offering both bachelor's and master's degree programs for remote students all over the world. Start your application today to begin your journey to a new career from the comfort of your home.

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