7 Must-Haves For a Comfortable Office with Psoriatic Arthritis
Our patient records, access to our healthcare and test results, and even managing our groceries are often all completed in front of a screen. When our bodies are already prone to pain and fatigue, we need to make it as easy as possible on our bodies to get everything we need to accomplish with as little additional pain as possible.
Finding the right mix of things is all about comfort, protection, and care.
No one can escape time in front of a screen
It seems like we spend more time than ever at our desks, using our computers. These repetitive, straining motions and staring at screens can take a toll on our bodies, even more than most.
Even if you don’t work on a computer for a living, it is a reality of life that getting anything accomplished involves being able to use a computer. So I came up with my top 7 "must-haves" for a comfortable office with psoriatic arthritis.
A mouse that doesn't squeak!
While it might seem like a little thing, having an ergonomic mouse that is made to allow your hands to scroll and click with as much comfort as possible can make even the shortest foray in front of the screen more comfortable for aching hands and joints.
There is one type of mouse, called the Anaker mouse, that seems to often get great reviews within the arthritis community.
A place to rest your painful feet
A footrest! If you suffer from foot and ankle pain, having the right footrest is a must. The footrest allows you to sit using the correct posture while also being comfortable, especially if, like me, you are a bit vertically challenged.
Some are squishy, some are hard, and some even include massage features. A footrest allows you to sit ergonomically correctly, so you don’t cause additional pain to your ankles, knees, and hips.
A comfy keyboard
Finding the right keyboard for you might take some trial and error, but there are many types and styles available. In fact, probably more than you would ever actually think there would be. But in reality, there are split keyboards, padded keyboards, and ones with all different types of wrist and finger rests.
It is a good idea to spend a little time and effort to find one that really needs the specific needs of your hands and wrists. In fact, if you struggle with typing enough, you may even want to consider voice-to-text software that not only allows you to work more comfortably but quicker too.
Consider screen positioning
While your screen can be adjusted for visual comforts, such as colors or brightness, the most important is screen positioning. Experts suggest that placing your screen so that you don’t have to look up puts the least amount of stress on your neck.
So keep that in mind as well if you happen to work or play on your computer from bed. Having it at just the right height and about an arm’s length away can keep you comfortable working or play for as long as you’d like.
It's all in the chair
When it comes to your chair, options are everything. The more adjustments you can make to it, the better off you will be. It is a good idea to stick with one that you can adjust the lumbar support, height, arms, and everything. I speak from personal experience here, don’t pick your chair based on looks alone.
When I was setting up my workspace, I wanted a picture-perfect area - down to the magazine-worthy chair. During the first week, 10 minutes into working and I was miserable. Of course, Unfortunately, we don’t always have the luxury of having beautiful things since the function is so much more important than form with psoriatic arthritis.
Blue light protection
Blue light glasses or a screen protector panel can help! The days of Kmart and their "blue-light specials" have long gone. Now, there is another blue light you need to know about and that is the blue light that is emitted from your computer, tablet, and phone screens.
The blue light that is emitted from your screens, over time, can lead to macular degeneration. Not to mention, as PsA patients, our eyes are also susceptible to other troubles such as uveitis. So taking care to protect your eyes from blue light certainly makes computer work a little easier, especially in the long run.
Many people - myself included finding it is much easier to spend hours typing at the keyboard with the help of compression gloves. The compression is the primary aid. But also, my hands seem to get very cold as they type away on the keyboard and the compression gloves keep a bit of the cold away as I type.
It may take you a few different pairs to find the right style and comfort level for you. But once you do, it is like finding that perfect shoe that supports and gives in all the right places.
What is your favorite "must have" that I can add to my list? Have you found one or more things that just make all the difference in your home office?
This or That
What have you found to be more helpful when coping with the emotional impact of a new PsA diagnosis?
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