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Back to Basics: Protect Your Back With Ergonomical Chairs and Accessorize Your Office

Kristen Howe knows about finding the perfect spot for picking out a home office with a desk, computer, and chair, even for an apartment.

Planning to Pick The Right Supplies

A decade ago, I've talked about how to find the right room or space--may it be big or small--to transform into the perfect dream home office to fit your creative needs. We've also talked about finding the right desk and the right computer for you. Now we're down to finish off your home office with the right chair to protect your back, and to accessorize your home office with the right supplies to make it complete. To finish it off, we'll talk how to maintain the silence in your home office from any distractions you might have, whether it's at home or at college, and how to prevent back strains in the future with the right accommodations with a bonus link.

A Comfortable Chair Should be Ergonomically Correct to Fit Any Desk to Support Your Back


Desk chair preference poll

Get Comfortable!

Once you've found the perfect desk, you would need a chair to protect your back with support. It's preferred for you to have an ergonomically correct chair for you to recline and relax by adjusting the height. It should be cushioned for your back and down to your buttocks. You can find them at any furniture store or shopping mall, especially stores like Staples and Office Max Office Depot. They have ones in different colors and styles, including those that spin and swivel around. Depending how long you work on the computer, they have one for a short time period (2-4 hours), moderate time period (4-6 hours), or long hours (5 hours and longer.) When you look for your chair, you should test it out and see how your back feels. You'll know it's the right fit, when it feels right for your back. These chairs might be expensive, but it's worth the purchase to prevent your back from any strains in the future.

If you have metal or wooden chairs, which can be also perfect for your back, since it's stiff and hard, you can place a cushion (if it came with one), or any pillow to protect your back and your bottom as an alternative.

To protect carpet floors, a plastic runner would cover your carpet for you. It comes in clear white plastic and in different sizes, which could cost you a bundle. So when you use your chair, it won't scoff the carpeted floors. Just slide it under the desk and glide across the spiked carpet.

Bonus tip: For those who have experienced back pain, try practicing the slouch--over-correct the procedure whenever you are becoming negligent about the correct sitting position. Always use a lumbar roll in chairs that don't provide adequate support.


Every home office should have a printer for your computer. No one should go to the library or Office Max Office Depot/Staples to go there to pay fifteen cents a page to print out your work. You can do it for free at home with the right printer. There's three different kinds of printers you should take a look at: dot matrix, inkjet and laser printers. Dot Matrix printers are very old-school. It would take a while to print out your work. Inkjets are pretty good, too, but you've got to watch out for smudges on your paper. The only downside is that you have to buy a new ink cartridge, when the ink runs out. But you're best bet is investing into a laser printer. I love mine that I've had for a couple of years. It's faster. You would need to buy a new toner, when you've printed out every 5000 pages. That's like every one or two years, depending on how much printing you need to do.

As for printer paper, you can buy a package of 500 papers, which could last you a pretty good time. And if you want to save money, buy a ream of printer paper, which could last you a long time. I've had mine for a couple of years and still have plenty of packaged paper in my bedroom. White or any shade of white is preferred for professional looking documents. Unless you work in an office or a school building, then colored paper would be okay. The next time that Office Max Office Depot and Staples have a brown bag sale, you can save money at a variety of office supplies.

Saving your work poll

An USB Drive with 1000 Tetrabites can Help Save Your Work for Years to Come


Save Your Work in a Flash

Every computer owner's nightmare is losing their work and not saving it in time. Nobody likes a hard drive crash either. There are affordable ways to save your work and not worry about it. You can save it on Google Documents, email it to yourself, or invest into DropBox or Carbonite websites to save your work. If you have an Apple computer, your Cloud would do the same thing, too.

Floppy disks and zip disk drives are obsolete these days. No one uses them anymore. Consider purchasing a memory stick and/or flash drive. A memory stick is good for those who wanted to save their videos and photos for their presentations with this stick. A flash drive is perfect for all of us to save our work. You don't have to worry about cords with this USB flash drive. All you have to do is download your work onto the flash drive, after you plug into the USB outlet, and take it out, when it's done. You can take it on the go, too. Both of these are portable and affordable as well.

What do you do, if you have to take your computer to get fixed? You can go to the library. Or you can write it down in short or long hand on loosely notebook paper with a folder or binder, or with a notepad or notebook. Grab a couple of erasable pens and pencils, and you're good to go!

Accessories Galore

Every dream office should be complete with room for a bookcase to stack your books, magazines, newspapers, and other papers. Instead of keeping important papers in boxes for storage, try getting boxed folders with labels of them to organize your papers in a timely fashion. Pens, pencils, colored markers, rulers, boxes of envelopes and manilla envelopes, should all go in a drawer or two, if there's no room for a top shelf. There should be room for your printer paper, too. Keep your home office neat and tidy from clutter.

Optional Appliances

Depending on what you're using your home office for, if you have money for other necessities for your home office, consider adding them to complete your home office. These are optional to fit your home office needs. A scanner is great for scanning important documents and uploading them to an attachment. If you have an extra phone line, a fax machine can be useful and heavy duty for multiple purposes: faxing, copying, scanning, and even to email, too. A copier is also useful for copying and scanning papers, even collating them at the same time. A paper shredder is convenient to shred important paperwork, which can be recycled and good for the planet.

Ergonomically Correct Work Station

  • How to Set Up an Ergonomically Correct Workstation: 10 Steps
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Silence is Golden

Now that we've covered the basics for your home office, what do we do if we're disturb and need silence. If you have kids or live with somebody, tell them you're need some time to work in your office and would be out later. For those who live with pets, try having a pet door installed, instead of locking them out and causing them to try to open the door by ripping up the doors.

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If you lived in a sound-proofed environment, you don't have any worries. But if you don't, consider sound-proofing that room. To maintain silence, put your cell or landline phone on silent or low vibrate. Let your answering machine or voicemail pick it up for you. Your TV or radio should be off or turned down low for your concentration. If you work offline, stay away from the Internet and go on during breaks or when you're done. If online, stay away from social networking like Twitter and Facebook.

Another way you can get some silence is to make your own "Do Not Disturb sign", especially if we're writers. It should say something like "Do Not Disturb Writer at Work" on it. Just print it out or write it on a piece of paper. Or you can buy one for real cheap and hang it on your door. And when you're done for the day, you can flip it or take it off. It can come real handy.

If you want to set up an ergonomically correct work station at home, check out this link, (since I've lost my information I've gotten at physical therapy 1.5 years ago.)

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2015 Kristen Howe


Kristen Howe (author) from Northeast Ohio on November 22, 2016:

Thanks Mike for stopping by to comment with your kind words. I hope it's been proven useful to you.

Readmikenow on November 21, 2016:

As someone who has had a home office for years I can honestly say you've made some excellent suggestions. Enjoyed reading it.

Kristen Howe (author) from Northeast Ohio on October 06, 2015:

Thanks Emge. I hope it's helpful!

MG Singh emge from Singapore on October 06, 2015:

Excellent post with good suggestions

Kristen Howe (author) from Northeast Ohio on July 08, 2015:

You're welcome Lorraine. Hopefully you should have more creativity flowing in your office.

Louise Barraco from Ontario on July 08, 2015:

Thanks for this Kristen it is very informative and helpful especially for someone who is very easily distracted like me.

Kristen Howe (author) from Northeast Ohio on June 16, 2015:

Thanks Mr Hollywood for stopping by and commenting on my hub.

John Hollywood from Hollywood, CA on June 15, 2015:

This was a very helpful hub - particularly for folks who write on HP! Voted up!

Kristen Howe (author) from Northeast Ohio on June 14, 2015:

Thanks so much Heidi for stopping by and commenting on my hub. Silence is always golden for creative productivity.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on June 14, 2015:

Sound and environmental ruckus are huge problems! Luckily, though, I've done as you've suggested and turned off the ringer on the office phone and send it to voicemail. I keep the cell on, but can easily ignore those callers that aren't relevant or urgent. Voted up, useful and sharing!

Kristen Howe (author) from Northeast Ohio on May 19, 2015:

Susan, good for you for finding the right desk chair. I can relate to that. Pillows are great cushions for your back. Thanks for stopping by.

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on May 19, 2015:

I'm sitting here in my relatively-cushy office chair with a pillow behind my back. Finding the right chair was very time consuming - I have an odd-shaped body, I guess - but I'm pretty happy with the one I have. It's pretty hard to work with a backache. :)

Kristen Howe (author) from Northeast Ohio on April 21, 2015:

Thanks Patricia for your kind words and comments, this morning. Glad you have a comfy chair to set on.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on April 21, 2015:

Thanks for the tips...I do have a good chair and am thankful for it. You have included lots of info that will enable any of us to have an efficient work space.

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

Kristen Howe (author) from Northeast Ohio on February 21, 2015:

My pleasure Ezzly. My new desk chair works wonders for my back, if my cat doesn't nap on it.

ezzly on February 21, 2015:

Thanks for this Kristen, my back is always sore, think its time to invest in an ergonomical chair! Voted up.

Kristen Howe (author) from Northeast Ohio on February 16, 2015:

Thanks for stopping by Kalini1158. I'm the same way with my two senior cats, too.

Lana Adler from California on February 16, 2015:

I definitely need silence when I'm working, so I tend to close the door. And like you said, my dogs are always trying to bust through! So I just let them all in...And I like the idea of a sign on the door, I just wish the dogs could read lol

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