My essential list of inexpensive ergonomic office tools that will prevent wrist and neck injuries
I spend most of my work day at a keyboard. I have RSI. I have tried every kind of ergonomic solution, from standing desks to crazy keyboards to unconventional solutions like working from an armchair.
I have found, though, that the best cure is prevention. And that means building a well-designed, ergonomic workspace and good habits.
I get up frequently, walk when I’m talking on the phone, go for walks, and move from my desk to a big leather armchair — and my phone or a notebook — whenever possible.
Working, even for an hour, on a laptop with a glide pad or any poor ergonomic setup will destroy my hands for days. So I have an ergonomic office chair, an adjustable keyboard, an adjustable monitor, and more.
Here are my favorite affordable ergonomic office tools for creating a home office that protects you from hurting yourself.
An Adjustable Monitor Mount
I have two big monitors. This allows me to see without squinting and to work on several things at once. More important than the actual monitor size, though, is that is at the perfect height. To make that happen easily I mount both of mine to an adjustable arm so I can alter the angle and height as I change my sitting position.
Setting the monitor at exactly the right height for each task means I don’t hurt my neck looking up or down. It also means I can push it out of the way to use my desk. This FLEXIMOUNTS two-in-one monitor and laptop mount works for a laptop or a monitor and is super affordable. I love mine. It moves easily, installs easily – and it’s $75!
The Best Inexpensive Ergonomic Office Chair
An ergonomic office chair is an absolute essential. I have bought The Alera Elusion ($240) chair twice. (I moved. Sold one. Bought another.) It is an excellent, completely adjustable office chair at an affordable price. I have worked in the fancy and often-hailed-as-the-best Herman Miller Aeron chair that costs nearly $2000. This inexpensive one works just as well for me.
It comes in a low-back version, too. That’s a lot of coin to save on a single purchase! Granted the Alera requires assembly. But consider what you are getting paid per hour to do it!
An Inexpensive Ergonomic Keyboard To Prevent Pronation
Pronation. That’s the problem with keyboards. They make you hold your hands horizontally while you type, overworking the small muscles in your hands. This is awkward for the tiny nerves that go down your arm, through the carpal tunnel. They don’t like to make that twist while those muscles are hard at work. A keyboard that allows for even a slight inward horizontal turn of your wrist makes those nerves happier. I’ve used a lot of keyboards that do this.
For many years, the Goldtouch Adjustable Ergonomic Keyboard ($96) was my favorite. But it’s a little freaky and takes some getting used to. I wore the last one I had out in under a year and, in frustration over that, bought the Microsoft Sculpt ($55) because I’m a fan of the mouse in this line (below.)
I like this keyboard. It has plenty of bend in the middle — to reduce pronation — and none of the irritation of constantly readjusting the angle that came with the Goldtouch. It’s wireless and has a detachable numeric keypad. The keys allow for a lighter touch than the Goldtouch, which I find is easier on my hands.
An Adjustable, Ergonomic Keyboard Tray
The keyboard placement is very important to an ergonomic setup. It needs to be at exactly the right height for your body. And a desk is very rarely that height. So an adjustable keyboard is a necessary piece of equipment for anyone who types. It took me a long time to find one I liked that didn’t cost an arm and a leg and that didn’t require me to hire someone to install it.
This Kensington ($80) is it. It has room for both the mouse and the numeric keypad, pushes under the desk so I can get it out of the way, adjusts, and doesn’t require an engineer to attach it to the underside of the desk.
An Ergonomic Office Mouse
I like this Microsoft Sculpt mouse, have used it for years, and I keep a new one on hand in case I break the one I’m using. It has all the features, is wireless, and costs $30. Easy!
The Wrist Brace I Wear When I’m Not Typing
I work all day every day typing at a keyboard. And despite all my efforts to not do damage, that’s hard on my RSI. When I’m overworked, I wear this wrist brace while I sleep (and sometimes when I do yoga.)
It is like a safe place for my hands, providing instant comfort. And my wrists feel rested and well again in the morning. (Wearing a brace while typing is, in my experience, very bad. I never do that.)
When you purchase anything through links on this site, GeekGirlfriends.com sometimes earns a little money. It doesn’t cost you any extra, but you are making this content possible. We only recommend products that we own, have tried through the company’s review program, or covet. Thanks for your support.