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Most of us who work in an office job spend most of the day hunched over our laptops, rushing out urgent proposal after urgent proposal until finally… it’s time to knock off. But wait, what is that stiff feeling in our neck, that nagging ache in our lower back, or that tightness in our wrists?
Because we spend so much time working at a computer, it’s important to ensure that this space is ergonomic — which means that we design our space around the natural curves of our body, to provide support and comfort while allowing us movement when we need it.
Ergonomics is also an important tenet in Singapore’s Tripartite Oversight Committee on Workplace Safety and Health report 2017-2020, spearheaded by the Ministry of Manpower and the Ministry of Health.
And if you have young ones at home, it’s even more important to ensure their learning space has good ergonomics, as their body is still growing and developing.
Already, “text neck” is a widespread issue, especially with the proliferation of computers and mobile devices. As this study shows, “text neck” syndrome increases the stresses on the cervical spine, and may lead to cervical degeneration along with other developmental, medical, psychological, and social complications.
If the wrists are in the wrong position, this could also lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, in which a nerve within a specific passageway in the wrist is pinched, causing numbness, tingling and even sharp pain. Incorrect posture can also cause the inflammation of muscle tendons, especially in “higher risk” areas like our kneecaps and elbows. Those who sit for long hours with poor or inadequate back support could develop back pain, or may even develop migraines alongside neck and shoulder stiffness.
Some of these conditions, if left untreated or ignored, may lead to chronic conditions that could require surgery down the road. It’s certainly an unnecessary cost that we’d like to avoid!
While some of us have returned to the office at this point, those who continue to work from home, return home to play video games, study (our kids too) or finish up work projects, would definitely benefit from an ergonomic work/study setup at home.
Feeling the soreness already? Let’s look at some ergonomic products that won’t break the bank (you can pay in installments too) from ergonomic lifestyle products specialist TakeAseat.sg:
1. VIGOR 2020 Electric Standing Desk
This electric desk has a dual motor system that has low noise levels when adjusting, so those night owls who concentrate better after everyone’s gone to bed can still work in ergonomic comfort. There are 3 preset heights programmed in the desk’s memory settings for quick and easy adjustment.
If you’re worried about space, choose a tabletop size from 1.2m to 1.8m to suit your room. It also comes with an anti-collision system, so don’t worry, it won’t hit that new low-hanging plant or damage your arm rest. The electric desk can be adjusted from a height of 60.5cm to 123cm to suit anyone’s sit/stand needs.
With a load capacity of 125kg, it can definitely tahan the weight of your massive computer — but we won’t recommend sitting on the desk and making it go up and down repeatedly… That’s not what this ergonomic piece of furniture was built for. It comes with a 3-year warranty, just in case.
Customise the VIGOR 2020 electric standing desk with a wide range of tabletop lamination designs to match your room or office (over 100 to choose from, available in the showrooms).
Price: From $599.00 Incl. GST
or $199.67 x 3 monthly installments
2. KLEIN Mini Electric Standing Desk
Goodbye immovable standing desks that are big, bulky and heavy. The KLEIN Mini Electric Standing Desk is both stable and movable with a small form factor for tiny spaces. The tabletop measures just 80cm x 60cm in length, which means you can just unlock the wheels and roll your ergonomic desk around (maybe near a window? To the kitchen so you can look at your stew while working?)
It runs on a single motor system and like its bigger-sized brother, has a low noise level when being adjusted. It can be adjusted from 65cm up to 130cm via an up/down touch controller. This has an impressive load capacity of 80kg and comes with a 2-year warranty.
Price: From $399.00 Incl. GST
or $133.00 x 3 monthly installments
3. ORION Basic Electric Standing Desk
Consider also the ORION Basic Standing Electric Desk, a full-sized desk (120cm x 60cm) but at a more affordable price than the VIGOR 2020 Electric Standing Desk. This features a single motor system that provides a quiet and smooth height adjustment. It’s good value for money given its stability and low noise level, 4 preset heights via the memory settings, and anti-collision system.
The ORION can be adjusted from a height of 73cm to 123cm — not as low or as high as the previous 2 electric desks, but they are still good sit/stand heights for the average Singapore adult. It will take up to 50kg and comes with a 2-year warranty. Available in 4 different colours, the ORION also comes with an add-on under-desk drawer.
Price: From $499.00 Incl. GST
or $159.67 x 3 monthly installments
4. Sail Basic Ergonomic Chair
The Sail Basic Ergonomic Chair is both comfortable and provides good adjustability (headrest, 4-directional armrests, seat depth, backrest), which means it’s well-suited for a variety of body profiles, given its price point. Special features include its unique flexible lumbar support that flexes down according to the user’s weight, providing comfortable support to the natural curvature of our low back and spine.
In Singapore’s hot weather, its mesh material also provides welcome air ventilation for better comfort (don’t you just hate the feeling of sweaty thighs/bum/back?). There’s an interesting lock and rock mechanism with a tilt tension adjustment, which means that you can lie back and recline in a comfortable position in between meetings or after work.
Supports a maximum weight of up to 120kg and comes with a 2-year warranty.
Price: From $449.00 Incl. GST
or $149.67 x 3 monthly installments
5. M20 Office Chair
Mission: Adjustable; Mission: Affordable.
That’s our first impression of the M20 Office Chair, which has multiple adjustment features yet an economical price point (it’s half the price of the Sail!).
For one, its lumbar support can be adjusted to suit your body, and the mesh backrest provides good air ventilation without compromising on comfort. The M20’s headrest and armrests can also be adjusted, and it too, has a lock and rock mechanism.
M20 supports a maximum weight of 90kg and comes with a 1-year warranty.
Price: From $219.00 Incl. GST
or $73.00 x 3 monthly installments
6. Combi Posture Corrector Chair
Made in Korea, the Combi Posture Corrector Chair supports the right posture and maintenance of good sitting habits. Have a habit of slouching? It will prevent you from doing so, and instead help you sit straight. There are also 3 protruding spinal column supports on the chair.
With its slim form factor and affordable price point, the Combi Posture Corrector Chair is available in 4 colours, and is made from a “high elastic” material that is strong yet is able to flex but not deform. It’s also designed in a way to enable air ventilation in our Singapore heat as well.
Price: From $67.00 Incl. GST
Keep up the good support, your body will thank you
Prevention is better than cure, as they say, so having a good ergonomic setup for your work, learning or gaming space is key. The same goes for your little ones, who are spending even more time with digital devices and doing their school homework on the computer.
By providing kids with ergonomic support from young, they can continue the good habit during their growing years and beyond. Yes, TakeAseat carries ergonomic furniture for tiny tots, tweens and older kids too, such as Kid2Youth (a leading ergonomic brand in Taiwan) ergonomic study desks and chairs, ergonomic school bags from ergobag (Germany’s leading kids’ ergonomic school bag brand), and more. These products are designed to encourage good posture while the younglings are studying, writing or carrying their heavy school bag.
To literally support (geddit?) MoneySmart readers in their quest to create an ergonomic space, TakeAseat is giving an exclusive discount of $10 off with the discount code “moneysmart10” (minimum spending of $100) that can be used on its website.