Office Ergonomics: Work-from-home edition

Just because working from home can be comfortable doesn’t mean you can’t get a work-related injury. Your screen is too close to your face, increasing the risk of eye strain. With a laptop, it’s tempting to work on the couch or even in bed. That may be comfy for now, but it could cause real problems down the line. Even if you’re at a table or a desk, there’s a chance the ergonomics aren’t right.

If you set up your laptop and stake your claim at the kitchen counter, you might frequently be joined by the spouse and kids walking through for a snack or to do the dishes. Make sure your space is out of the way of high-traffic areas to reduce distractions. Keep this work from home ergonomics checklist in mind when transitioning into a remote working environment. With the growing remote work trend, it’s more important than ever to assess the ergonomics of your home to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your work-from-home experience.

What is ergonomics?

However, if you wear bifocals, you may need to adjust the tilt by 30 to 40 degrees. This helps you use your bifocal lenses the right way without craning your neck. Specifically, your desk should fit your knees, feet, and thighs comfortably underneath.

One of the most important things you can do while setting up your home office is to create distance between your work and personal life. Have your own special workspace that is used exclusively (or mostly) for work. This is the best way to allow yourself to decompress after work.

Everyone’s Ergonomic Needs Are Different

And, even if you can, you may not want to drop the money on it, or take the health risk. Research comparing standing and sitting while working at a computer is varied. Some studies indicate that standing may be superior, while others show that sitting in the correct position is best. Ergonomics is the study of people’s interaction with their working environment. To create an effective ergonomic office, there are specific measurements and numbers that you should keep in mind, at least as a starting point.

Here, ergonomists offer tips to prevent muscle strain and boost productivity by creating a better workstation at home. “A position for the body that you can sustain with minimal effort and [that] gives you biomechanical advantages to do your work. No matter how you tilt the screen, you’ll have a harsh glare that can be hard on the eyes.

Desk lamp

To make sure that your neck, shoulders and arms muscles stay relaxed, bring the keyboard and mouse under your fingertips when your elbows are alongside your body. To do so, keep the keyboard close to the front edge of the table. To stabilize your pelvis, your feet should rest firmly on the floor so that you can sit on your sitting bones, with your belt on a lumbar support. If you do not have a good office chair, you can buy a lumbar cushion.

work from home ergonomics

Just like shelves, they are available in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Thus, you can use this piece creatively to complement your other ergonomic products for home. Of course, WFH isn’t ideal for all industries, and not everyone prefers it.

And if you aren’t buying for yourself, consider gifts for your hard-working (at home) family and friends. Once you’ve found the perfect chair, it’s time to focus on your work surface. Your desk should allow your elbows to be slightly less than a 90-degree angle.

  • Some studies indicate that standing may be superior, while others show that sitting in the correct position is best.
  • In general, you should use a keyboard without an attached numeric keypad.
  • When combined with monitoring your physical and mental health, some of the possible negative effects of this unprecedented work-at-home experience can be avoided.
  • While silicone pads provide superior comfort and stability, PTFE feet glide smoothly with the hand.

As you sit in the chair, your feet should be flat on the floor. Make sure you’re sitting evenly on your bottom and not tilting to one side or the other. Your thighs should be parallel to the floor (or your knees at about hip height). Use a keyboard that is either flat or has a “negative tilt.” Many keyboards tilt “up,” meaning the top row of the keyboard is raised. This forces your wrists to bend up as you type and can cause discomfort.

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