How To Set Up An Ergonomic Home Office

To keep your neck, shoulders, and back free from injury, your head should be vertical to your neck. This position creates the least amount of strain, according to Hedge. More of us than ever are working from home because of COVID-19, and that means we need to make our home offices safe, healthy places to work. These tips can help you make inexpensive adjustments to your work space to stay productive and injury-free.

  • As you sit in the chair, your feet should be flat on the floor.
  • The pandemic forced millions of people to suddenly work from home in 2020.
  • You might have left the office to work from home, but good ergonomics still applies.

The living room sofa is a great place to kick back and relax at the end of a long day. But working from the couch can put your body in awkward positions that work from home ergonomics may cause discomfort, pain and numbness over time. “Raise the chair if needed to achieve this, but then add a footrest if needed to support the feet.

Remote Home Office Ergonomics

Calorie blasting aside, some people like a standing desk because it’s something different, or it gives their back a rest from sitting in a chair all day. However, if you are going to use a standing desk, be aware that it does come with its own ergonomic risks.

work from home ergonomics

Because office buildings are purpose-built for working, lots of thought goes into designing appropriate lighting systems. But chances are, that same attention of detail didn’t go into the lights above your basement or spare bedroom. Too little — or even too much — light can lead to headaches, fatigue, blurred vision or eye irritation.

Pay Attention To Your Arms

While typing or using your mouse, keep your wrists straight, your upper arms close to your body, and your hands at or slightly below the level of your elbows. If possible, adjust the sensitivity of the mouse so you can use a light touch to operate it. Alternate the hand you use to operate the mouse by moving the mouse to the other side of your keyboard.

work from home ergonomics

And if you can’t get your hands on an office chair, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to make a kitchen or dining room chair ergonomically awesome. With the height correct, adjust the keyboard to the proper distance.

Confident And Comfortable!

This happened so quickly, and individuals thought they would work from home for just a couple of weeks, so it was no problem to work from the couch, kitchen counter, or ill-equipped home offices. Careful planning, for instance, getting up earlier to get through tasks before the rest of the household stirs, can reduce the likelihood of injury and improve productivity Oakman suggests. “Back pain is caused by work-related stress as well as work-related physical factors,” she explains. Set a timer for your other 5-minute break from screens and from sitting.

  • Thank you for these simple tips and reminders that we often forget when working from home.
  • Even if you don’t have an adjustable sit-stand desk, consider standing during phone calls or when you read.
  • Understand how to adjust your display brightness and contrast to reduce eye strain.
  • If you wear bifocals, lower the monitor an additional 1 to 2 inches for more comfortable viewing.

Home ergonomics is all about how your body intermingles with all the office tools and space while working. Integrating ergonomics into the home office set up facilitates improving your efficiency and output by being comfortable and avoiding unnecessary stress and injury. Most importantly, it reduces injuries and illness that can affect you, your family, or your work goals.

2home Office Survey

If there really are limited options for achieving the ideal work position, Oakman says you should do your best to change positions and move between sitting and standing frequently. These images show what really, although it may not seem like it, greatly affects the health and musculature in our arm.

  • Here’s a summary of some of the equipment and tools mentioned that might help you customize your home office to be more ergonomic.
  • Employers must commit to work from home remotely as a legitimate workplace.
  • Many potential sources of this increase in discomfort were reported such as wide use of laptops, working at sub-optimal workstations such as couches, beds, and kitchen countertops.
  • Some simple adjustments to their daily routine and home office setup can help make all the difference.

Additionally, every time you change the desk height, you must make sure you adjust all your other workstation components, like the keyboard and the monitor, to put your posture into a neutral position again. Whether you’re in a home office, kitchen counter, dinner table, etc., try to position your worksurface or yourself so that your keyboard and mouse are at elbow height. Your elbows should be relaxed by the sides of your body , and the forearms should be horizontal/parallel to the ground. Working for prolonged periods of time at a kitchen table or while on the sofa can be uncomfortable for many. Ideally, a primary seated posture should support the low back in a position of lordosis – the natural inward curvature of the lumbar spine above the pelvis.

Your Lower Back Positioning Is Important Here

Ignoring this responsibility could result in workers’ compensation claims being filed by employees. Laptop computers and tablets allow us to take our work almost anywhere — from the couch to the coffee shop. But while their portable design is great for working on the go, laptops are not an ideal ergonomic solution for all-day use.

work from home ergonomics

For some, a standing desk is the ideal combination of work and exercise—without the trip to the gym. One study found that working at a standing desk burns about 88 calories an hour.

The Right Provider Is In Our Network

The top of the monitor should be about level with eyebrows unless using bifocals,” said Despres. When sitting up straight, relax your shoulders and keep your elbows at level with the keyboard. “Discomfort from poor alignment, static positions, or contact stresses is avoidable. It is as easy as understanding proper techniques and can largely be resolved by self-corrective actions,” said Despres. Ensure good task lighting when working on printed materials, and focused, diffused light for computer work.

  • If your business depends on remote workers—on either a temporary or ongoing basis—ensuring they have a properly equipped and ergonomically sound workspace is an important way to keep your employees safe, healthy, and productive.
  • Your arms should hang straight down from your shoulders and bend at a 90-degree angle at the elbow to reach your keyboard.
  • We offer a customized virtual ergonomics assessment specifically for home office workers.
  • With this shift, new health and wellness challenges have emerged requiring new strategies and innovations.

This position allows you to keep your eyes in a neutral position and prevents eye fatigue. When you look up, your eyes are exposed to more air; by not needing to look toward the top of the monitor, your eyelids can protect your eyes and prevent them from becoming dry and irritated. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, many of us found ourselves working from home quite unexpectedly. These makeshift workspaces were not designed with safety and comfort in mind. In fact, impromptu office setups during COVID have taken a physical toll on many. Just like sitting at a desk, you need a standing desk , that lets you get the right distance away from your keyboard and screen. Some counters, like your kitchen counter, have a toe kick, the part under the cabinet that lets you stick your toes under while you work.

Work From Home Ergonomics Support

Future work should investigate how employees are working in offices at home as the pandemic continues beyond the initial stay-at-home phase. The increases in stress and fatigue reported could be explained by COVID-related stressors rather than due only to the stress of moving to a home office. In addition, the chair a person sits at should provide lower-back support, she says. Those with uncomfortable chairs should roll up a towel or insert a pillow to provide lumbar support.

Hand And Wrist Position

If you haven’t got your home office set up quite perfect yet, then regular movement breaks and changes of position will give your body some recovery time and reduce overstress of any particular area. This can cause you to elevate your shoulder resulting in increased tension or overuse discomfort in the shoulders and upper back. Try sitting up higher by putting a cushion or some towels on your chair to bring you up to the work surface…if that lifts your feet off the floor, put another cushion or box there to support your feet.

The high number of employees resigning is a top reason for employers to use this technology to both evaluate and decrease stress. The world has moved to a reality where many people are working from home and social distancing measures require a new normal.