Ergonomics & Working From Home What You Need to Know

And, because of this demand, remote-work technology and 24/7 connectivity have vastly improved. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented, rapid shift to home-based working. With this shift, new health and wellness challenges have emerged requiring new strategies and innovations. Humanscale’s team of board certified professional ergonomists has formulated a multi-tiered approach aimed at preserving the health and wellness of your “Work From Home” employee population. Download it now to show your clients how they could do the same.

  • That, in turn, will mean you’re overextending your arms or leaning too far forward, which could put pressure on your spine.
  • If the items listed above are not in the cards for you, all is not lost.
  • During the past month as many work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UNM staff, faculty, and students have moved to a reality where working from home is currently the new norm.
  • However, there are a few things you should do, no matter how many monitors you use.
  • I’ve made a download to help you with your setup while you’re working from home.

For example, if you need a higher chair so you can reach the keyboard, your feet may not rest on the floor. So, try out some shoes (flat heels only!) to see if some combination of chair height and shoes gives you the proper support for your feet. If shoes are out, try a footrest, step stool, or even a pile of books to achieve the right sitting posture. Attaching these to your laptop can make it more ergonomically friendly. The monitor or computer screen should be right at or just below eye-level and about an arm’s length away. Using a separate keyboard, mouse and monitor can help combat this.

– Monitor Placement

Having a dedicated workstation (that enables optimal working posture) outside the bedroom can help separate rest from work, which helps the mind visualize the difference and stay on task. If you don’t have an office chair in the home, consider adding a cushion to the back of the chair you’re using to help keep you from slouching. While seated, your ears should be in line with your shoulders, which should be in line with your hips. Elbows should rest toward the side of your body, close to your center of gravity.

How do you work ergonomically at a computer?

Keep your shoulders relaxed with your elbows close to your sides. Avoid resting your elbows on the hard surface or edge of your table. Pads can be used to protect your elbows if necessary. Elbows should be positioned at 100 to 110 degrees when working in order to keep a relaxed position at the keyboard.

If you experience discomfort, do not just push through to complete the task. Stop, try to identify the source of the discomfort, and take the necessary steps to correct it. No matter where your office is, the lighting and your vision should be a priority in setting up your workspace.

Mice & Keyboards

This helps you keep the mouse at the proper height and within easy reach while also keeping the keyboard centered. If the screen is arm’s length away and you still can’t see what’s on screen, enlarge the text (or wear your glasses). Larger screens may need to be farther away than “arm’s length” for you to see everything properly. If your screen is already at the far edge of the desk (away from you), move your keyboard farther from the desk to achieve the right distance. Thanks to its portability, laptops are a popular computing option. The main problem with a laptop is that the screen and the keyboard are connected, making true ergonomic placement of the laptop keyboard and screen impossible.

Specifically, your desk should fit your knees, feet, and thighs comfortably underneath. You shouldn’t feel that you have to press your legs together to fit, and your knees shouldn’t bang up against anything. If you can’t fit under the desk comfortably, try out a different “desk” until you find the right fit.

Working from Home: How to Optimize Your Work Environment and Stay Healthy

If you’re feeling pain, stop and examine how you’re positioned and adjust it. The last thing you want is to not be able to sit or stand while you work. If you’re not used to standing all day, don’t jump into the first day of a standing desk by using it for eight hours straight! Start with 30 minutes a day and gradually increase your standing time.

Either working at home, from the road, or at the office shouldn’t matter and people should be able to work pain-free no matter where they choose to work. Here are the top things to consider if their organization has people who work from home (or would like to). Other ways to facilitate more movement include taking phone calls standing up, or walking around wherever possible. “Anyone who is facing discomfort is at risk for developing a longer-term injury. This is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong, and you should listen to it,” said Chambers.