Working from home presents unique ergonomic challenges.
Practicing correct posture is critical to maximizing productivity and avoiding workday aches and pains when working in a non-traditional setting like a home office. Common problems that lead to pain and discomfort include:
A non-adjustable chair – Too many home workers are sitting on bar stools or dining room chairs and it is taking a toll according to numerous corporate health & safety professionals we work with. These chairs are not designed for long term use. Prolonged use of these chairs can lead to back discomfort. The best investment you can make is to buy an ergonomic chair. At the very least, modification should be made to these sub-optimal seating options to achieve better posture.
Screen height too low – The top of your screen should be at approximately eye height. Laptop screens are too low, leading to neck discomfort. An external monitor set on a monitor stand or adjustable monitor arm will do the trick, and frees up space on your work surface. Laptop users should use a laptop stand, an external mouse and compact keyboard to raise the screen higher and position upper extremities in the correct posture.
No External Mouse or Keyboard – This is particularly important if you are using a laptop at home. In order to position yourself to see your screen, you tend to reach for the keyboard and mouse pad. This can lead to shoulder and arm discomfort. If you move your laptop closer to get your arms in better position to type, your screen is too close and you hunch over it, leading to neck discomfort and eye strain. An inexpensive laptop stand, external mouse, and keyboard allow you to not only position your laptop screen at the proper height but also maintain proper posture when you type and mouse. Here is just one of the solutions we offer Keyboard/Mouse/Laptop Stand Kit
Poor Foot Support – Most home workers are utilizing a fixed height work surface (desk, dining table, etc.). These are typically 30” in height. In order to position your upper body to properly use your input devices, it is necessary to raise the height of your chair or sit on a pillow or cushion. This prevents you from placing your feet flat on the floor where they belong. Utilizing a footrest or small box can take the pressure off the back of your knees and ensure proper blood circulation to your lower legs.
Lack of Movement – No matter how well your work space is set up, we all need to move. Movement promotes circulation and joint health. Take frequent breaks (hourly), walk around the house or yard, stand up while on the phone, do some gentle stretches or exercises. Studies have tied static posture to many adverse medical conditions. You’ll feel better and be more productive if you move throughout your day.
Ideally, all home workers should have an ergonomic chair, an external monitor placed on a monitor arm, and an ergonomic mouse and keyboard. Laptop users should use a laptop stand, an external mouse and a compact keyboard. Many people benefit from an adjustable height desk or compact sit-stand platform like the Oploft.
Our partner Posturite has produced a great webinar on setting up the perfect ergonomic workspace at home. – Boost Your Knowledge of Homeworking Ergonomic Solutions
For home workers that aren’t given a full budget by their employer or otherwise aren’t able to set up an ideal ergonomic workspace, view this webinar for some quick and inexpensive ergonomic fixes. – Working from Home Quick Fixes
Other helpful ergonomic resources including 8 Workspace Tweaks to get You in the Zone Working from Home and simple Workstation Exercises are found here: – Ergonomic Tips
Home workers can build the perfect ergonomic home office from our specially selected collection.
Have questions about our wide variety of ergonomic solutions?
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