Ergonomic Tips for Working from Home
Since mid-March, millions of Americans have been working from home in an effort to stem the number of coronavirus infections. Home workspaces can be less-than-ideal ergonomic conditions such as a low kitchen chair, couch that makes you slump, etc. Having a good ergonomic workspace can make or break your work-from-home experience. Here are some tips and tricks to help create an ergonomic-friendly workspace at home.
What Not to Do
- Do not use your couch as a workstation: Your couch is not an ergonomic-friendly place to work (even if it’s tempting to feel comfortable).
- Do not hunch over your laptop: To avoid lumbar discomfort, fit the backrest curvature of your chair to the small of your lower back. Your eye line should be level with the address bar on your web browser when looking at the screen. If you can, use an external monitor or laptop stand to prop up your screen.
- Do not skip on your chair: Use household items to help you adjust your chair if you do not have an office chair. To help increase the curvature of your spine, put a firm cushion under your buttocks to raise your hips.
- Do not let your feet dangle: To reduce stress on your lumbar, place your feet on a few books or boxes under your desk.
- Do not forget about lunch: It’s easy to snack throughout the day instead of eating as you did in the office. Making a meal and staying hydrated gives you the opportunity to stand up, walk around, and let your eyes have a rest from the computer screen.
What to Do
- Work at an appropriate height: You want your elbows to fall flush with your table height naturally. This will promote better wrist alignment rather than impingement or carpal tunnel stress.
- Use an office chair (if possible): To save you from lumbar and neck discomfort, use the adjustable features on your office chair. When sitting or standing, elbows should be at a 90-degree angle to make wrists as straight as possible. Illustration courtesy of Humanscale Consulting
- Follow the 20/20/20 rule: For every 20 minutes spent looking at a computer screen, you should spend 20 seconds looking at something else 20 feet away. This gives your eye muscles a break and helps reduce eye strain.
- Customize your workspace: Try and create a workplace that you can customize to fit your needs. If you are the only person using the space, customizing will reduce the time and discomfort of sitting at a station that does not fit you.
- Get up and walk around: Try to get as many steps in as possible during the day, even if you walk around the house or your neighborhood.
Speak with an Orthopedic Specialist Today
Suffering from a workplace injury? Make an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists today to start your healing journey. OrthoArizona has 21 offices throughout the Valley, each focused on quality care, compassion, and excellent customer service. Since 1994, OrthoArizona has been dedicated to compassionate care of the highest quality.