Working from home has become a new norm for many people during the coronavirus pandemic. There are a few challenges that come with setting up a workspace at home. Here’s an overview of what you should consider related to ergonomics in a home office.
The physical layout of your workspace is a great place to start. If you sit while working, the chair you use is important. It should be supportive for your spine, and should allow you to rest your feet flat on the floor. You can also use a footrest to keep your feet flat if that works better for you. Additionally, if your chair has armrests, they should keep your arms in a neutral position. If you are using a desk, it should have room for your legs beneath it and should be compatible with your chair to create an ergonomic position.
If you are using a monitor or laptop, the screen should be about an arms length away from you and should be at or just below eye level. A keyboard and mouse can also be helpful, and can be set up to allow your arms to rest parallel to the floor. Last, any other accessories you need, from paper to pens and phones, should be within easy reach on the desk and should not require reaching.
Of course, some people prefer standing desks, which are a great option as well. If you use a standing desk, make sure you wear supportive shoes and stand in an upright position. A footrest or pad can help alleviate pressure from the floor as well. Otherwise, the same principals for sitting desk setups apply.
Body Positioning for Ergonomics
You also need to pair good body positioning with your layout for ergonomics. As alluded to before, your arm positioning is crucial. Your elbows should rest flat with the desk surface. This helps create the best wrist alignment. Additionally, you should not hunch over your work. Keep your back and neck straight whether you are using a chair or standing. Your monitor setup should allow you to keep your eyeline parallel to the floor, or at a slight downward angle.
Good Movement Practices
There are a few movement-related practices you should consider for ergonomics as well. For one, it can be easy to stay in the same position for long periods of time at home. There may be fewer opportunities for movement and interaction than in the office. Make sure you get moving regularly, every 30 minutes or so. This helps you break up static body positioning and avoid injuries that can develop from poor body positioning and movements. Even just a short break or walk can be helpful. Eye strain can be an issue as well. To avoid this, make sure you take an eye break from work every 20 minutes or so. You can simply look away from your work and focus on something farther away for about 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a needed break.
You should seek diagnosis and treatment from a qualified medical professional like Dr. Stacie Grossfeld if you are injured and want to get back to the activities you love. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Grossfeld, call Orthopaedic Specialists at 502-212-2663 today.