A guide for better work-from-home ergonomics

Many people work from home at least part of the time. We asked Dr. McHattie for tips on the best ergonomics when working from home.
Image of ergonomic desk setup

At home ergonomics

With more of us staying home to flatten the curve, many of us are still working from home and adapting to a new way of doing our jobs. Some of us were ready to go with a home office already with the perfect chair, monitors at the optimal height, a quiet place to work and a hot cup of coffee. Then there’s the rest of us.

Maybe you are sitting on the couch with a laptop propped up on a pillow, or you’re sitting at your dining room table while your kids run around you losing their minds, or maybe you’ve resorted to converting your workbench in the cold garage to the manliest of stand up desks complete with the smell of gasoline and the threat of splinters. These creative solutions to keep you checking your email, video conferencing and complete your projects will eventually affect your body, mood, and sleep due to poor ergonomics.

Here are some tips to reduce those headaches, neck pain, back pain, wrist soreness, fatigue:

Sitting Position

Sit at a chair that supports your back and is the right height for you, so that your feet are flat on the ground and your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Remember to use a wrist support to reduce wrist strain.

Monitor Height

Prop your monitor or laptop up with a monitor stand or even a stack of books to put the screen at eye level. Use a wireless keyboard if propping up your laptop.

Movement

If you have a place in the house that you can use as a standing desk, like the kitchen counter or an armoire make sure you keep the screen at eye level. You can stand with a wide stance in a semi-squat to lower yourself without slouching.

Rest

Take breaks every 30 minutes. Get a glass of water, eat a healthy snack, take a walk around your house, or even just stand up and stretch.

 

With these changes to your work-from-home computer station, you should be able to minimize common desk/computer job problems. For more information about how to set up your desk, take a look at the video below.

Video created by Workrite Ergonomics

Guest Post by Dr. Jennifer McHattie

Dr. McHattie is a chiropractor in Portland, Oregon. She specializes in ergonomics, injury recovery, personal injuries, and workplace health.
Chiropractor
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