I've talked about proper work ergonomics and workstation set ups before. What we haven't talked about is proper work ergonomics when working from home.
You are probably used to your workstation set up at work because you have all of the appropriate equipment. However what happens when we are forced to work from home? A lot of my current patients have recently been sent to work from home due to the "stay at home order" recently set upon us.
The problem is, if we are not used to working from home we do not have proper set up in place. I want to share with you tips to use what you have in order to obtain a proper ergonomics. Use what you have available and work with what you have to improve and make your work station work FOR you.
Here are some major Do's and Don'ts to working from home.
Equipment Alternatives at Home:
Work off of a flat surface that is ideally near elbow height when you are sitting.
If the work surface is too high** wrists higher than elbows** raise your chair height or use a pillow or folded towel under your bum to raise yourself.
Choose a chair with a back. Sit all the way back in the chair with your spine neutral. I always recommend placing a pillow or rolled up towel in the small of your back or under your thighs. Avoid leaning forward.
Make sure the back of your shoulder blades are touching the chair and the head back on the head rest if you have one. This will prevent you from leaning forward and creating that forward head posture that increases tension in the upper back, neck and can create headaches.
When sitting make sure feet are flat on the floor. Make sure that hips and knees are at 90 degrees.
Make sure your monitor is at eye level. Use boxes, books, or whatever you have to raise your screen or laptop to eye level.
Take Micro-breaks. Set a timer every hour to get up from sitting, walk to get a drink of water, do some stretches, take a walk.
Try to alternate from sitting to standing if you can.
Avoid working on a surface that is too high**wrists higher than elbows**. If the work surface is too high, raise your chair height or use a pillow or folded towel under your bum to raise yourself.
Try to avoid working from your bed, your couch, a recliner, or a bar stool. These make it very easy to fall into bad posture and increase pressure on the lower back, upper back and neck.
Try to avoid crossing the legs or sitting on your feet. This creates necessary and abnormal twisting and imbalance of the pelvis and low back that can later create pain and discomfort.
Avoid feet dangling. If your feet do not touch the ground place something on the ground in order for your feet to be able to remain flat on the surface. Make sure that your knees do not raise higher than the hips.
I know it may not be an ideal situation so make due with what you can to make it the best you can. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact Dr. Kristen at 513-445-8654.