With the uncertain nature of 2020 working from home has become a reality for a large proportion of the workforce and this is not likely to change anytime soon. Although working from the comfort of home has its benefits many home offices have not been designed to support long-term use. A recent article in the October 2020 issue of Ergonomics in Design titled “The Home Office: Ergonomic Lessons From the “New Normal” assessed many home workstations to determine what issues workers face in this new landscape.
Here are 6 helpful tips to make your home workstation more comfortable.
- Top of the screen at eye level and arms-length in front of the user. The primary screen should be placed in the midline with secondary screens off to the side.
- Elbows at 90 degrees with elbows or forearms supported by chair arms or work surface.
- Back supported and slightly reclined. The angle of the chair back should be 90-110 degrees as being slightly reclined reduces postural strain.
- Thighs supported with a hip angle between 90-110 degrees.
- Feet flat on the floor or supported with lift.
- Reduce glare. Light reflected from the work surface can cause eye strain and headaches. External light sources should be perpendicular to the monitor and the work surface should not be overly reflective.
How To Achieve The Optimal Set-Up
Ensure your screen is at the proper height by propping your monitor up. If working from a laptop, use a laptop stand, an auxiliary keyboard and a mouse to be able to adjust screen height independent of work surface height. Adjust your chair height and armrest height to ensure your elbows are at the proper angle. Your chair should also have a tension knob to allow you to control the reclining of the back support. After adjusting your chair your feet may no longer be touching the floor. Using a footrest to support your feet can prevent any undue stress on your legs and low back. Glare can be managed using window shades, desktop pads and proper monitor positioning.
Finally, regardless of work station set up, it is recommended to stand up every 30 minutes and take a movement break so you do not stay in any one position for too long.
If you are interested in more information or are experiencing work-related pain please contact us at PinPoint Health to book an assessment.