Simple Solutions For Improving The Work From Home Ergonomics

work from home ergonomics

Do you work from home? Well, if yes, then you are not alone in it as the pandemic situations have changed the way people work. However, work from home can sometimes take a toll on physical health as well as mental health. This is why having good work from home ergonomics are essential. 

The ergonomics play a vital role in our health as they help in keeping our body fit. They also help in the work as they help in improving the working environment. Good ergonomics help prevent problems like injuries in the hands, wrists, and back. According to some studies the work from home can have the following effects:

  • 10.3% increase in the forearm or wrist sprain or contusion. 
  • 13.2% increase in finger and hand pain. 
  • 16.2% increase in inflammation, cervical radiculopathy, or even damage to the nerve root of the cervical spine. 
  • 17.9% increase in problems like carpal tunnel disease or syndrome. 
  • 24.6% increase in body pain, especially the lower back. 

These are some of the injuries and side effects which can occur when you work in an environment with bad ergonomics for a long time.

Risk Factors

Studies have found the following risk factors most common for people who work in environments that require long sitting sessions. These are:

Postures

  • A person sits in slouched positions while having a flattened back curve with a forward head along with rounded up shoulders. 
  • Use of keyboard or the mouse while the hands are in a non-neutral pose. This can lead to the risk of wrist or hand discomfort. 
  • Use of laptop for a long period while having a bent neck which leads to overstretching of the neck muscles on the back. This also shortens the front side muscles on the chest and neck. 

Static Positions

  • Sitting in the same position for a long period. 
  • Working on the non-traditional type of workstations like the couch, floor, or other household items while on work from home. 

Contact Stresses

  • Forearms on the desk’s edge in resting pose. 
  • Too high arms of the chair.
  • Chairs that are too high and lead to feet dangling in a way that the seat pan presses into the thighs’ backside. 
  • Resting of one wrist on another while using the mouse or keying. 
  • Pressing of the seat pans on the backside of the knees. 

These are some of the non-ergonomic chair and posture things that affect. 

How To Improve Work From Home Ergonomics?

In these stressful times of the pandemic, you will need to improve your home office ergonomics. You can do this in many ways, like an ergonomic home office chair, other ergonomics of office equipment, and more. 

Follow these tips for improved work from home ergonomics:

Body Alignment

When you sit straight while working, keep your shoulder in a relaxing position and the elbow at the keyboard level. 

To do this, you can do things like raising the ergonomic chair levels. However, when you do this, remember that you add a footrest that can support your feet. The monitor top should also be in the level with your eyebrows until you are using the bifocals. 

In case you are using the bifocals for viewing the screen from the bottom side of the lenses while you use a laptop, then consider the addition of a riser. The riser can help in raising the levels of the laptop screen to the levels of the eyebrows. You can also go using an external mouse and the keyboard to avoid strain on the fingers. 

The use of a screen that is at the eyebrow levels helps a lot in maintaining body alignment. Thus it is an important factor for home office ergonomics. In case you don’t want to use a riser, then you can also use it for the addition of some books or boxes under the screen. 

Pay Attention Towards The Posture Of Your Arms

When you use the keyboard then according to experts, your arms must be on the side, and the elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle. 

You can do this by adjusting the armrest on your chair as it will allow for maintaining the posture of your arms. This will also help in keeping the shoulders in a relaxed position. In case your chair’s armrests are not adjustable, consider removing them and then adjusting in a way that you can use the table for support. You can also go for purchasing an ergonomic chair for yourself if you are going to work from home for extended periods. 

Lower Back Support

One of the best ways you can support your back is to use your buttocks for it. To do this, press your buttocks slightly to the chair’s back. To do this, you can use a rolled-up towel or a small cushion. These can help in keeping your buttocks pressed to the chair’s back. 

Doing this will allow your back in arching and not slumping, thus maintaining the ergonomics. 

Take Breaks

Staring on the screen for a long period of time can harm your eyes as well as lead to problems like a headache. Thus it is essential to take vision breaks on regular breaks. Although when in work from home mode, the water cooler breaks are not possible. So, the best thing you can do is to divert your gaze after every 15 to 20 minutes. To do this, focus on anything else than the screen present in the room for some seconds. 

Stretch And Move Around 

If you work in a job which requires sitting for a long period, then it is essential to take breaks every 220 to 30minutes. This helps in relaxing the muscles of the body and maintaining ergonomics. 

You should always shake or stretch during the long sitting sessions. Remember, the motion is lotion for the body. 

You can also go for some compensatory muscle stretching to help you relax. In compulsatory stretching, you need to stretch the tight muscles of the body like the chest, wrists, hips, back, legs, and shoulders. Other than this, to maintain the blood flow, you can also go for exercises like heel raises while sitting. The overall movement of the body and position change is essential after an interval of 20 to 30 minutes for a healthy body. 

Some of the things you can do include taking lunch other than your workstation, or stretching while emailing, and more. You can also go for a walk in the yard if you are on a conference call which doesn’t require you to be on the workstation. These are some of the important aspects of the work from home ergonomics that you need to do. 

Invest In Quality Equipment

Are you in work from home mode for a long time? Or do you need to sit for a long period while working? If the answer is yes, then investing in quality equipment like an ergonomic home office chair and other home office ergonomics equipment can help. 

This will not only take your comfort level to the next level but will also help you to be healthy. And remember, a healthy mind and body is a productive mind and body. Thus it can help you to increase your productivity to a great extent. However, the good quality of the home office ergonomics equipment can be expensive and thus decide your budget accordingly. 

These are some of the tips for work from home ergonomics that can help you in staying healthy and fit. They will also help you maintain your productivity while not impacting your pocket much. However, what they will impact is your comfort levels and stress levels as they will take comfort up and stress low. 

Final Words

Do you work from home? If yes, then having good work from home ergonomics is an essential thing to stay healthy and productive. 

To have good ergonomics, you can follow various things like taking breaks between the sitting session and more. You can also go for investing in some good ergonomics equipment for your home office. 

Jatin Choudhary

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *