As many people have moved to their home office, what does that look like for you? Is that the kitchen table? The counter? The couch? Do you have a desk and an office area?
We still want to maintain the best ergonomic practices at home to reduce static positions and Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD's), by addressing ergonomic stress points with workers.
I've created the following list to give you a quick checklist to help you set up your work-space.
1. Your desk should have enough surface to hold your computer and any paper you require to complete your job.
2. Your monitor should be at a comfortable height; to do this, make sure your chin is level. If you have progressive lenses, be mindful of your head-bob and adjust the monitor as best as you can.
3. Your shoulders should be relaxed.
4. Your wrists should only rest lightly on the keyboard/keyboard tray or surface.
5. Avoid leaning on any of your work surfaces.
6. Your chair should support your shoulders and back, allowing you to sit back comfortably. If your chair doesn't fit and you are perching on the edge of your seat, you may want to add a pillow to the back or try another chair you have. Usually, I recommend purchasing a chair that is fully adjustable that 'fits' you ergonomically.
7. Adding a footrest can help shift your posture and hips while sitting—this aids in body movement and better blood flow. If you don't have a footrest, get creative, make sure it's sturdy and near the height of 3-4".
"Our body moves and makes itself comfortable without us even realizing it's happening."
8. If you are using your kitchen table as your work-space, it is higher than a desk, and you may find your shoulders lifting to accommodate the height change. If possible, raise your chair, or yourself, with a pillow/blanket to let your shoulders relax in a neutral position.
9. Be mindful of leaning or resting your arms on the work surface. If your chair does have armrests, be sure not to prop yourself or work off them.
10. Getting up every 30 - 60 minutes and moving your body is essential in maintaining better health while working. Your body is already shifting while you work, so adding a mini-break every 30-60 minutes, means, get a glass of water, take a few deep breaths, put the laundry in the dryer, let the dog or cat in/out.
11. Intentionally shifting and stretching our body is self-care.
The best way to avoid injury is:
~ awareness of our habits
~ what is causing us distress
~ make adjustments
~ take our breaks
~ moving our bodies is a great way to maintain our health
If you've made these adjustments and are still having trouble, please contact me for a consultation. There are many ways ergonomics can help you be safe and comfortable while working.
I've shared some pictures I took of myself while working in varied locations in my home, using a laptop. I mostly work from the couch and move to my desk when I need a change. I also get up every 30 minutes while I'm on my computer, which applies to my desk. My body likes it better when I move.
Be sure to check out my website for a PDF of the stretches www.aspenergonomicswellnesssolution.com
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