WORKING FROM HOME – GET COMFORTABLE!
Working from home has become the new normal for many, so it’s important that we get comfortable in our home office. When it comes to making your home office more comfortable, small changes can make a big difference. Read on for some simple tips to help improve your comfort using household items you already have.
CREATE A COMFORTABLE ENVIRONMENT
This is something that is more difficult to control when working from home, particularly if you are sharing a space with other family members. Where possible, try to work from a quiet space with minimal distractions. When you are in your working space, place all the equipment you need as close to you as possible. This will help avoid excessive head-turning and reaching. When working in a room with a natural light source, place your screen at a right angle to the light source. Check for glare before turning your screen on. Glare will cause eye strain. Use blinds as needed to eliminate this.
BACKREST AND LUMBAR SUPPORT
When sitting and working we need to ensure that our back is fully supported in an upright posture. It is tempting to sit in a comfortable armchair or on the sofa when working from home. Unfortunately, this will not provide you with sufficient back support. It is also not a position our bodies will tolerate for very long. A good option when working from home is a kitchen chair which tends to be firm and upright. Place a rolled-up towel for lumber support – this is the natural curve at your lower back. If you are using an adjustable chair at home, check that your backrest is locked upright. Keep your back in contact with the backrest as you work.
When working, your feet need to be flat on a stable surface. If they do not completely touch the floor e.g. if your heels are lifting, place your feet on a stable surface such as a box or stack of books. This is a time to get creative! Use whatever equipment you have to create a temporary footrest which will allow your feet to rest flat.
TEMPORARY LAPTOP RISER
Many of us will use laptops when working from home. However, on their own without any external equipment, laptops are not designed for extended use. This is due to the risk of prolonged time spent looking down which places strain on our spine. Laptops are best used with an external keyboard, mouse and laptop riser. If you do not have a laptop riser create a temporary solution using boxes or books! If using a laptop on its own, position it so that the keyboard is at elbow height with the elbows at 90-degrees. Push the screen open/away from you, this allows you to keep your neck relatively straight. Look down at your screen by moving your eyes downwards only.
When using a laptop without other equipment, place the laptop where the keyboard is at elbow height. Push the screen open, look down with your eyes, and keep your neck straight.
AND DON’T FORGET TO MOVE!
Your next posture is the best posture! Very frequent movement is important regardless of where you are working. At a minimum, we need to move every 45 minutes but do aim to change your posture every 25 to 30 minutes. If you are having difficulty achieving an ergonomic workspace at home, ensure you move about even more.
VIRTUAL ERGONOMICS EVALUATIONS TO IMPROVE YOUR COMFORT
ERGONOMICS SUPPORT FOR YOUR COMPANY
To learn more about office setup and good ergonomics principles, you can reach out to Fit for Work at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about how an ergonomic programme within your office can increase productivity, increase staff satisfaction, improve staff retention and reduce sick leave.