Ergonomic Tips for Working From Home
Authored by Jacinta Dwyer.
Workers are now spending more time working from home however few have an adequate work setup at home which can lead to awkward sustained postures and musculoskeletal aches and pains. Here are some key points to help you work from home comfortably and safely:
- Most importantly, change posture regularly. Alternate between a seated and standing position every 20-30 minutes wherever possible. Phone meetings could be done while standing or pacing the room.
- Take regular breaks. Take micro breaks from computer use every 20-30 minutes to stretch or grab a glass of water.
- If you are using a laptop, utilise a separate keyboard and mouse. The keyboard and mouse should be positioned approximately 5-10 centimetres from the edge of the desk with your stomach almost touching the edge of the desk.
- Support your lower back. If you are using an adjustable office chair, ensure the curve of the backrest sits in the curve of your lower back. If you do not have access to a proper chair, a rolled up towel placed across your lower back can provide a makeshift back support. Ensure that you are sitting with your back against the backrest of the chair.
- Keep your feet supported. This could be either on a footrest or with your feet placed firmly on the ground. If you can, try and ensure the height of your chair allows your knees to be in line with your hips or slightly higher.
- Keep your neck in a neutral position. This means adjusting the height of your monitor to ensure that when you are looking straight ahead with a slight tuck of your chin that your eyes hit the top third of the screen. Utilise paper reams or whatever you may have handy to ensure the correct height of your monitor.
Ergonomic assessments completed by a Physiotherapist are currently available through Telehealth or a home visit should you require a more in-depth review.
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