Home Office Ergonomics 101

2020 has presented us all with some unique challenges.  One of the challenges that I encounter with patients on a daily basis is poor home office ergonomics and the havoc that it can wreak on our bodies. None of us were planning to be in our home offices for the foreseeable future.  We have to make the best of the resources we have available.  I wanted to share a few Do’s and Don’ts home office ergonomics. 

  1. Don’t hunch over your computer
    1. Hunching over your laptop can lead to back, neck, and shoulder problems, as well as headaches.  If possible use a separate monitor, wireless mouse and wireless keyboard.  When evaluating the ergonomics of your workstation keep these things in mind.  You want your arms and thighs at 90 ° to the floor, both should be resting comfortably on the armrest and seat of the chair respectively.  
  2. Do invest in an office chair
    1. A good office chair will allow you to make adjustments to keep your body in proper alignment and take additional strain off of your back and neck. Look for a chair that offers adjustable height, lumbar support and position of the chair back.  You should be able to comfortably sit back in the chair without having to lean forward to reach the keyboard or see the monitor. 
  3. Do get up and move
    1. Our bodies were not made to sit for hours on end in front of a computer screen.  Be sure to get up every hour and move.  Go get a glass of water, use the restroom, take a quick walk around the block or do a few minutes of stretching to get the blood flowing.You can also do a “walking meeting” instead of a phone call or Zoom call.  Regular movement will take stress off of your body and will get the blood flowing. Increased blood flow will decrease pain and tension as well as boosting your mental and emotional well being.  
  4. Don’t let your feet dangle
    1. Make sure that your feet are supported by either a footrest or using some sturdy household items such as books or books.  Ideal alignment puts the thighs parallel to the floor, the knees bent 
  5. Do work at an optimal height 
    1. Optimal height of your workstation will allow your elbows to remain level with the desk height promoting better wrist, elbow and shoulder alignment.  Another factor to consider is the height of your monitor.  When looking at the monitor, your eye line should be level with the address bar. This will help avoid headaches, neck pain and shoulder discomfort

Hopefully, these tips will be helpful as you try to make the best of your home office setup.  If you have any questions about the ergonomics of your current setup or you are experiencing some of the effects of poor home office ergonomics, set up a free discovery call today!