Ergonomics” is the science of designing the workstation to fit within the capabilities and limitations of the worker. With the COVID-19 Pandemic, many scrambled to find a space to work from home, let alone, something that worked “WELL” for them ergonomically.
With many of us still working from home, it’s time to re-think possible changes to our home workstations. Is it really working for us or are we just “making it work?” The goal is to design your workstation so that it fits you and allows for a comfortable working environment for maximum productivity and efficiency. An ergonomically correct office workstation will help you avoid fatigue and discomfort.
Workspace Ergonomics Tips
1) Make sure that the weight of your arms is supported at all times. If your arms are not supported, the muscles of your neck and shoulders will be crying by the end of the day.
2) Watch your head position and try to keep the weight of your head directly above its base of support (neck). Don’t “crane” your head and neck forward.
3) Don’t be a slouch! Slouching puts more pressure on the discs and vertebrae of your back. Use the lumbar support of your chair and avoid sitting in a way that places body weight more on one than on the other. Move your chair as close to your work as possible to avoid leaning and reaching. Make sure to “scoot” your chair in every time you sit down.
4) The monitor should be placed directly in front of you, with the top no higher than eye level. The keyboard should be directly in front of the monitor so you don’t have to frequently turn your head and neck.
5) When possible, hook laptops up to monitors so that your eyelevel and neck position can remain neutral. Looking down at a laptop screen puts additional unwanted stress on the neck.
6) Talking on the phone with the phone receiver jammed between the neck and ear is really bad practice. Use the “hands free/speaker” option whenever possible.
7) The keyboard and the mouse should close enough to prevent excessive reaching which strains the shoulders and arms.
8) Avoid eye strain by making sure that your monitor is not too close, it should be at least an arm’s length away.
9) Take steps to control screen glare, and make sure that the monitor is not placed in front of a window or a bright background.
10) You can rest your eyes periodically for several seconds by looking at objects at a distance to give your eyes a break.
11) The feet should not be dangling when you are seated. If your feet don’t comfortably reach the floor or there is pressure on the backs of your legs, use a footrest or lower the keyboard and chair.
12) Take a typing break to rest your fingers by using voice recognition apps.
13) Don’t work in bed, on the floor or coffee table. Sitting cross-legged or extended with a laptop propped on your legs will cause you to hunch over, putting strain on your back.
We spend a fair amount of time each week at our workspace and we may be working from home for a while longer, time to make it work for you!