Working From Home Ergonomically
Here are some tips to help you ensure your workspace at home is ergonomically correct.
Proper posture is important. Choose a chair that supports your spine. Adjust the height of your chair so your feet are flat on the ground and knees are level with your hips. If you need to raise your chair so you are level with the height of your desk, use a pillow or seat cushion to make the adjustment. If possible, attach a regular size, external keyboard and mouse to the laptop, and place them on an adjustable keyboard tray or desk. The keyboard and mouse should be positioned at or slightly below elbow height. Also, keep your elbows close to your body and try not to bend your wrists.
Have your monitor an arm's length away. If you have a laptop, use a stable support (stack of thick books) to elevate the monitor height, so that the top third of the screen is slightly below eye level. If you wear bifocals, lower the monitor an additional 1 to 2 inches. Adjust the screen position to keep down the glare.
As tempting as it might be, don't work from your couch or that cushy recliner. If possible, work in an area that is quiet, especially if you will be on conference calls, whether it's a dedicated office or a spare bedroom.
Also, keep the TV off, especially cable news channels. Not only will you be distracted, but they could also raise your anxiety level. If you have access to music, plug in your ear buds and relax to your favorite songs.
If at the office you had an adjustable height desk so you could stand while working, you can make short-term adjustments. If you're using a laptop, move it to a higher level such as a high table or kitchen counter for a short period of time.
Move, Stretch, Exercise
While you're home, it’s a perfect opportunity to keep your body and mind sharp. When possible, stand up and take a 5-minute break. This allows you to reset your posture and give your eyes a break. If you have back issues, it's important to stay as limber as possible.