Working at Home? Brush up on Home Office Ergonomics

With COVID-19, more of us than ever are working from home.  With little preparation, we have shifted from our cubicle or office at work to working from home. Our workspaces at home are often not offices, but anything from a dining room table to a desk in a bedroom to a basement office.  Let’s take a look at some adjustments you can make to make your workspace productive and injury-free so you can have a great workday.

Importance of Ergonomics in your Home Office

Each of our bodies is as different as our jobs. Just like you adjust the seat in your car, you need to make sure that your office chair and desk are adjusted to work for you.  Even if you are working from home temporarily due to the Coronavirus, you want to make sure that your workspace is comfortable, safe, and productive.

Home Office Ergonomics for Work-at-Home Employees

home office ergonomics, standing deskThe Right Office Chair

Having a comfortable chair that has some adjustments will help you be comfortable during the day to be ergonomically set up to avoid injuries.  When you don’t have an ergonomic office chair but are using a straight back chair or a folding chair, some tweaks can be made with lumbar support or a seat cushion.

Lumbar Support

Lumbar support keeps you from slouching and helps support the natural curve in your back. When you don’t have a chair with lumbar support, you could try a rolled-up towel to make your chair more ergonomically friendly.  To make a standard chair more comfortable, you could add a pillow or cushion.

Table or Desk Height

The appropriate table height depends on the height of the individual.  Height adjustable desks or risers can be attached to a current static desk or table to get the monitor and keyboard at the right height.  Other options include Adjustable Legs that simply need a desktop.  If you have a current desktop or flat surface, height-adjustable legs can move the desktop up/down as needed throughout the day. It is important to keep your monitor at eye level, so you aren’t looking down, which can cause pressure to your head and neck over time.

Hand and Wrist Positioning

Just like your head and neck, you want your hands and wrists to be in a neutral position.  When using a keyboard, mouse, or another device, be sure that your forearm, wrist, and hand are flush and straight, not hinged upward.  Your arms also shouldn’t be to the side or across the midline of the body, but be in alignment.

Changing Positions

Whether you are a graphic designer, customer service rep, engineer, or a freelancer, it is vital to move your body often throughout the day. Some jobs are more flexible than others when it comes to physically walk away from your desk for frequent breaks.  Other times, using a standing desk or an angle chair can help build movement and position changes into your day without leaving your desk.  The movement help to stretch our muscles, improve circulation, and help a person re-energize (read other reasons why people love standing desks).

Standing Desk Protocol

Some people have a misconception that standing desks are to be used only in the standing position.  In reality, many standing desks are simply height-adjustable desks, meaning the person using them easily switch between sitting and standing. There are various recommendations for alternating between sitting and standing, for instance, Other recommendations include not sitting for more than 20 minutes at a time.

If you are looking for a standing desk that is made for home offices, HealthPostures has a great solution! Reach out to us online, call us at 800-277-1841 or a local ergonomics/office furniture dealer to learn more about the TaskMate Go standing desk!