If you’re one of the many people who are suddenly working from home each day, you might start to notice some new aches and pains. If that’s the case, then you’ll want to reassess your home office environment.
Although it may be tempting to sprawl out on the couch with your laptop, you could be setting yourself up for a painful ergonomic lesson. Our advice for working from home is to mimic an ideal office workstation as much as possible. That setup includes adjustable seating, a proper desk, and user-friendly accessories. Consider the following three points:
Find a comfortable and supportive chair.
- Does the chair have lumbar (lower back) support?
- Can your feet sit flat on the ground while sitting in this chair?
- Does the chair allow for a neutral posture?
Find the right surface for your computer.
- Is there enough space for your computer, keyboard, and any other essentials?
- Is the height of the table/desk appropriate for your body?
Find the right tools to help with ergonomics and comfort.
- Do you have access to a monitor riser? Books or other objects can help prop up the computer so you don’t have to look down at your screen, which will cause neck pain.
- Do you have a footrest? Books can also be used here to help keep your feet resting flat on a surface. This improves your posture and will minimize back pain and stiffness.
- Do you have a wireless headset for phone calls? This will prevent you from cradling a phone between your neck and shoulder and will help prevent neck strain.
- Can you use an external keyboard and mouse with your laptop? This will allow you to type with your arms at your side and your elbows bent at 90 degrees while your laptop screen stays at eye level.
For an illustrative view of optimal workstation posture, check out this infographic. A few simple adjustments can help keep your body happy while working from home.