Since the pandemic hit, millions of us are now working from home, transforming kitchen tables and bedrooms into temporary home offices. Many people are working under less-than-ideal ergonomic conditions—it may be a kitchen chair that’s too low or a table that’s too high, You get the idea. Nonetheless, poor ergonomics can make or break your work-from-home experience.
- DON’T hunch over your
Fit the backrest curvature of your chair to the lower back to avoid lumbar discomfort.
It’s easy to work on your laptop for a few hours a day, but doing so for 40-plus hours a week can lead to back, shoulder, and neck strain.
If you can, it is advised to use an external monitor or laptop stand with an external keyboard and mouse) to maintain an adequate distance from the screen.
When looking at the screen, your eye line should be at the same level as the address bar on your web browser.
- DO work at an appropriate height
Find a working height so that your elbows naturally fall on your table/desk. This will promote better wrist alignment rather than impingement or carpal tunnel stress.
- DO use an office chair if possible
Adjustable features on an office chair will help you save from lumbar and neck discomfort.
When sitting or standing, elbows should be at a 90-degree angle to allow the wrists to stay as straight as possible.
In case you don’t have the option of an office chair, You can use some household items to help you adjust. Such as- putting a firm cushion or a tightly folded towel under your buttocks will raise your hips and increase the curve of your spine, making sitting and working more comfortable.
- DON’T let your feet dangle
Make sure your thighs are nearly parallel to the floor and your hips are slightly higher than your knees. This will reduce stress on your lumbar spine.
You may use a stack of boxes as required to rest your feet and avoid dangling.
- DO follow the 20/20/20 rule
The 20/20/20 rule says, for every 20 minutes spent looking at any computer screen, you must spend 20 seconds looking at something else at least 20 feet away. This gives your eye muscles a break and helps reduce strain on your eyes.
Also, do make sure to get up and walk around a few times in the entire day.
The goal is to get in as many steps as possible during the day, even if you are at home instead of on campus.
- DON’T turn your couch into a workstation
As tempting as it may be, the couch is not an ideal place to work on your computer for the entire day. Although it may be comfortable, having your body in that position can lead to muscle numbness and discomfort.
- DO customize a workspace to fit you
Try to create a workstation that only you use, or does not require any changes/adjustments for others to use. Otherwise, sharing a workstation means you will need to adjust your computer height, chair, and furniture every time you sit down.
Often, you may choose to skip adjusting the workstation altogether. If you are the only person using the space, customizing will reduce the time and discomfort of sitting at a station that does not fit you.
- DON’T skip lunch and make sure you stay hydrated
It’s easy to snack throughout the day instead of eating as you did in the office. Making a meal and staying hydrated gives you the opportunity to stand up, walk around, and let your eyes have a rest from the computer screen and reboot for better productivity.