Despite working from home for several months or even years, some of us may not try to emulate an office-like experience when working in terms of our setup and environment. Sometimes, that may not have much effect on us (for example, if we work for only a couple of hours a day), but it can compromise our efficiency in the long term. That’s where practicing good workplace ergonomics can significantly improve our productivity, efficiency, and overall performance at our work. Therefore, this article is a complete guide on ergonomics dos and don’ts of working from home. In an effort to stem the number of coronavirus infections, millions of Americans are now working from home, transforming kitchen tables and bedrooms into temporary home offices. Many are working under less-than-ideal ergonomic conditions—a kitchen chair that’s too low, a table that’s too high.

Even if you are perfectly organized, it can be challenging to balance your work, career, and family in the same place. So the most important thing to do when you are working from home is to put a door between you and your family. A safe place where you can have uninterrupted peace and quiet, where you can entirely focus on your job. When organizing your home office, the things you are using the most should be close to you, and the less frequently used should be in the drawers. This will help you not to spend additional time looking for stuff and be more productive.

How to properly set up the ergonomics in your office?

If natural light is not available, use a desk lamp with a bright, adjustable bulb. If you’re working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a good chance that you were not fully prepared to move your entire office and workspace to your house. Spending a few hours properly assessing your workspace and setting up an ergonomic home office may be necessary to keep you happy—and healthy. Place the computer monitor straight in front of you, directly behind your keyboard, about an arm’s length away from your face. The monitor should be no closer to you than 20 inches (about 50 centimeters) and no further away than 40 inches (about 100 centimeters). If you wear bifocals, lower the monitor an additional 1 to 2 inches (about 2 to 5 centimeters) for more comfortable viewing.

It’s important to note that incorporating ergonomic practices is an ongoing process. This process requires regular evaluation and adjustment to meet the changing demands of the workplace and the needs of employees. Employers should work with qualified ergonomics professionals to conduct workstation ergonomics assessments, develop ergonomic programs, and provide ergonomic training to employees.

Why Is Ergonomics Important While Working From Home?

If your chair is too high for you to rest your feet flat on the floor — or the height of your desk requires you to raise the height of your chair — use a footrest. If a footrest is not available, try using a small stool or a stack of sturdy books instead. With so many people working from home because of COVID-19, it’s important to have proper ergonomics in the workspace. Eye strain can be caused from prolonged screen use, from excessively bright light in the telework setting, font size and other factors.

It’s easy to work on your laptop for a few hours on the weekend, but doing so for 40-plus hours a week can lead to back, shoulder, and neck strain. If you can, use an external monitor or laptop stand (with an external keyboard and mouse) to prop up your screen. When looking at the screen, your eye line should be level with the address bar on your web browser. Taking the time to adjust your working area to fit your body and needs not only helps you prevent health issues, but also creates a comfortable and enjoyable space. Dorsey created the following recommendations for the ideal ergonomics of an office for the American Occupational Therapy Association. Take the time to carefully consider your home office ergonomics when working remotely.

Office Ergonomics And How It Affects Your Health

While seated, your ears should be in line with your shoulders, which should be in line with your hips. Elbows should rest toward the side of your ergonomic tips for working from home body, close to your center of gravity. Here’s what you need to know about organizing a work setup that supports—rather than hurts—your health.

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