Ergonomics & Safety When Working Remotely Environmental Health and Safety

And, even if you can, you may not want to drop the money on it, or take the health risk. Ergonomics is about fitting the tasks being performed to the capabilities of the human performing them. To this end, key ergonomic concepts can be summed up with one word ‘N-E-W’. Remembering this acronym will help people working at an office or home maintain productivity and more importantly, reduce injury risk. For more information about ergonomic home office design and other ergonomic topics, be sure to check out Weber Knapp’s website. We just redesigned our website to make it easier to find educational resources and information about ergonomic office products.

work from home ergonomics checklist

If the accessories of work are in your field of vision or your immediate “relaxation” space, the line between work and home becomes blurred and a stressor. With the growing remote work trend, it’s more important than ever to assess the ergonomics of your home to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your work-from-home experience. Most experts agree that the ability to spend some time sitting and some time standing while working is optimum for musculoskeletal health. The optimum office chair seat height right for you is still dependent upon your height and the height of your desk. When looking at your monitor, the top third of the screen should be at eye level. Ergonomics is the study of people’s interaction with their working environment.

Preventing accidents and injuries

You shouldn’t feel that you have to press your legs together to fit, and your knees shouldn’t bang up against anything. If you can’t fit under the desk comfortably, try out a different “desk” until you find the right fit. While you’re working at home during the pandemic, that may not be the case. You can’t run out to the office supply store and buy what you need.

However, if you wear bifocals, you may need to adjust the tilt by 30 to 40 degrees. This helps you use your bifocal lenses the right way without craning your neck. We’ve got some advice on how to set up an ergonomic workspace at home. While it’s best if you can buy the right equipment, that doesn’t mean you have to. Sometimes simple works, so we’ve included some DIY work-from-home ergonomic hacks you can use with things you’ve probably got at home.

Keep this work from home ergonomics checklist in mind when transitioning into remote working:

When you pull out of the office parking lot, you can take a deep breath and know you’re free for the rest of the day. But, when you’re already at home, distinguishing where work ends and the rest of your life begins can be difficult. Here’s a work from home ergonomics checklist to get you started. Your work area should not be cramped and must have some free space to allow you to move and walk around when you want to. In addition, you need to have enough space to move your legs and knees under the table when you are seated.

  • 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.
  • Companies have seen there has been an increase of productivity of as much as 77%.
  • Depending on how many monitors you use, you’ll need to place them differently.
  • But, there is a delicate balance between comfort and good posture.

To achieve a neutral spine, try a rolled-up towel or small pillow in the small of your back. With the height correct, adjust the keyboard to the proper distance. You don’t want the keyboard too close to you, and you don’t want to overreach. As you type, your elbows should hang naturally by your sides without discomfort.

Your Home Office and Your Health

“A position for the body that you can sustain with minimal effort and [that] gives you biomechanical advantages to do your work. So as we wash our hands and stay isolated to repel the coronavirus, how can we make sure we’re not subjecting our bodies to a different hazard caused by bad work-from-home habits? Here are the top ergonomic tips for working from home, whether it’s during a pandemic or not. No matter what kind of chair you use, you want something that will support your spine’s natural S-shape. In general, you should use a keyboard without an attached numeric keypad.

Many physical therapists (PT) are consulting patients via telehealth or E-visits. You may be able to visit your PT without leaving your house, maintaining safe physical distancing guidelines. Prior to the widespread pandemic, an increasing number of people had already been saying goodbye to feeling stressed – doing an exhausting daily commute to work. It comes as individual workers and businesses saw remote working’s potential. Companies have seen there has been an increase of productivity of as much as 77%. Individuals, on the other hand, noticed that working remotely could be good for stress and heart health.

– Monitor Placement

The problem is that once you’ve adjusted your chair to the right height, your arms may not be at the right height for the keyboard. If you can see the screen just fine when it’s straight, leave it. However, you will likely need to angle the screen to reduce glare and achieve proper head positioning. The top will push away from you, and the bottom will come toward you. First, the top of the monitor should be at or slightly below your eye level. When you look at the middle of the screen, your eyes should look slightly down.

Have your own special workspace that is used exclusively (or mostly) for work. This is the best way to allow yourself to decompress after work. If you do not have a desk, you may consider purchasing a small one.

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This allows independent adjustment of both the laptop screen and the external keyboard to obtain a better position for both the arms and wrists as well as the neck. But, just because you have an adjustable office chair, that doesn’t mean it’s adjusted correctly. And if you can’t get your hands on an office chair, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to make a kitchen or dining room chair ergonomically awesome. If you are setting up your home office in a bedroom, use a table or desk near outlets with an adjustable office chair for good postural support. While it may be tempting to work while sitting up in bed, you should avoid doing this.

work from home ergonomics checklist