Working from home
Working from home in a healthy manner requires attention for the workplace
As a result of the Corona virus many of us don’t go to the office, but work from home. From my experience as an ergonomist I know that this could lead to serious physical complaints. At home you seldom have an office chair that is properly adjustable, and the same holds for a desk that is adjustable in height. Simply working with the laptop in your lap or at the dining table is quite common in these situations, which is fine for a few hours, but what if you need to work at home all week long? I would like to give you a few tips to prevent complaints.
In the below picture (workplace checklist) you can see the perfectly adjusted workplace. This cannot be easily arranged at home, but with a few simple adjustments you will go a long way!
Do you have a desktop computer? If so, use this computer instead of your laptop. If you only have a laptop, then it is important to position it at eye level, for example by means of a pile of books. Also use a separate keyboard and mouse. Perhaps you can fetch them from your office if you don’t have these available at home. Splitting up the keyboard and display can prevent neck and shoulder complaints.
Do you have an office chair? This is easier to use as you can adjust the height of the seat. If you don’t have an office chair, make sure to sit at a low table and use a high chair. Ideally, the table is just below elbow height (see picture). If your table is still too high, try sitting on a pillow to get a bit higher.
Is the backrest of your chair completely straight, i.e. not curved in shape? This might get uncomfortable in the longer run. You could try putting a thin pillow in the hollow of your lower back.
The above three tips are the main focus points. Try to adjust the rest of your workplace as much as possible according to the picture and as described in the workplace checklist.
Even though the sports clubs are closed for the time being, keep moving as much as possible! Stand up every hour, take a nice walk in your break or work in the garden in between.
Ilya Slingerland-den Dulk
Ergonomics expert screen work
Need more specific tips for your workplace at home? The ergonomist can help you with adjusting it by video calling.
Would you like the workplace checklist in your language as a sticker or poster in your office? Please send us an E-mail: info@ErGoKnowhow.com