Home Workstation Ergonomics

Ergonomics for the Home Office

When working from home, it is essential to set-up your workstation to allow for neutral postures. The cumulative effect of working on laptops, cell phones, and tablets from an awkward position may increase the risk of chronic neck/shoulder injuries and repetitive stress injuries of the hands and wrists.

Useful tools to achieve proper ergonomic posture:

  • External Keyboard
  • External Mouse
  • External Monitor or Laptop Riser (or a couple of books)

Chair Selection:

  • Use a chair that allows your seated elbow height to match the work surface height
  • Feet should be fully supported on the ground or footrest with thighs parallel to floor
  • Fully supports spine with hips all the way back

    -Creative Solutions

  • Use a small box, crate, or books for a footrest
  • Try small pillows, rolled up towels, or cushions to provide support as necessary

Work Surface:

  • Keyboard with mouse directly next to it positioned at elbow height
  • Shoulders relaxed and back with elbows by your side
  • Avoid placing frequently used items out of arms reach

   -Creative Solutions

  • Use an ironing board or the counter with a box to set up a standing desk. If your posture is not ideal in this position, limit duration to 20 minutes.

Monitor:

  • Adjust the monitor so the top of the screen is about eye-level
  • Your fingertips should just reach the screen when you extend your arm

   - Creative Solutions

  • Use a small LED TV as an external monitor. Use a box or a few books to raise the height of your screen.

Breaks:

  • Take 1-2 minute breaks ever 20 or 30 minutes to stretch. This can relieve stress from holding the same posture for too long.
  • Every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Focusing on something at the same distance for an extended period can cause eye strain.

Helpful Tips:

  1. Have a designated work area – Set up everything you will need for your job nearby to avoid overreaching.
  2. Stay connected – Utilize Zoom, Microsoft Groups and other technology available to collaborate and build a sense of camaraderie rather than isolation.
  3. Set boundaries – To maintain a balance between personal and professional fulfillment, develop a routine that sets clear boundaries between time for work and your personal life. 
  4. Be mindful of lighting - Orient your display perpendicular to bright light. Bright light behind your display will cause eye strain as will working on a bright display with dim ambient lighting. 

For questions or assistance setting up your home workstation please contact Rob Wallace.