Ergonomic Tips for Working from Home

10 Simple and Free Tips for Working at Home

1. Adjust your office chair. Practice the rule of 90-90-90 to ensure you are sitting optimally.

2. Try to sit perpendicular to a window to minimize glare. This can help prevent eye strain and headaches.

3. Try to work as closely to your workstation as possible. Your elbows should be close to your body bent at 90 degrees. If you are working with outstretched forearms, you can increase the strain you are placing on your shoulders which will create neck and shoulder pain.

4. Assign work zones. Place your most frequently used items such as your keyboard, mouse, and document holder closest to you. This will help you avoid frequently reaching far away for items throughout your day.

5. Adjust your screen monitor to so top of the screen is eye level. This will help prevent you from bending your neck forward.

6. Your mouse and keyboard should be on the same surface at the same height

7. Your monitor, keyboard, and mouse should all be lining up directly in front of you.

8. Use speakerphone or bluetooth devices as often as possible. Minimizing awkward neck postures will prevent neck injuries.

9. If you have more than one screen, try to place them in a straight line if front of you. Ideally, you want to minimize angling or turning your head to look at different screens.

10. Take frequent micro-breaks. Simply shifting your weight while in the same position can help reduce muscle tension. Micro-breaks allow the muscles to relax for short bursts and help prevent work-related injuries.

Rule of 90-90-90

At first glance you might be thinking this person is sitting quite comfortably! However, what you don't see is the increased strain on her neck, shoulders, wrists, lower back, hips, and knees. Based on the picture to our left, we can see that the chair height and desk height is too high. This is forcing the worker to elevate her shoulders, bend her neck forward and hold her elbows up in the air. She is also leaning forward with her hips and knees in too much flexion with her feet unsupported.

You might be wondering how something so trivial as sitting can have a huge impact on potential injury. When we adopt an improper sitting posture such as slouching forward, we create an imbalance on our joints and muscles. For example, our back muscles tend to contract and stiffen while our abdominal muscles remain uncontracted. When sitting supported we can optimize our sitting posture to ensure the balance between our muscles is present and reduce strain and potential injury.

The best way to adopt a proper sitting position is to practice the rule of 90-90-90. With your feet firmly planted on the ground, you want your hips and knees to be bent to a right angle (90 degrees). You also want to ensure your shoulders are relaxes and your elbows bend to 90 degrees.

There are multiple ways of setting up your workstation to ensure you follow the 90-90-90 rule. For example, you can raise the chair to fit your desk or change the chair the better fit your body. At Ergo Assist, we can help adapt your current environment by providing you an in-depth personalized virtual workstation evaluation. Let our team of professional ergonomist help you create a safe working environment from the comfort of your own home by booking a free consultation at your convenience.