Ergonomics Recommendations For Remote Work

This will shift the strain between intervertebral discs, the spine’s shock absorbers. These included chairs of the wrong height (41% too low and 2% too high), chairs with a hard sitting surface (63%) and three respondents whose workstation was not a workstation at all, i.e. a couch or bed. “The session is about home office environments and the challenges of home working in a practical sense. We have the ideology of giving everyone a desk, a chair, a keyboard and a mouse, but that can’t always apply, because people’s apartments and houses are getting smaller, and they don’t have the space,” said Abbott. Office closures are still commonplace worldwide as COVID-19 vaccine distribution slowly rolls out. For many workers, that still means a major shift to accommodate multiple monitors, an office chair and other typical workstation necessities in a space not designed for them. Like the million of other Americans, Chambers has also been working from home.

work from home ergonomics

Wrong postures due to poor quality equipment or badly adjusted workstations can cause muscle strain and aches. High rises frequently see non-CAT water damage claims with increased severity due to their vertical risk. If there’s a leak in a utility room on the 12th floor of a building, for example, water flows downward, damaging multiple floors in the process. If it gets into the walls, the building could then suffer mold damage as well.

Health Care Partners

Of this population, 843 individuals returned surveys about their home office that resulted from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Use a speaker phone or phone headset if the work requires frequent phone use.

Over half of work-from-home injuries occur from an improper home-office setup. Since equipment can be pricey, many employers were not willing or able to make an initial investment to prevent the onset of musculoskeletal disorders .

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To keep your neck, shoulders, and back free from injury, your head should be vertical to your neck. This position creates the least amount of strain, according to Hedge. To learn how to set up an ergonomic home office, I spoke with Alan Hedge, a professor emeritus at Cornell University in the department of design and environmental analysis. Try switching between sitting and standing throughout the day. Reduce eye strain, look away from screen at work from home ergonomics least every 20 minutes, for 20 seconds and look at something at least 20 feet away. To help prepare employees, Environmental Health & Safety would like to pass along some ergonomic tips you can use as you transition from your office workstation to your home office/telework workstation. As many Rowan University employees are now staying away from their workplaces due to the Coronavirus, many are working remotely or at home for the first time.

  • A footrest might be needed if the feet do not rest completely on the floor once the chair height has been properly adjusted.
  • You want to try to keep your elbows close to your body while you work, too, to get the right posture, says Geisel.
  • Despres found the following to be the most common risk factors for those in sedentary work environments involving computer use.
  • Buying an external keyboard and mouse is a great, and relatively affordable, investment that will help you a long way.

For example, if your job involves excessive typing, considering using a voice-to-text app or dictation software. That way, you can cut down on the total amount of time your fingers are on the keyboard. Focus on making adjustments to these four areas to get a good setup. Keep your chair height in mind as well; you should be able to maintain solid foot support on the floor with your thighs parallel with the floor . Back pain is something most people will experience in their lifetime.

The Right Posture Is Important When You’re Standing, Too

If you don’t have one, a sock filled with rice will do, as will a rolled-up towel. While working on a laptop for a short time is fine, using one for longer periods , will not do wonders for your body. However, there are things you can do to improve laptop ergonomics when you work on it for long periods. And, even if you use a desktop with a detached keyboard, mouse, and monitor, you still have to place everything correctly, so you don’t injure yourself. If you don’t have an adjustable desk or are improvising a desk, you can try some hacks.

  • Chambers urges any person experiencing pain or discomfort to take immediate action.
  • In order to minimize external noise, use a headphone with a microphone for teleconference calls or to reduce outside noise while working.
  • This can result in less back support or can result in contact stress against the back of the knees.
  • As of this writing, almost all employees that can work from home are doing so.

A survey about home office ergonomics and discomfort was sent to faculty, staff, and administrators by email and was completed by 843 individuals. As millions of workers have shifted to telework, special accommodations for workers with respect to ergonomics may be required to ensure the workforce remains healthy. The ears should be aligned with the shoulders when looking at the monitor.

Collaborating Remotely

Laptops were widely used (85%) with most using the laptop monitor (55%) of all respondents. Further, less than 45%of the seating conditions were reported as having adjustable arm rests. Remember your adjustable chair, your monitor stand riser, your keyboard, and mouse, etc.? With ergonomic-friendly tools, you will be able to prevent musculoskeletal disorders that can affect your lower back, neck, shoulders, elbows, forearms, hands, and wrists. Many people will find that they are working off of a laptop at home.

work from home ergonomics

Nevertheless, there are important steps that you can take so that your work environment is suitable for prolonged use. Read on to find out more about ergonomics, as well as some of the ways that ergonomic design can be used when working from home to improve comfort levels and reduce the chances of injury or strains. The crucial elements that need to be paid attention to are the posture, desk, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and most importantly, being mindful of your own body. When you are mindful of your body posture and physical pain, you can immediately correct your body alignment or get better workspace equipment. Sit upright and stretch your hands out to the front, parallel to each other and as wide as your shoulders. When people have comfortable and safe workspaces, they become less susceptible to physical pain, more productive, engaged, and less prone to making mistakes.


Don’t hold the mouse too tightly, and keep the wrist straight while using it. Use a cushion or roll up a towel to place behind the lower back for extra support. You can read our blog on good practices to follow to ensure safety of your remote staffhere. Till this health crisis ends, most businesses that can operate remotely will be asking their staff to continue working from home. The chair should also allow the knees and elbows to be at right angles, to minimise unnecessary muscle strain.

work from home ergonomics

Contrary to what you may think, a neutral spine isn’t one that is perfectly straight. A neutral spine is one that stays in its natural curved shape. If you’re struggling to stay productive while working from home, these tips from full-time work-from-home moms may help. This course is designed by a Board-Certified Professional Ergonomist and Physical Therapist. It’s self-paced, on-demand, delivered online in less than 60 minutes in an interactive, highly engaging way which will have all participants immediately changing the way they work. Each of our corporate employee training courses takes under an hour to complete and is set up in short learning durations of 2 minutes to 15-minute sessions for easy learning.

Everything You Need To Set Up An Ergonomic Home Office

Working from home can be challenging for a variety of reasons, but for many of us, not having a proper space set up can lead to discomfort, pain and even injury. Using the resources below, set yourself up for success while working from home to stay pain-free. She started Worksite International, Inc. in 1993 and brings a unique perspective to workplace ergonomics.

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.

Static Positions

If buying these accessories is not in your budget, make sure you keep your laptop at a distance and that your wrists and forearms are supported by your table or desk. Having a good posture, a correct chair height, adequate equipment spacing as well as certain tools will help you achieve what we refer to as good office ergonomics. This will help you avoid injuries and be more comfortable as your body position will be as “natural” as possible. If you don’t have a fancy office chair that rocks back, try putting a cushion, pillow, or towel behind your lower back.

Ergonomics @ Home: Tips On Working From Home

Give your sitting work area a makeover with this visual guide to office ergonomics. How you sit when you’re working is important, but making sure you’re not stuck in that position for too long is crucial, too.