The Importance of Home Ergonomics
Scientific evidence suggests that proper workplace ergonomics is necessary to help you stay comfortable while working from home. This includes correct chair height, correct positioning of keyboard, mouse, screen and good desk posture. An incorrect set up with any of these can result in aches and pains.
Back, neck and shoulder pains, headaches, eyestrain and overuse injuries in the wrist and hand are common injuries that arise from poor workplace setup. Studies suggest that up to 60-70% of full-time office staff will experience some degree of pain or injury over their working life. It is estimated that 62% of all claims are work related muscle and soft tissue injuries. These injuries can be prevented by having proper workplace ergonomics which leads to improved health, increased productivity and improved work satisfaction.
Solutions to Prevent Remote Workplace Injury
Here are 4 strategies you can use to help support your own workspace:
Solution # 1: Become more body aware. Monitor your comfort level and move away from your workspace regularly. Set reminders to move every hour. Drink water to stay hydrated. We recommend taking at least a 30 second break every 30 minutes, and get up to move for 1-3 minutes every hour.
Solution # 2: Plan your workday – Outline duties, expectations, and deadlines you may have. Be careful not to overwork.
Solution # 3: Look at our guide below which highlights correct ergonomic desk set up. Provide special attention to the neck, head position and ensuring you are not slouching to see the screen. Have the things you use the most, like the mouse and keyboard, within close reach so that your elbows can remain at 90 degrees by your side. Monitor your chair and desk height, your knees and hips should be at 90 degrees and your feet should be able to be placed on a solid surface. (picture A)
Solution # 4: If you are using a laptop for long periods, look into improving its ergonomics. Get a wireless keyboard and mouse, and then elevate the screen of the laptop to the correct height. You can use books to lift the screen of the laptop up or get a laptop specific stand. Excessively looking down at a laptop can result in a slouched posture, neck and back pain and even headaches. (picture B)
Follow these tips to prevent injury and to be more productive and effective at work.
If you begin to experience pain while working, don’t delay as many of these occupational injuries can become chronic. Contact us to book and we can help you work pain-free and maximize your productivity.
A) Desktop (Seated & Standing)
B) Laptop (Seated)
Written by Oksana Wankiewicz, Registered Kinesiologist, Ace Sports Clinic
Sources: Internal and external sources include but are not limited to the Government of Canada – Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety; Workplace Safety & Prevention Services; scholarly academic research articles; WorkSafe Victoria, Victorian Government Better Health