When you first start working from home, it can be hard to make things comfortable. To help you get the most out of your home setup, we spoke with Entrac, a leader in workplace ergonomics. Here are their tips to make optimize your workspace more ergonomically friendly.
Improve your posture when using your laptop
Laptops are a great option when you’re planning to move around a lot. But when you’re staying at home or working long hours, you need to watch your posture. Sitting in front of your laptop for hours on end can strain your wrists, shoulders and neck. Here are some simple habits that can keep you from feeling sore.
Easy ways to improve your workday:
- Use a stand to raise your laptop to eye level. It doesn’t have to be fancy—even a book will do the trick!
- Use the 20-20-20 rule to reduce eye strain and muscle fatigue: every 20 minutes, look at an object that’s about 20 feet away for about 20 seconds.
- Stretch regularly during the day. Hold the stretch for a minimum of 15 seconds.
Use external equipment
To make your home office setup more ergonomically friendly, add a keyboard, mouse, headphones or additional monitor into the mix. This can keep you from hunching forward as you type and will ultimately help prevent muscle tension.
Here are some best practices when using external equipment:
- Keep all of your screens at eye level to avoid tilting your chin too much.
- Keep all of your screens at least arm’s length away.
- Use headphones during conference calls, instead of leaning in close to your speakers.
Set up a designated work area
When you’re working from home, it can be tempting to settle down on your favourite couch. But after an hour or so, you’ll probably notice that it’s not really comfortable! At some point, you’ll miss having an ergonomically friendly workstation, like the one in your office.
So choose where you’re going to sit, then make it more comfortable:
- Sit on a cushion or pillow to bring you to your desired height.
- Use books or a firm box as a footrest.
- Roll up a towel to support your lower back. The idea is to create a curve between your seat and your back, like your office chair.
Try a change of scenery
You can also help your posture by changing positions regularly and moving around. Try different places around your house—for example, you could stand and work at your kitchen counter for bit. This will help reduce muscle tension at the end of the day.
- Use a book or box to bring your laptop to the correct height, if you’re standing. Make sure that your elbow and wrist are well aligned.
- Use a footrest to keep your knees and hips at the same height, if you’re sitting down.
- Tilt your chin down or lean your neck forward if you’re working at the counter.
- Sit on a stool while working at the counter. You’ll have less back support and your feet might end up dangling.
When you’re working from home, don’t be afraid to get creative! Adjust your environment with the accessories and props you have on hand. If you take a few minutes to make your setup more ergonomically friendly, it’ll pay off in the long run.
For more information, discover Practical Guide – ergonomics and temporary work from home by Entrac External link. Opens in a new window.