Ergonomic Tips and Considerations While Working from Home

As we adapt the way we work to the best suggested practices at this time, this is an excellent opportunity to review some ergonomic tips and considerations while working from home.

It can be easy to overlook ergonomics when you’re in a comfortable environment like your home, however, improper behaviors can still lead to long-term problems. The following practical tips will help you set up your workstation environment and gain pointers to maintain focus on your work and self-care.

Ergonomic Tips

  • Change postures frequently—this is the most important tip—make sure you move every 30 minutes for 2 to 3 minutes

Your chair:

  • Pay attention to overall posture: sit up straight and relax your shoulders
  • Make sure your chair supports your upper and lower back and is adjusted to the correct height (feet flat to the floor, the back of your thighs should not feel pressure)

Monitor

  • The monitor should be approximately an arms reach from the body (closer if you are experiencing “tech neck”)

Keyboard and mouse

  • Place the keyboard and mouse under seated elbow height or waist height
  • The keyboard and the mouse should be close to your body

Practical Tips

  • Create a routine to prepare for work in the morning—take a shower, change your clothes—this will put you in the right frame of mind for work
  • Assess your house for trip hazards and clean up items that can cause injuries
  • Make sure you have dedicated work spaces—if possible, have multiple spaces in which to work from (movement from space to space will prevent fatigue and encourage blood flow)
  • Remind your family you are working and not available to run errands, do chores or any household tasks; set the ground rules up front
  • If your children are home, set up activities in advance and let them know you need to focus during the workday.
  • Use breaks to provide your family with attention—still stick to a or your schedule
  • Don’t answer the house phone or the front door to limit interruptions
  • Don’t leave the house to run errands during working hours (this is a liability for your employer and can take you off track)
  • Walk outside in the front or backyard to get fresh air periodically
  • We cannot stress this enough: move frequently and think of movement as your friend—be fidgety and change positions often (use the guidelines above)
  • Stretch periodically, this will actually make you more productive, encourage blood flow and wake up your body and keep muscles loose
  • Interact with colleagues by video and voice conferencing to stay connected—especially in the beginning, as a feeling of isolation and loneliness can emerge
  • Please contact your HR department if you have questions concerning your home workstation
  • Check in with your team and manager periodically to obtain both internal and community information 

Stefanie Nobriga

About Stefanie Nobriga

Stefanie Nobriga has been a Loss Control specialist for the past 25 years specializing in ergonomics and wellness. She has extensive experience with the hotel industry, machine shops and guarding, corrugated box manufacturing, and school and office settings. She is a professional member of the American Society of Safety Engineers and a board Certified Associate Ergonomist through the Oxford Research Institute.

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