April 23, 2020
The COVID-19 crisis has caused most office and professional workers to transition to working from home. With mobile technology like WiFi, laptops, and video conferencing platforms, working remote has never been more accessible. However, the rapid onset of this crisis meant that the work from home orders came quickly, and many people working from home are not effectively set up healthily. Offices across the nation take action to make sure that their employees avoid ergonomic injuries like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, lower back injuries, and Tennis Elbow, but those considerations are not extended to the home, and many people are working in unhealthy environments. We are likely to see a spike in ergonomic injuries in the near future.
To prevent ergonomic injuries in remote workers, share the following tips with your team:
- Make sure that your computer monitor is at eye level or slightly below. This can be achieved by setting a monitor or laptop on top of a stack of books. This will help you to keep your neck straight and will ease the tension in your back.
- Set up your keyboard so that when you type, your harms are close to your body. Make sure your elbows are near your sides. This will prevent unnecessary arm strain.
- Sit in a chair with back support. If you do not have an office chair at home, you can order a lumbar support sleeve off of Amazon to fit over your kitchen chairs.
- Do not sit for more than two hours at a time. It is vital to get up, walk around, and stretch to keep the blood flowing.
- Use a headset or speakerphone to take calls so that you are not holding your phone to your ear or craning your neck to hold the phone between ear head and shoulder.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed by either raising your seat or lowering your workstation. You can quickly boost your position by sitting on a cushion, a throw pillow, or a folded towel.
It will be tempting to lounge on the couch as you work from home, but proper body positioning is essential for maintaining optimal health. Take your ergonomic health seriously and help your team to set themselves up correctly at home.