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Better Ergonomics for Working at Home

Did you recently make the move out of the office to working remotely? Your set-up at home might not be as ergonomically ideal as your desk space at work. To avoid aches and pains, or even carpal tunnel syndrome, it’s wise to arrange as comfortable a workstation as you can. Your neck and back will thank you.

  • Desk height: find your sitting neutral elbow height by relaxing your shoulders and bending your elbows to about 90º. Your desk height should be just slightly below where your hands naturally rest. If your desk doesn’t measure up, adjust your chair height if you can, or switch between sitting and standing while you work. Another option is to try perching: sit on the edge of a high stool, so that your back isn’t slumped over
  • Lumbar support: consider the curves of your spine. If your chair is lacking in support, place a pillow or a rolled-up towel between your back and the chair
  • Posture: don’t hunch over your screen or desk
  • Light: office lighting is different from home. Avoid the glare of windows and work near a lamp
  • Keyboard: position the keyboard directly in front of you
  • Footrest: if placing your feet flat on the floor proves uncomfortable or if your chair is too high, try a footrest (or a stack of books)
  • Screen: ideally the top of your screen should be level with your eyes. Elevate your screen above the surface you’re working at (use books or boxes, if need be). Also, adjust the brightness of your screens to avoid eye pain and headaches
  • Phone calls: stand or pace to talk to your colleagues. If you often have to write down notes during the conversations, use speakerphone
  • Move and stretch: five minutes of standing up and walking around each hour will help you and your muscles be more comfortable in the long run
  • When your neck or back starts hurting, take notice. Utilize the freedom of a laptop to move about when your muscles get fatigued

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