Traditionally the links between working and ergonomics has been associated with the office environment, however with more and more people working from home on a long term or permanent basis, either full or part time this is something we should all consider.....Gone are the days of just giving employees a laptop to take home.
Ergonomics in the work environment refers to optimising how we work. It brings together our anatomy, physiology, data, and engineering to help us design a work environment fit for those in it. It mainly involves designing the workplace in a way that is considered best for productivity and wellbeing.
This explains why it is so important to consider ergonomics not just in the office environment but while working at home too.
A poor ergonomic set up can cause aches and pains, eye strain and have a negative effect on concentration and productivity.
Often making a few adjustments and investing in a few key pieces of equipment can have amazing benefits to you physical and mental health while working.
Below are some fundamental tips which will have a positive impact.
- Keep your screen level to your eyes to avoid either tilting or craning your neck.
- Place your keyboard or laptop closer to you to prevent shoulder strain.
- Invest in a comfortable task chair.
- Make sure your desk is just the right height for you.
- Arrange your supplies such that everything is at arm’s length (thereby ensuring economy of movement).
Investing in some accessories and equipment to help further.
Laptop Stand - Using a Laptop Stand can greatly improve posture to minimize neck strain.
Monitor Arm- Introducing a monitor arm can have many benefits. Smooth articulation and responsive movement gives users fingertip control of their screens. This ease of adjustment naturally invites better posture: because it’s so easy to move the screen to exactly the right position, users do it without even noticing.
Task Chair - Investing in a comfortable chair will be the heart of a productive work space. You will spend a large proportion of your day on it. It will make a big difference to your work life and your health.
It isn't just about your set up and equipment- Other tips to consider include.
The 20-20-20 rule recommends you look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds after every 20 minutes of screen time. Regular screen breaks are very important to remember when you work from home, as well as incorporating movement into your day. Any movement, trips to the kitchen for coffee and water, stretching or even the use if a sit-stand desk can all help.
Give yourself a break....
A proper one! Schedule in coffee breaks and a proper lunch break. Enjoy the whole break.
Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by emails or phone calls during this time. Move away from your desk to give yourself a change of scene.
Better still get outside for a walk. Getting some fresh air will really boost your mood and allow you to focus better when you get back to work.
Even post- pandemic working from home is set to stay, so ensuring a great home working set up will be a valuable investment for a health and happiness!