WFH Ergonomics 101

April 1, 2021

Maintaining a healthy posture while working from an in-home setting can be challenging. Factors such as space and financial expenses can limit or prevent you from assembling an ideal setup. There are a few major points of emphasis, that if possible, you should try to incorporate into your in-home workstation.

The screen should be close to eye level

Having your computer screen, whether it’s a laptop or desktop, should be as close to eye level. This prevents or helps to limit frequent rounding of the upper back, internally rotating the shoulders and forward head tilt. Being in this position can lead to shoulder, neck, or upper back pain and can develop into ailments such as pinched nerve, herniated disk, and weak or inflamed rotator cuffs. This can lead to a series of muscular imbalances that the longer it is left untreated, the harder it can be to fix.

The keyboard should be about level with the elbows

This aspect of proper ergonomics can be tough to work around, especially if you are working on a laptop. However, if possible, you should try to have your keyboard at elbow level. This height is ideal for limiting the strain on hands, wrists, fingers, and forearms. Proper positioning here can help prevent ailments such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Chair Should Provide Lumbar Support

Your chair should be providing a degree of lumbar support. Support in this area helps to preserve health in the lower back and hips. If your chair does not provide an adequate amount of support, you can try placing a pillow between the chair and your low back for additional support. You should also be engaging your core to ensure neutral spinal alignment.

Feet Should Be Flat on Floor

 Your chair should be adjusted, if possible so that your knees are level with your hips. This is important for maintaining hip health. If you find your knees are higher than your hips when sitting, it could be shortening the hip flexor and psoas muscles, throwing off the alignment of the pelvis.

Upsides

There are also some positives the home office environment may provide that you may not have been able to benefit from while in the office. If you find you are unable to meet the basic needs for proper workplace ergonomics, frequent breaks that incorporate movement or a form of stretching should be incorporated into your daily workday. These breaks can be as little as 5 minutes every hour.

SimpleTherapy provides an ergonomics program designed to combat poor posture and extended periods of sitting and immobility. Our stretches and exercises are essential in preventing muscular imbalances with can lead to overcompensation, limited mobility, and rigid movements.

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