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As people spend more and more hours in their home offices, it’s important that they are set up correctly.
Here’s some guidance from Posture People’s Jo Blood on how to create a healthy and safe workstation in the comfort of your own home.
Jo from Posture People shows how to sit correctly at your desk
When working from home, your desk set-up should be no different than if you were in an office and the 5 main points to remember are:
1. Make sure your chair is at the right height matching with your desk. Your forearms should be at the same level as the desk.
2. Make sure your screen is an arm’s length from you and that the top of your monitor is at eye level. Use monitor blocks or phone books to raise your screen to the right height.
3. Once you’ve adjusted your seat to the correct height, use a footrest if (and only if) your feet are dangling.
4. Refer to the chair
The height and shape of chairs can greatly affect your comfort.
• Choose chairs with seat pans that are tilted slightly downward. This design can help relieve any pressure on the spine.
• Provide lumbar support so that when your employees are typing on their computers, there will be enough support on their lower backs to prevent slouching.
• The back of the seats should allow the knees to clear the seat pan’s front.
• Correct seat height is achieved when the employees’ feet are lying flat on the floor and their hips are of the same level as their knees.
5. If you’re using a laptop, use an external keyboard and mouse. This prevents putting tension on the shoulders through excessive reaching and avoids putting undue pressure on your wrists. You should also use a laptop stand to put the screen into a higher position to avoid strain on the neck.
6. Refer to the Monitor
Arranging the computer screen to prevent squinting and minimize harmful contrast are two ways to keep employees’ eyes protected.
• Eye strain is incurred when there is too much contrast between ambient light or colors and the computer screen. Tweak the monitor display settings and external lighting to minimize contrast.
• Avoid arranging the workstation wherein sources of lights will be pointed towards employees’ eyes. That is why the location of windows should be considered when arranging the office.
• Neck strain and eye strain can be prevented or relieved by putting each PC monitor about 20 degrees to 50 degrees below the eye level.
• Position the monitor at a distance suitable to the eye strength of the employee; increase the font sizes on the display to also help relieve any straining that can result from the monitor being too far from the person’s eyes.
A national survey by BackCare, the charity for back and neck pain, revealed that half of UK adults had been bothered by back pain in the previous 4 weeks, with this figure largely independent of age, gender, location, and occupation.
Jo says “If you were working in an office for someone else, your employer would be legally required to provide you with safe working equipment and regular workstation health assessments. So when you’re your own boss, why should you expect anything less? Many of the people we see on a day to day basis are business people who work from home and have finally realized that hunching over a laptop at the kitchen table is not a healthy way of working for 8 hours a day.”
Ergonomics deals with the correct body position to help lower the onset of possible strains and injuries. To maximize health and productivity, tweaking the ergonomics and positioning of four main office elements.