What ergonomic risks can I avoid from working from home?

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What are the ergonomic challenges that we are faced with when working from home?

Some businesses, who allow their staff to work from home, must deal with the legal challenges of it still being a place of work and how their insurances work with this. Given the new environment, where people are suddenly forced to work from home, there are many discussions on the table. However, the key thing we need to talk about is ergonomics. It sounds cool & fun to sit on the edge of the couch with your laptop, looking over the back lawn, maybe having a coffee, very ideal and Instagram worthy. The reality is, just because you are not at work, you still need to look after yourself. You still need to take care of your spine, the laws of physiology that govern the way your spine operates at work, still apply at home. This means we must be sitting upright on an ergonomic chair; we need to be still taking good care of ourselves. The human body is designed not to sit, nor to stand, but to move. You can vary the height of your worktop, perhaps putting your laptop on a box on the kitchen bench, in the same way that activity and the sitting motion in the workplace occurs.

In order to physically arrive at work, you’ve may have walked a kilometre or more, you may have gone up some stairs before you finally sit down in your chair. Then there’s some activity as you access the facilities, go to the lunchroom, all that sort of thing. There’s a lot of physical movement as well as the sitting motion. When working at home, we don’t get this incidental movement. You are possibly leaning back on that couch – which is not good for your spine.

It is important to keep moving and think about what you are sitting on. Is it ergonomic? Are you able to adjust the seat & back? Is your screen at the correct angle in relation to your eyes?

These are all sorts of things that you need to think about when you are working from home. Enforced working from home is not going to be finished tomorrow – this could go for quite a few months.

What good care are you taking of yourself? Are you educating yourself on what you need to do – how you need to sit, what movements you should be making, how you need to set up your keyboard, how you need to set up your monitor?

We wish you all the best, and if you have any questions, please be free to contact us- we would love to help you.

Other videos in this series you may be interested in:

Why is now the perfect time to renovate my offices?

Did we apply workplace standards in line with social distancing prior to this pandemic? 

What popular design practices have been unwittingly contributing to the spread of infection?

How will social distancing impact our workplace in the future?

What are the positives we can learn from this pandemic?

How can I avoid loss of productivity working from home?

Will the COVID-19 led ‘work from home’ culture mean I need a smaller office?