Ergonomic Guidelines For Work From Home

A Helpful Message From Bloor Jane Physiotherapy Ergonomic Guidelines for Setting up a Home Office

All the team at Bloor Jane Physiotherapy have been working from home since we closed. I set up my laptop on the kitchen table. Others may be working at a dining table or on a couch at a coffee table, but most likely all have a poor ergonomic setup. My space is well lit, and I have room to spread out, but I don’t have a good supportive chair. My chair seems comfortable with armrests, but it doesn’t have lumbar support for my back. I need to take frequent breaks to walk around, but I still have some low backache at night and some morning stiffness. 

 

As a physiotherapist, I know sitting in a chair with good lumbar support is important. I often advised others to use the chair’s back support by sitting right to the back of the seat and feeling it against your low back. A rolled towel works well as a substitute if it’s a temporary measure, but too lengthy a flexed or slouched sitting posture can cause that backache or stiffness.

 

If your temporary workspace is becoming more permanent, you should assess its ergonomics. 

Here are a few tips to improve your workstation and prevent the neck or shoulder or back pain:

  1. Pull the chair up close to the desk to avoid bending forward to see the monitor.
  2. Adjust the monitor to a position where you can easily view it without poking the chin forward. That kind of prolonged posture can be the cause of a headache or neck pain.
  3. Relax your shoulders by shrugging up, then down. With arms by your side, bend the elbows to 90 degrees. Turn the forearms, so the palms face down. This position is the ideal height of the keyboard. You may need to lower your table height, but if that’s not possible, raise your seat height by pumping up your office chair or sitting on a couple of pillows. 
  4. Keep your feet flat on the floor, with hips and knees bent to 90 degrees. You might place a stool under your feet or find an old book or two. This can ease some strain on the low back.

If none of these tips are working for you, the physiotherapists at Bloor Jane Physiotherapy can help give you more personal advice. Email us at physio@bloorjanephysio.com or call us at 416-766-2050.    We can provide a free 15-minute consultation with you over the phone. 

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