Has your business transitioned into working from home due to the pandemic? As convenient and comfortable working from home may be, it is not without its difficulties. Particularly, those without ergonomic office setups may find maintaining their musculoskeletal health challenging while working from home.
To help you keep your body while working from home, we’ve compiled a list of six top tips for maintaining your musculoskeletal health below!
1. Don’t read documents from a flat surface
If your work involves a lot of paperwork, make sure to purchase an upright stand to read your documents from. This is because reading from a flat surface for prolonged periods of time will cause your neck to hang down, resulting in increased pressure on the front of your neck and gapping in the back. Overtime, this may cause musculoskeletal complications.
As such, it is important to use stands to prop up your documents or read from an iPad or tablet set perpendicular to your desk.
2. Sit at a 90 degree angle
Make sure to sit with your back against the chair and feet flat on the ground. Maintaining a 90 degree angle when sitting is important to decreasing unnecessary pressure on your lower back. You can use a foot stand to make things more comfortable for you, or cushions to wrest your lower back against.
3. Invest in a standing desk
Sitting for long periods of time may place too much pressure on your lower back. As a result, investing in a standing desk (to alternate between sitting and standing when working) may help with maintaining your musculoskeletal health. It is recommended to alternate between sitting and standing hourly so that you do not strain your circulatory system.
4. Maintain correct monitor setup
For the sake of correct posture in your neck, be sure to set up your monitor correctly. You rmonitor should be at least a forearm’s length away from you and perpendicular to your desk. Make sure you don’t have to look down or up to comfortably read from your monitor.
5. Don’t use a wrist wrest
According to ergonomics specialists, wrist rests may actually increase pressure inside the carpal tunnel. As a result, it is better to float your hands above the keyboard and rest your hands on your lap when not typing.
6. Use ergonomically designed keyboards and mouses
The ergonomic design of your keyboard and mouse matters more than you think. Although most keyboards are a straight block, ergonomic keyboards split the letter keys into two halves, with keys rotating downwards towards the lower corners of the keyboard. This is so that your fingers and arms can reach the keys from a more natural angle. Also make sure that your keyboard is tilted at an angle to lessen the strain on your wrists when typing.
Similar to an ergonomic keyboard, an ergonomic mouse may help to alleviate pressure on your wrist, hand or arm. Ergonomic mouses have a slight tilt to help your hand maintain proper posture and may be helpful for people working for long periods of time with their mouse.
Ergonomic keyboards and mouses may help with preventing musculoskeletal health issues sustained from typing for long periods of time.
Be sure to follow our top tips above to help make your time working from home as comfortable and productive as possible, while also maintaining your musculoskeletal health. Alternatively, you can speak with your local health practitioner, such as a chiropractor, physiotherapist or GP for advice on making your work-from-home set up more ergonomic.