Ergonomic Survival Kit for Working from Home
It will come as no surprise to you that 2020 has brought in a new wave of ‘work from homers’. And with this new culture of working from home, there are safety risks that have come along side of it. In order to minimize workers compensation costs for companies, we figured we would give you and your workers a survival guide for working from home in 2020.
Makeshift home offices are typically set up with little to no ergonomic guidelines. This means that workers are utilizing improper positioning repetitively and are at higher risk for soft tissue injuries because of it. This improper position can result in back strains ($32,319), carpal tunnel syndrome ($33,970), neck tension ($39,017), tennis elbow ($30,798, costs quoted from OSHA). As you can see, it is important to focus on prevention of these injuries rather than allowing prevention to fall by the wayside.
What’s in a Survival Kit
To survive working from home without injury, proper positioning is the absolute key. Below we have listed the important aspects of home office set up to help you and your employees stay injury free during this time.
It’s all About the Chairs
You may think that the standards for choosing a chair should simply be comfort. Unfortunately, many of us find poor posture to be comfortable until it begins to cause pain, so we need to look deeper.
When choosing a chair, go for an adjustable height. Your feet should be able to lay flat on the floor with your knees in front of your hips at a 90 degree angle. You should not have to slouch to accomplish putting your feet on the floor. The adjustable height is recommended to ensure that you can find the right height for your body.
Adjustable armrests are also a highly recommended feature to have on a chair. Your arms should be able to rest comfortably in a neutral position.
An adjustable backing to your chair is also something that you’ll want to look for. You’ll want to ensure that you have about a quarter of an inch between your knees and the edge of your chair seat.
Lumbar support is possibly the most important part of a chair. It’s essential to have support for the curvature of your low back so that it can rest comfortably.
A Good Desk and Workstation is Essential
The position of your mouse, screen and keyboard can have a large impact on your posture, pain level and risk for injury. If you need to reach excessively, lean forward, or slouch to accomplish tasks at your desk, you are putting your body at risk. Here are the main things to consider when setting up your workstation and choosing a desk:
The height of your desk is equally important to the height of your chair. Your desk should be positioned above your knees so that they can rest comfortably.
Your keyboard should be positioned so that you don’t have to reach to use it. Your elbows should be able to rest at a 90 degree angle as you use your keyboard.
Your monitor should be at eye level so that your neck and head can gaze forward in a neutral position. You should not have to look down or slouch to look at your computer screen.
An adjustable desk which allows you to transition from standing to sitting is optimal in injury prevention and keeping blood flow moving.
Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse
When you perform repetitive motions, it is important that your body moves in its natural positions. A typical keyboard and mouse do not allow for this. You can search for keyboards and mouses that are designed specifically to allow for proper ergonomics.
Choosing the Right Equipment
Have you been wondering what the right work office equipment is or have you been dealing with pain from working from home? Comment below and let us know your experiences. The Injure Proof Ergonomists are always more than happy to assist you in choosing the best proper equipment and giving further guidance on home office set up.