This past year and a half has changed a lot about how we live and work. Many people have pivoted away from working in an office and are now working from home. Initially, this shift was necessary to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Now, it seems to be part of our new normal.
Working from home has its advantages, but it can also present challenges as one integrates into this new lifestyle. Due to the speed at which we transitioned from formal office spaces to makeshift home offices, many people had no time, nor even the inclination, to explore how ergonomics can affect their wellbeing. Just as you would want to be comfortable at work, though, you need to be comfortable in your home work-space. A lack of good ergonomics can lead to headaches, back and neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and more.
Making Your Workspace Comfortable
It is nearly impossible to sustain comfort and good posture without making a few adjustments to your workspace. This is just as true for the formal office as it is for home. In the home, though, it might be a little more challenging. For example, your dining room table may have been a fine workspace for about a month, but, as you’ve settled in, you’ve noticed that your back is aching every day. While it would be ideal to have a formal office with ergonomic furniture, this isn’t always possible. Fortunately, there are a few ways to make do.
- Have a comfortable office chair. This is one splurge very much worth making for your home workspace. Office chairs are designed for long periods of sitting, so they usually have good back support.
- Position your computer so you’re not slouching. No, working in the recliner with a laptop and lap desk is not ergonomically proper. This kind of setup, or even working at the kitchen table without some adjustments, puts you in the posture of looking down. Looking down, your head is tilted forward and strain is placed on the back of the neck. Your screen should be at eye level. If you work on a laptop, place it on a box or block of some sort and type using an external keyboard. Your elbows and wrists should rest comfortably while you type, which may require adjustments to your chair height.
Proper ergonomics is vital to your comfort and productivity. If a musculoskeletal condition is causing persistent discomfort, you can benefit from consulting with us. Orthopedic Associates of Long Island has multiple locations. Contact us at 631.689.6698 to schedule a visit to an office near you.