Home Office Ergonomics

Let’s face it – when you furnished your home, you didn’t really consider that you may be using it as a full-time or part-time workspace. As we transition to the new COVID normal, let’s consider our home office workspaces and how we can make sure they have all the comforts of the true office in order to keep you safe and comfortable.

  1. Your “office chair” should support your spine and lumbar area. It should be high enough so that your knees are at the same level as your hips and your thighs are parallel with the floor. If you’re planning to work from home for any amount of time, make sure you avoid hunching or leaning over in your chair and that both feet are flat on the floor.
  2. Keep those office supplies that you use regularly (think stapler, phone, calculator, etc) nearby. This can help avoid any unusual stretching or straining while trying to reach these objects frequently. Stand up to get those objects that are out of your arm’s reach.
  3. Your computer’s monitor should be about an arm’s length away. Make sure it’s positioned properly so that is it flat in front of your face to avoid leaning or tilting your head for viewing.
  4. Be sure your keyboard is placed on a level surface and at elbow height. Keep wrists at about 90 degrees, and if possible, tilt your keyboard to avoid straining your wrists.
  5. Your home workspace should include a dedicated desk. Even if it does not, make sure your worktop allows enough space for your knees to fit comfortably underneath. Your feet should be flat on the floor.

Other key tips to make sure you maintain good ergonomics at home:

  • Utilize your speakerphone or a headset while using the phone to minimize the uncomfortable positioning of your neck while on the phone.
  • If your chair is too high for you to rest your feet flat on the floor — or the height of your desk requires you to raise the height of your chair — use a footrest.
  • Use keyboard shortcuts to reduce extended mouse use. If possible, adjust the sensitivity of the mouse so you can use a light touch to operate it.
  • Alternate the hand you use to operate the mouse by moving the mouse to the other side of your keyboard.