The importance of good ergonomics when working from home

Making a meal and staying hydrated gives you the opportunity to stand up, walk around, and let your eyes have a rest from the computer screen. Ergonomists tend to agree that taking breaks and adjusting your position can enhance your mental wellbeing, but also your productivity and creativity. Regular screen breaks are very important to remember when you work from home as well as incorporating movement into your day. Laptops are preferred by many people when working remotely because they are portable, compact and versatile. However, with both the screen and keyboard connected, this forces our bodies into awkward postures.

importance of good ergonomics when working from home

In this post, we’ll take a look at why ergonomics matters and how remote workers can achieve it. It will also become more important for employers to consider the benefits they offer remote workers and how they can support their home-based staff with ergonomics. Poor posture is one of the most common ergonomic issues when working from home.

Why Are Home Office Ergonomics So Important?

Before we look at home office ergonomics statistics, why do we even need to be concerned about these numbers? We need to know the numbers because we’re only able to manage what we know. Many people may not be aware of the implications of the physical conditions under which they work. In June 2020, Stanford University Economist Nicholas Bloom said that 42% of working people in the US worked from home full-time. A study by Pew Research Center concluded that while 20% of people worked from home before the Covid-19 pandemic, by December 2020, that number has risen to 71%. If you don’t have an office chair in the home, consider adding a cushion to the back of the chair you’re using to help keep you from slouching.

  • This tip sits at the top of our guide on ergonomics dos and don’ts of working from home for good reason.
  • When employees adopt those same computing habits for an entire workweek, it could be a recipe for muscle strain.
  • Research from Eskenzi found that 91% of the country’s office workers want to work from home ‘at least part of the time’.
  • Under the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992, employers are required to provide laptop and computer users with adequate DSE assessments.
  • This will shift the strain between intervertebral discs, the spine’s shock absorbers.

This forces your wrists to bend up as you type and can cause discomfort. If you must use a laptop, perhaps consider purchasing either a separate monitor or a separate keyboard to connect to the laptop. That way your keyboard and monitor can be separate from one another, allowing you greater flexibility. If you live in a small studio apartment, you may have to get a bit creative when setting up your home office. Find an area of your apartment that is free from clutter and is close to electrical outlets. Many physical therapists (PT) are consulting patients via telehealth or E-visits.

Regular Check-ins and Support

For companies, this could be achieved by conducting an employee survey to start a dialogue that could assist in understanding the working conditions of employees working from home. Based on the results of their study, work from home ergonomics Larson and LeCheminant recommend the introduction of sit-stand  and treadmill desks as a way of creating good ergonomics in the office. The healthiest spines are in people who prioritize movement, Kiberd says.

importance of good ergonomics when working from home