When setting up your workspace at home, ergonomics - the relationship between you and the equipment you use - is an important consideration. Here are 10 tips to make the most of your remote working environment:
- Use a wired or wireless keyboard and mouse to reduce the tendency to hunch over a laptop.
- When you point your arms toward the floor, your work surface (desk or table) should be even with your elbows.
- If the work surface is too high and your chair adjusts, raise it up. Your feet should never dangle; use a footstool, stack of paper, box, or book for good, solid, foot support.
- If your chair does not adjust, move the keyboard and mouse to a lower surface. A TV tray may fit under your work surface and be even with your elbows. No TV tray? Try two stools with a board across them.
- If the work surface is too low, use a box to raise the surface. No box? Use blocks under the legs of your work surface.
- Drop the back legs on the keyboard; it should lay flat on the surface with the mouse tucked in close.
- Wrist guards provide protection from the work surface edge. They are not wrist rests. Keep your lower arm, wrist, and hand flat when keying.
- Move the mouse with a full arm movement, starting at shoulder. Do not wiggle your wrist. Scroll with the correct middle finger (not your index finger).
- The top of your monitor screen should be at eye level; bifocals might require it to be lower. Use stacks of paper or a small box if needed to raise the monitor.
- Your monitor should be located an arms distance. When you reach your hand out, you should be able to touch it. If you work with two or more monitors, they should sit side-by-side with frames touching. Do not bobble your head looking between multiple monitors.
Remember, just because a product is labeled ergonomic doesn’t mean it is. If it does not fit you correctly, it is not ergonomically correct for YOU. Additionally, ergonomic solutions don’t need to cost money. Think outside the box!
For more help with ergonomics, check out the free training, Ergonomic Office: Self-Assessment.