Your employer likely invested in ergonomics for prolonged sitting because repetitive stress injuries are familiar workers’ compensation claims. When you work at home, you do not have the same access to consultants and equipment to ensure an ergonomic workspace. Unless you want to face pain from carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis, make this project a priority. Here are six tips on creating an ergonomic work-from-home space in Las Vegas, NV:
- Purchase an office chair: Your dining room and kitchen chairs are not designed for prolonged sitting and computer work. Buy the most comfortable and supportive office chair you can afford. Adjust it so your feet are flat on the floor. If you cannot do that and reach the keyboard simultaneously, purchase a footrest to keep your feet flat and your hips level.
- Adjust monitors properly: If you are working off your laptop, add a peripheral monitor for larger reading space and prevent hunching. Adjust the monitor, so the top is level with your eye line. If you use two monitors, swivel your chair to the second monitor rather than turn your head.
- Check keyboarding position: When you are using your keyboard, your forearms should be parallel to the floor. Keep your wrists neutral and get a keyboard pad so you can rest them. Your mouse should be easily reachable, and for optimal comfort, get a mouse pad with a wrist rest. Set your mouse to a high sensitivity level so you do not have to use much pressure. You will enjoy even more comfort with a cordless mouse.
- Take breaks: Sitting all day is not good for your health. Get up and move briefly every hour. It does not have to be a long break—five minutes will do. Stand, get your mail, stretch—do anything that is not sitting. You can also find YouTube videos of desk or chair yoga to help you stretch and think about something other than work.
- Reduce eye strain: Wear glasses that filter out blue light. That step reduces eye fatigue and headaches. During your break, focus on a point about 20 feet in front of you to reduce the strain of close work and computer monitors. Besides headaches, eye strain also leads to neck and shoulder discomfort, so it’s important to make time to give your eyes a break.
- Make small adjustments: If you cannot afford a full-on new ergonomic workspace, do not underestimate the benefits of small adjustments. A rolled-up towel makes excellent lumbar support if your office chair falls short in that department. A crate or stool can be a footrest, and some monitors have height adjusting capabilities. At the very least, stay on top of your hourly breaks!
If your workspace is giving you pain, it may be time for an orthopedic consultation regarding treatment and ergonomics for prolonged sitting. Bernard Ong, M.D. offers expertise and treatment for lingering orthopedic issues in the Las Vegas, NV area. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about creating an ergonomic workspace.
Categorized in: Ergonomics
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