10 ERGONOMIC 'WORKING FROM HOME' TIPS
1) DON’T hunch over your laptop
It’s easy to work on your laptop for a few hours on the weekend, but doing so for 40-plus hours a week can lead to back, shoulder, and neck strain. If you can, use an external monitor or laptop stand (with an external keyboard and mouse) to prop up your screen. When looking at the screen, your eye line should be level with the address bar on your web browser.
2) DO work at an appropriate height
Find a working height so that your elbows naturally fall flush with your table/desk height. This will promote better wrist alignment rather than impingement or carpal tunnel stress.
3) DON’T let your feet dangle
Place your feet on a few books or boxes under your desk, so that your thighs are nearly parallel to the floor and your hips are slightly higher than your knees. This will reduce stress on your lumbar spine.
4) DO follow the 20/20/20 rule
For every 20 minutes spent looking at a computer screen, you should spend 20 seconds looking at something else 20 feet away. This gives your eye muscles a break and helps reduce eye strain.
5) DON’T make your couch your workstation
As tempting as it is, the couch is not an optimal place to work at your computer for the entire day. Although it may be comfortable, having your legs or full body in a horizontal position it puts strain on the digestive system if the the horizontal position is maintained for too long.
6) DO make sure you walk around
Getting up to walk or to stretch your legs even for half a minute improves circulation around the body, preventing legs cramps or numbness while also improving your alertness.
7) DO use a mouse that fits your hand
Using a mouse too small for your hand will force your fingers into an excessively clawed position. Multiply this position by many hours at a desk and you may create carpal tunnel syndrome.
8) DO use an external keyboard if possible
Place your hands over your keyboard as if you’re going to type. Now move your hands apart so they’re by your sides, shoulder-width apart. That should feel relieving and more relaxing, with less stress on your shoulders. Unfortunately, most keyboards aren’t designed for this position and instead force hands inward so shoulders are hunched.
9) DO get some natural light
An abundance of natural lighting in your workspace is ideal because it can boost your sense of well-being and energy while reducing eye strain—daylight and access to outdoor views give your eyes opportunities to relax and recover from the strain of staring at a monitor all day.
10) DO get a house plant or essential oil infuser
Having a small plant in your work station has shown to demonstrate improved mood, especially when window views are not accessible. Using an oil diffuser may also help alleviate the stresses of office life.