During the COVID-19 lock-down, many workers will now be required to work remotely. A workstation at home may consist of sitting on the couch, perching over the kitchen counter or even lying in bed with a laptop. As comfortable as it may all sound, it can actually increase your risk of developing Discomfort, Pain and Injury (DPI) and possibly lead to musculoskeletal disorders.
It is important to set up your workstation as best you can to prevent injury regardless of where you might work. In reality, you may not have access to the ergonomic equipment that you use on a daily basis in the workplace. However, you can still make simple changes to your workstation using things you already have in your home.
Below are some tips for setting up a good workstation at home:
- Use a good chair: A good chair is important to prevent back discomfort. If you’re using a dining room chair, try placing a cushion behind your back for lumbar support.
- Raise your chair: If you are working at a desk/table that is too high, raise your chair by sitting on a cushion.
- Support your feet: Keep your feet flat on the ground. If they don’t firmly touch the floor when you’re sitting, place a phone book or step stool underneath. Your legs should be at an angle of around 90 degrees.
- Position screen: The top of your screen should ideally be positioned at or slightly below eye level. Raise your screen/laptop by using a box or stack of books. It should also be placed at least an arm’s length away from your body.
- Use an external mouse or keyboard: It is highly recommended you use a keyboard and mouse separate to your monitor/screen. Get in touch with your manager to organise this if required. Keep your shoulders and arms relaxed.
- Posture: Sit up straight, rest your back against the chair as often as possible and avoid leaning forward.
Most importantly, remember to keep hydrated and take regular breaks. Stand up and move around often and do some stretches in between your work.
If you require further assistance, Working Wise are now offering Workstation Assessments via video conference. Our experienced Occupational Nurse will cover off the basics of an ergonomic workstation and guide you on how to correctly set-up your work at home with the resources you have at hand. You will also be provided a written report with tailored recommendations and additional self-guidance resources.
Book in a session by filling out or online contact form or giving us a call on 04 499 0710.