Home Office Got You Feeling Sore? Here Are Tips to Improve the Ergonomics





If you are like many workers, you are spending more time working out of a home office due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. After over a year at this telecommuting gig, you may also be noticing that your body is feeling the negative effects of not having a suitable working environment. Many of these home offices were thrown together in a hurry with desks and chairs that are not suitable for long-term daily use. Poor posture, contact stressors with elements of your workspace, stress, and static positions are all to blame for a host of aches and pains associated with working from home.

Now that it is becoming more clear that it may be a while before you are back in a traditional office setting, it is time to start thinking about how you can improve your workspace. Here are five ways that you can improve the ergonomics of your home office.

Provide Support to Lower Back



For most people, the pain starts in the lower back area. This makes it important that you are intentional about supporting your back. Using a small seat cushion or simply rolling up a towel and positioning it against your lower back is a good way to provide this support. You should also keep your bottom pressed into the back of the chair to provide additional support so that the lower back is forced to arch back and not slump forward.
 

Get Up and Get Moving



There is nothing worse for stiff joints and muscles than remaining in one position for too long. Getting up and moving around frequently will go a long way in preventing this type of pain. A good goal to shoot for is to stand up and move a little every 30 minutes. It is not enough to just stand up. You should also stretch your back, chest, wrists, legs, and other muscle groups that tend to get tight when sitting for long periods of time. 

Even if you are sitting, you can still get the body moving. Heel raises and wrist flexing can help to keep circulation at optimal levels. Get in the routine of standing up and stepping away from your computer every 20 to 30 minutes.

Use the Right Equipment



If you have been trying to work long hours at your kitchen table or your couch, it is no wonder that you are experiencing issues. This type of work situation is not suitable for the long-term. The first thing to start with is a quality chair. A trained ergonomist can help you to find the best chair for your particular measurements and needs. You may also want to consider the use of a standing desk. Research has shown that standing desks can reduce lower and upper back pain as well as neck issues.

Pay Attention to Body Alignment



One of the biggest contributors to body pain due to your workstation is improper body alignment. The good news is that there are purposeful things that you can do to improve this crucial alignment. As you are sitting with your back straight, be sure that your shoulders are relaxed. It is also important to ensure that your elbows are aligned level with the computer keyboard.

Some people will need to raise their desk chair to see this proper alignment. A footrest can be an invaluable tool when looking to achieve this goal. Lastly, try to position your monitor so that the eyes are focused on the center of the screen. This will prevent your shoulders from sagging.

Do Not Neglect Arm Position



The position of your arms is also a key factor in how your body responds to your home office setup. Regardless of the type of desk and chair that you are using, your arms should be at your side with your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. If you are lucky enough to be using a chair with armrests, they should be adjusted so that your shoulders are naturally relaxed.  

Keep in mind that these types of cumulative injuries may not present themselves right away. The steps that you take now to ensure that your body is comfortable when working at home can have a profound effect on how you feel down the road. 



Other Featured Posts


10 Ways to Combat Work Stress

Everyone experiences a lot of stress at work. Whether you work for someone else or are self employed, job stress can be overwhelming. Stress on the job is not only something that can trouble you. It also wears you down and reduces your effectiven...

READ MORE

10 Habits That Will Dramatically Improve Your Life

Everyone experiences a slump now and then, or finds themselves not where they want to be in life. Changing your mindset begins with changing your habits and behaviors. Cultivating these habits helps you move toward a more ful...

READ MORE

Financial Wisdom We Received from Our Moms

While economists spend years learning the intricacies of our monetary system, many will tell you that some of the best financial advice they received was from their parents. Mothers can be particularly adept at instilling fiscal resp...

READ MORE

7 Strategies to Help You Function Within Your Means Without Feeling Limited

Living within your means equates to spending equal or less than what you have coming in monthly. But for many individuals, it can be difficult to adhere to that age-old adage. Credit cards, emergency ...

READ MORE