Working from Home, Working without Pain
I don’t need to list off the difficulties that we have faced in 2020, but I do want to discuss one insidious and damaging effect from COVID-19 that has affected most everyone: Poor Ergonomics. In a normal year and environment, we will see construction workers, weekend warriors, and other manual labor patients come in for treatment of back and neck pain. It’s understandable; what they do is hard on their bodies. But now, we are seeing everyone. Office workers, managers, and even school children are all suffering from the effects of having poorly designed workstations at home.
This post is all about helping you know what makes for a better workstation for your loved ones at home.
Elbows and Desk height
There is a lot of variation in desk height, especially when you talk about kids desks and standing desks. The rule of thumb makes it very simple though: Whoever is using the desk should have their elbows bent at a 90 degree angle when sitting. This will protect your shoulders, elbows, and wrists. Desks are typically not designed to be height-adjusted, so the most common way to manage this is by changing the height of your chair.
Most office chairs allow you to change height which is highly valuable, but most people make the rookie mistake of adjusting the height based on comfortably resting their feet flat on the ground instead of sitting at the right height for the keyboard and mouse.
Adjusting based on the height of your elbows may mean that the chair is too high for a lot of individuals. If this is the case for you, there is an easy fix! Amazon sells a footrest that is ideal for ensuring optimal comfort and ergonomic positioning. Your feet should be able to rest comfortably on the ground or footstool.
Eyes and Screen Position
When you are preparing to set up your computer monitor, the first thought most people has is concerning height. The top of the screen should be at the level of your eyes. But this isn’t the only concern! To prevent strain on your eyes from being too close or too near the computer, adjust the screen to sit just at arms length.
If you use one screen, or one primary screen with a secondary screen used less often, make that screen directly in front of you. If you use two screens, however, place yourself directly between the two, each angled slightly.
Did these instructions make sense? If not, you can jump to this video and watch the step-by-step process of ensuring you have great ergonomic work space.