Technology Advisor Blog



Is Work From Home Causing You Back Pain?

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 4/22/20 10:13 AM

Work from Home - Ergonomics - EkaruWith the current pandemic, so many workplaces have been disrupted.  For those of us fortunate enough to have jobs that we can work from home, the hasty move to a home office has typically resulted in a less than ideal work environment.  For a week or two, we can all manage with working from the kitchen counter, but with longer shutdowns, it's time to pay more attention to a proper work set up.   

Over time, an improper work environment can result in:

  • back pain
  • neck pain
  • shoulder pain
  • eye strain
  • wrist pain - carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by repetitive motions like typing, and can become severe enough to require surgery.  
How you sit matters!

If you've ever worked at a large corporation, you've probably gone through some ergonomics training.  At a small business, you probably didn't get formal training. 

Workplace ergonomics aims to reduce risk factors that lead to musculoskeletal injuries and allow for improved human performance and productivity.

Things to think about:

  • Your monitor should be at eye level directly in front of you.  
  • Arrange your lighting to limit glare.
  • Your chair height should be adjusted so that your knees bend at about a 90 degree angle and your feet can rest of the floor or a foot stand.
  • Your keyboard height should be adjusted so that your lower arms are approximately parallel to the floor when typing.   Your shoulders should be relaxed.

Some of the other things we recommend:

  • Set up a second monitor if you can.  Staring at a 14 inch laptop all day is not ideal for your eyes, and two monitors will greatly enhance your productivity.
  • Attach a real keyboard to your laptop.  It will be a lot easier to type all day.
  • Get up and walk around every 25 minutes, and do some stretches. Your body needs movement.
  • Consider a table top converter from VariDesk to create a stand-up work environment.  This will enable you to raise and lower your desk throughout the day.  I've been doing this for years, and I've noticed improved back health.  

Looks like work from home will be the new normal for a while.  Take some time to pay attention to your work environment to stay as productive and healthy as possible.

For more work from home tips including security and technology recommendations, visit www.ekaru.com.  

Topics: small business technology, remote work, work from home

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