As weeks of quarantine turn into months, working from home has become the new normal. With this drastic change, the Ergonomics Health Association has put out updated guidelines for remote working. Whether you’re a freelancer or your office has shifted to a work-from-home setup for the meantime, these new rules can guide you to creating an ergonomic and productive work environment in the comfort of your own house.
The Ergonomics Health Association has a couple of reminders for staying safe and healthy while working.
Invest in an ergonomic office chair.
The guidelines strongly recommend purchasing what is called a “90-90-90” chair. This is the kind of seat that allows one’s legs, hips, and back at a 90-degree angle while sitting down. Additionally, they also recommend a chair that allows the user to keep their arms bent at 90 degrees relative to their desk to avoid wrist and arm pain.
Keep your screen at eye-level with a monitor riser.
It is a well-known tip to keep your computer screens at eye-level while working in order to avoid poor posture. Usually, people end up slouching if the monitor is placed too low, or feel a strain on the neck if the screen is placed too high. For optimized results, the guidelines strongly recommend getting a monitor riser that’s adjustable to any height.
Get a back rest.
While investing in a comfortable office chair is vital, you can never go wrong with the extra back and neck support provided by plenty of back support apparatuses. These can help maintain an upright or neutral posture throughout the day, effectively eliminating muscle soreness in your back area. According to the Ergonomics Health Association, good posture promotes higher levels of concentration, increased energy levels, reduced back pain, and a lessened risk of headaches. Check out our reviews of different backrests you can use.
Train yourself to take periodic breaks.
While this may seem counterproductive, taking a break every now and then can actually boost your productivity. Try getting up from your desk every 20 minutes or looking away from the screen to rest your eyes. These little rests are highly recommended to keep your productivity streak going so you avoid a dreaded burnout. Taking a mental break is recommended, too — don’t be afraid to scroll through your phone to give your brain a rest every once in a while, within good reason.
Take time to stretch and exercise.
The Ergonomics Health Association recommends taking the time to move your body every 30 minutes. This helps in circulating blood flow throughout your entire system, relieving stiffness in areas that are tightened from sitting down. Usually, these stretches target your upper back, shoulders, and neck, but don’t forget to move your lower body, too. The hip and hamstring area, though rarely felt, usually don’t do well when sat for long periods of time. Check out these simple desk exercises and stretches.