10 Ergonomics Tips for Those Working at Home

February 21, 2022 Amy Williams
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Office workers are excited about the prospect of working from home. However, it is problematic to assume the quick and high-quality performance of assignments without a suitably organized workplace. Little attention is given to the issue. This article will help arrange a mini-office following the requirements and consider comfort items.

It is fashionable to organize a work area in the bedroom, kitchen, or living room. It is a heavy plus if the house allows making an office in a separate room. Most often, the arrangement is necessary in the most inappropriate place. The functionality of the place must not suffer.

Some Scientific Data

After a series of research in USA, it turned out that the improper organization of the workspace conduct to the following negative figures:

  1. More than generally 3.6 million workdays are lost due to back pain.
  2. Back pain due to incorrect workplace ergonomics leads to the loss of 33 working days annually.
  3. On average, the cost of treating skeletal problems is 500 million dollars per year.
  4. The cost of treating back problems is 1.3 billion dollars.

Thus, work from home ergonomics must fulfill all standards and requirements.

Up to 85-90% of the company’s functional expenses are related to solving administrative issues related to the company’s employees organizing the right occupation. In addition, in 63% of cases, employees of large corporations believe that the created work environment contributes to increased productivity.

Important Items for Working from Home Ergonomics

When creating a work corner at home, many factors are taken into account. Among the main ones are the following:

  • Selection of a comfortable working chair;
  • The workplace accessories location;
  • Solving problems with acoustics, low noise pollution;
  • Enough lighting;
  • Compliance with the optimal temperature regime;
  • Color comfort.

These are the main criteria that you should pay attention to. It promotes a comfortable, safe work process.

10 Steps to Create Ergonomic Workplace

Here are some practical tips for organizing work from home ergonomics. Tips are suitable regardless of the chosen zone. It can be a combined working zone with a bedroom or living room, on a loggia, etc. In any case, the design of space requires compliance with certain rules.

Features of Working on a Computer

Plan your schedule and the number of hours spent by the computer working in advance. If you plan to work less than two hours a day, then the ergonomics of the workplace will not affect your health.

If you plan to work a full day, pay attention to factors: the functionality of an office chair, desk, etc.

In addition, the organization of work from home ergonomics is affected by the labor activity planning to be performed. It could be:

  1. Typing, working with the keyboard. Attention is paid to the position of the monitor/computer, keyboard, and mouse.
  2. Graphic design, programming, marketing. You will need to select a numeric keypad.
  3. Software development and testing. You will need to choose an appropriate keyboard, mouse, pad, etc. Take care of additional space so as not to hinder movements.

If one person uses the computer, the workspace is completely tailored to individual characteristics and needs. If several people work on the computer at once, incl. child, it is recommended to use adjustable tables, chairs with a lifting mechanism.

Working Staff Selection

Black letters are perceived better on a white background than vice versa. Therefore, we recommend using classical keyboards with easy lighting. To relieve tension from the hands, preference is given to low keys, such as the slim keyboard. Also check the keyboard for the volume of keystrokes. They should not make loud clicks so as not to disturb others, especially while working in the early morning or at night. It will not cause additional irritation and nervousness in others.

After a series of researches, it has been proven that adherence to the principles of ergonomics increases productivity by 15-25%. You can create and maintain comfort through additional devices that facilitate employees’ work with a computer and documents. It could be:

  • Special footrests that relieve pressure and tension from the back, knees, and legs;
  • Motorized TV mount with remote control;
  • Tables with electric drive, which adjusts the height of the table for sitting and standing;
  • Sound-absorbing partitions that provide noise reduction in, etc.

Such simple accessories help organize correct work from home ergonomics.

Choosing a Work Chair

The next important step is choosing a chair. We recommend picking up an office chair with height adjustment and back support. Pay attention to additional functions: rocking function, back position adjustment, soft armrests, etc.

The best posture without additional stress on the back and arms is a tilt of 100-110 degrees. It is a mistake to consider a comfortable position less than 90 degrees.

You should select a chair that has several adjustment positions. You can select the best work and leisure option without harming your posture. Adjusting the chair reduces postural muscle activity and pressure on the intervertebral disc in the lumbar area. Also, pay attention to reclining seats; it is the standard of spine practicality and safety.

The armrests’ presence helps the hands to rest during working and take a comfortable, relaxing position. It is not recommended to squeeze the forearms, as it contributes to the flexor muscles’ compression. Certain armrests can even compress the elbow.

Ideally, armrests should be removed if they interfere with work. Today, chairs’ models include this function in the package. Choose a chair with wide, flat, and soft armrests with angle, tilt, and swivel adjustments.

10 Ergonomics Tips for Those Working at Home

Posture at the Computer

Good posture is the basis of properly implemented work from home ergonomics. Develop the habit of properly sitting at a computer, as the injury the best prevention.

Correct posture rules:

  1. Sit up straight, keep your back straight. If you find it difficult to maintain the posture during the working day, then the workplace is not ergonomic enough.
  2. Make sure the keyboard is in its correct position. Watch your wrists. They should not be bent up/down, left/right.
  3. The angle between the inner surface of the shoulder and forearm is not more than 90 degrees to avoid compression of the nerve in the elbow.
  4. The shoulder and elbow are as close to the body as possible, relaxed to work without overstretching.
  5. There is back and lower back support. Check how the feet are located on the floor. The leg should be on the floor with the entire surface.
  6. The head and neck always remain straight during the sitting position.
  7. Use additional accessories to hold a posture as posture correctors or replicators to avoid pain in the back.

Correct posture is the key to a healthy body, work success.

Ergonomic Layout

Proper ergonomics of the workspace allow you to work comfortably during the day and eliminate musculoskeletal system problems. The work process must be as comfortable as possible, without unnecessary discomfort. Therefore, the following recommendations should be considered:

  1. The keyboard must be adjustable in height with an angle of inclination.
  2. The mouse is placed on a flat surface about 3-5 cm above the keyboard.
  3. If the mouse is level with the base of the keyboard, make sure your hand is in a neutral position.

Such recommendations will help avoid rapid fatigue, hand tension, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Location of Equipment and Accessories

When organizing work from home ergonomics, space must be used properly. The employee should be located in the workspace center and have equal access to all corners. In this position, all the necessary items are at hand: a notebook, documents, stationery, telephone, and other working details. If you work with numerous documents, store folders, then you should get a cabinet or choose a table with drawers.

Dependence on Location in Work from home Ergonomics

The configuration depends on the location of the workspace. The most common are the following:

  1. Loggia or balcony. A small workspace is a popular location. Ideally, if one user is working with a computer or a laptop. The place has enough daylight.It is enough to purchase a table and a comfortable chair to organize work from home ergonomics.
  2. Kitchen or dining room. In this case, the table is usually designed for work, dining, and cooking.

The emphasis is on a comfortable chair with maximum ergonomics for long-term work.

  1. Bedroom or living room. The work must not interfere with the other family members’ rest. The place should have good lighting and be ventilated frequently. You can get a small table and chair. If necessary, purchase a cabinet.

The optimal option is to have a separate room for work from home ergonomics to thoroughly equip the office with all the rules and regulations. In addition, it will be easier to focus on fulfilling obligations in a separate room.

Lighting System

In the classic version, the light should fall from above and to the left. It will not disturb the natural position of the hands and head. Violation of the scheme leads to problems with the joints and vision.

The light should be natural and daylight. If there is not enough lighting, artificial light is used. Preference is given to halogen lamps. They are close to ideal lighting conditions.

Balance of Work and Leisure

Any work from home ergonomics should have a balance between work and leisure. Recommended 45 minutes of active work and a break of 15 minutes. If it is not possible to take short breaks, we recommend that you pay attention to changing the position at the table. It will help adjust the chair and table. If it is possible to periodically work while standing, then use it to eliminate the load on the spine.

Microclimate of Workplace

One of the important factors that affect the quality of work is humidity and air temperature. In this case, too, there are certain rules included:

  1. Humidity might be 40-50%. Excessively dry air leads to dust formation, allergies, and rapid eye fatigue appearance. Humid air provokes the development of mold, which is also harmful to health. You can regulate the humidity and temperature with the help of an air conditioner or regular room ventilation. Additionally, you can use special humidifiers.
  2. The optimum temperature is +20/+24 degrees Celsius. According to the temperature regime, people make fewer mistakes. When the temperature drops, the print speed is halved and the number of errors increases by 25%.
  3. Ventilation is an important factor in maintaining the microclimate. Hot, stale air increases drowsiness and fatigue. May cause headaches and other illnesses. To maintain profitable working capacity, it is recommended to ventilate the room once an hour.

By following the simple rules for organizing work from home ergonomics, remote work will become comfortable and enjoyable. A positive attitude – a reserve of strength and energy, will give new ideas and help build a career.

Technical Requirements for Workspace Ergonomics

In the case of work from home ergonomics, the following technical requirements must be concluded:

  1. The standard height of the desk is 72-75 cm. It is enough for normal work and leg standpoint.
  2. Choose a deep work surface to place the monitor at a 45-60 cm distance and the keyboard 10-15 cm from the monitor. It should be comfortable to place your hands with your elbows on the surface.
  3. Additional space is provided with drawers, cabinets, shelves, and racks.

The best option is to organize work from home ergonomics so that all the items necessary are at a distance of up to 30 cm. Compliance with the rules of ergonomics in creating a workplace leads to the following results:

  • Reduces fatigue
  • Ensures the working conditions safety;
  • Increases the business processes efficiency;
  • Maintains the personnel’s health.

Productivity increases by 20-30%, and hence the profitability of the total labor procedure.

The Individual Parameters of Ergonomic Workspace

It is significant not only to consider all the subtleties of the workplace organization but also to be able to apply them in a particular instance. The equipment takes into account the length of the arms and legs, the height and weight of the person, and the physique. Range of motion also plays a key role. Therefore, the organization is guided by average parameters. It is vital not only to think over the workplace correctly but also to adapt it to a specific employee. The main parameters that are indispensable for the organization of the workplace: the height and weight of the employee, the body constitution, and other features. The range of submission also has an effect. When designing an office, it is worth focusing on the average parameter. For example, women’s average height is 160-170 cm, men’s is 170-180 cm. It is important that the height of chairs, tables, and other office furniture can be adjusted.

Several regulations help make the workplace more adaptable. One of them is to control the seat and back height of the chair. It is also required to take into account individual attitudes at work, in the position of which the employee feels possibly comfortable. For example, when creating drawings, you will need a large table that can be accessed from all sides. The programmer will need, on the contrary, a small table, but a chair with several backrest positions.

Ergonomics and Health

Here are some fundamental tips for working from home ergonomics to keep you healthy:

  1. Maintain correct posture. The body must be aligned and balanced. In this position, fatigue occurs much later, and all body processes proceed without disturbance, especially blood circulation. Neutral postures reduce muscle strain, pressure on tendons, nerves, and bones.
  2. Always work in your comfort zone. Provide you with the most comfortable conditions following all the recommendations indicated in the article. You can maintain perfect productivity, complete tasks on time, and avoid health harm. It also reduces musculoskeletal disease risk factors (MSD) and allows you to work more efficiently and painlessly.
  3. Don’t forget to move. One place sitting causes rapid fatigue of the muscular frame. To avoid pain in the back, shoulders, and neck, do exercises regularly, try to move actively in your free time.
  4. Reduce excessive force. There are periods with maximum return and output in work and the performance of tasks. Determine these moments and reduce the load. It will reduce fatigue and negative health effects, muscle tension.
  5. Diminish contact stress. Stress results from constant contact or friction with hard surfaces. Fingers, palms, feet are commonly affected. Such contact creates local pressure on certain body areas, which causes discomfort and interferes with blood flow, nerve work, or tendon movement. Examples of contact stress include placing the wrists on the sharp edge of a table or workspace while performing tasks, sitting without adequate knee position. Eliminate these kinds of stresses as they appear.
  6. Vibration reduction. Studies have shown that regular and frequent exposure to vibration can lead to irreversible adverse health effects. Vibration Syndrome has adverse vascular and nerve effects in the fingers such as numbness, pain, and blanching.

Final Thoughts

Depending on the species of activity, the organization of work from home ergonomics should include particular factors and risks. Initially, negative unremarked aspects have been noticed already in the process of work. Therefore, to reduce the risk to health, it is necessary to implement all the recommendations determined in advance and choose a place for the equipment of the working space.

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