Ergonomic Tips During Covid-19

Sometimes ergonomic tips can be complicated and make you second guess yourself. Keep things simple to start with, set ups can be fine tuned later.

Here are some of the basics that it is essential you get right from the beginning:

1. Find a work space that is not a couch!

This is so important, whether you have a desk and chair or have to use the kitchen table you can make that space work for you. Couches are terrible for your neck and back posture, even for an hour. Start as you mean to go on and pick the space that you will use going forward.

work from home covid 19

2. Pick your chair​

Again you may not have a whole lot of options available to you at the moment. A chair that supports your spinal curves is ideal as long as it is not too flimsy. A kitchen chair does a good job of this usually but can be quite straight, if you find yourself working at a kitchen chair try to take regular breaks. Many homes also have gym balls or Swiss balls hanging around, pull them out and dust them down. You can also practice standing for calls or online meetings or alternatively kneeling for short periods.

3. Keyboard and mouse​

Place your mouse within easy reach and on the same surface as your keyboard. While typing or using your mouse, keep your wrists straight, your upper arms close to your body, and your hands at or slightly below the level of your elbows. Use keyboard shortcuts to reduce extended mouse use. Alternate the hand you use to operate the mouse by moving the mouse to the other side of your keyboard. Ensure that the mouse doesn’t start to drift outwards or forwards as the day goes on!

4. Telephone​

If you frequently talk on the phone and type or write at the same time, place your phone on speaker rather than cradling the phone between your head and neck. As you may end up working from home for an extended period of time, this is something that is worth getting right. Now may be a good time to order a headset online.

5. Footrest​

If your chair is too high for you to rest your feet flat on the floor — or the height of your desk requires you to raise the height of your chair — use a footrest. If a footrest is not available, try using a small stool or a stack of sturdy books instead.

– Deborah O’Mahony, Physio