Working from home? A Guide to Proper Ergonomics

Feb 09, 2021

Working from home is the reality for many nowadays leaving people to improvise a space to put in those long hours. While it may be a desk for some, others are stuck between the couch and kitchen table. So, while working from home is rarely ideal, here are some fundamentals in setting up a space to help keep those aches and pains away.

(1)  Maintain a neutral spine.

A neutral spine is not a straight spine. Our spine has natural curves that need to be maintained in order for our body to be able to function at its most efficient state. Whether you are sitting or standing, this is the ideal position for your spine to be in. Once one area of the spine is altered the rest is subsequently affected in order to compensate causing some muscles and other structures to be overworked and shortened while others may be under utilized and lengthened.

spine1.png

How do you maintain a neutral spine? Start from the bottom up. As you sit in down your feet should be flat on the floor and your thighs parallel to the ground. Make sure your hips are level and you’re not tilting to either side. You should feel like you are putting even weight through your entire bottom. If working with surfaces that are non-adjustable, you may need to get creative with books or small stools to ensure your feet are not dangling. If you’re sitting too low and can’t properly reach the keyboard, you may need to add a cushion to the chair in order to elevate your sitting position. Just remember whatever changes need to be made ensure that (1) your feet are resting on a flat surface, (2) thighs are parallel to the ground and (3) hips are even.

Moving up the spine, many office chairs provide lower back support that encourage a neutral spine; however, kitchen chairs or folding chairs do not. If you do not have an office chair, consider using a rolled-up towel or small pillow at the small of your back to help maintain your natural lower curve. We will address the upper spine when discussing computer set up and monitor placement.

(1)  Consider your computer set up.

While laptops are great for portability, they make true ergonomic set up challenging as we cannot detach the screen from the keyboard. For short periods of time, this can be fine, but for full workdays it may be necessary to consider investing in an external keyboard and mouse.

The top third of the monitor should be at eye level so that when looking at the middle of the screen, your gaze is slightly downwards. If your monitor does not adjust, you may need to consider propping it with books in order for it to be at the right height. On the contrary, if the monitor is too high you may have to elevate your sitting position. Additionally, your monitor should be at approximately arm’s length away. This ensures that you are able to view the entire screen at once without have to move your head side-to-side.

Your keyboard should be placed at elbow height and when typing, your wrist should remain straight while your upper arms naturally stay close to your body. Once the height is correct, adjust the keyboard to the proper distance. You elbows should hang comfortably by your side ensuring that you are not overreaching. It may be necessary to roll up a small towel to be placed under your wrists to support a neutral position. Many keyboards have the option to tilt upwards, however, a flat keyboard is better ergonomically. When placing the mouse, consider the same principles.

By ensuring that everything is an appropriate height and you are not straining to use any of the equipment, this helps to maintain a neutral spine of your mid / upper back and neck.

(2)  Take breaks.

Our body is meant to move! It does not tolerant long durations of one position well, even with the best ergonomic set up. So, if possible, get up every 30 minutes to 1 hour and allow you body to move.

posture1.png



Please add your bio info through your member profile page, or through your dashboard.


Posted By


Tag Cloud

staying fit while pregnantbellerose bike a thonshockwave therapyglute strengtheningmyofascial cupping therapypelvic girdle paincovid-19ctv morning livewinter runningPHYSIOTHÉRAPIE EN FRANCAISknee paindave proctorexplore albertactv edmontonrotator cuff tearankle injuriesbellerose bike-a-thonGLA:D™ back programhip paintrapezius strengtheningphysiotherapiePostureP-90Xedmontonbaseline testingjames deantrade showtaperGLA:D® St. Albertthoracic spine mobilityms bike tour leduc to camroseskatingexercise challengecity chaseneedlingcouch to 5kgolf injuriestournament10 milerswimmingplantar fasciitistraininglegacy park family festivalSt. Albert Triathlonpartner massageroad rage hockey tournamentworld physical therapy daywhatever it takespriceconcussion managementultra runninggreat white north triathlontriathlonsports injurycovid 19treatment for headachesmuscle tightnessITU World Triathlon Grand Final Cozumelfoam rollerhip impingmentexercise planlow back pain10milercanada dayorthopedic surgeonsjaw paincyclingdeath race training planwarm heartstrengthsleepshockwavest. albert chamber of commercefort saskatchewanDRAsecondary submittingknee replacementmedical mission to Ecuadortennis elbowbackpack safetypelvic health physiotherapywarm handsricems bike tour 2019st albert 10 milerdirect billingshoulderacupunctureroad runningyegphysiocanadian trailsfrozen shoulder5kmhikingphysical therapypine to palmsafe exercises during pregnancymechanical stressslip and fallspatellar tendonitiskids of steel triathlontour de palm springsurgent care physiotherapytreatment planMS Bike Leduc to Camroseworkout planSt. Albertnutritionavoiding injuryhalf marathoncity chase world championshipp90xcomplete concussion management inc.Diastasis Rectus Abdominis (DRA)operation esperanzavolunteerflexibilityshoulder painWPTDrmtreturn to sportadventure racingworld championshipsdr shepstrapsDiastasis RectiSCAT 3IT band syndromefundraisingsoccer injuriesphysiotherapy albertaarthritis of the spinelifestyle expoyou can ride twoyogatext neckultraPRP5km obstacle coursedown and dirty obstacle coursestem cellsouth edmontonschoolMRIIntramuscular Stimulationrotator cuffedmonton physiotherapistholiday hoursIMSheadacheUrinary Incontinenceeaster mondayhockey injuryfree fort bbqITU World Triathlon Grand Final EdmontonRunyegbikefirst appointmentmodalitiesextended health careyardworkrunning shoes1km kids fun runSI joint painGLA:D® Edmontonmarathonworld triathlon championshipscupping therapy in st albertcervogenic headachesultrasoundst albert road raceheatcommunityadaptive cyclingmassage therapydraw prizesPFPSelbow painroastOsteoarthritisBiketapering#teamrehabyegfit#eddiedontbendeasterback painmarathon trainingHealth Information ActrunningTeam Rehabscapulavestibular rehabilitationRacefort saskatchewan chamber of commerceobstacle courseyegfitnessguided massageconcussion testingbikes on broadwayyou can ride 2clavicle fracturecortisonehiking in the mountainsrehabilitationactive physio works 5kmwrist painultramarathonfitness journeypregnancy back painrunning formrestkids fun runGunn theory of IMSblood flow restriction trainingplantar faciitisdeath racehalf ironmanpelvic health physiotherapistSI jointMS Bikefun in the fortrunning footwearcross trainingcharitytrail run100 mileregistered massage therapydry needlingcommunity runathlete injurypelvic organ prolapsearthritisturkey on the trailsWTS Edmontonnational championshipsrental car motor vehicle accidenthockeyorthoticsconussion in sportstrength trainingms bike touredmonton oilersseptember 30prolapsebasketball injuriesultrarunningheel painrunning during pregnancywork from homeneck painphysiotherapybowen technique10 miler training planshoulder imagingifcfast trax ultramagrathregistered massage therapistitunational triathlon championshipsheadachespush up programshin splintsactive physio workswounded warriorspregnant runnerconcussioncupping therapyCBC interviewicegrand openingHawrelak Parkfasciaexercise programConnor McDavidACL injuriessmall business nomineeair relaxpelvic floorvirtual carecorntraining plancity chase national championshipsrunners kneevictoria daycommunity involvementinjury preventionvolleyballfirst triWinter Injury Preventionfestival#activephysioworksironmanpre-natal fitnesscustom fit orthoticsgait analysisaquathonolympian distance challengeremembrance dayst albertrecoveryankle sprains in athletesfitnesspole walkingiron legsBest PhysiotherapistGLA:D®footballkeep fit, have funfitness programfamilynew york marathoninjection therapyconcussions in sportankle sprainlumbar spine imagingSAPECcanada day paradedraw prizestrengtheningroad raceWestern Statesout run rarephysio for golfswimmercold weather runningcity chase canadacovid19x-rayst. albert road racecompressionsynchronized skating10 mileBPPVmotor vehicle accidentphysiotherapy for cancer patientsmassagetrail runningwhy active physio worksglobal edmontonservus placemodified return to activitybowen therapyhigh intensity interval trainingrunning after babypaincommunity eventTMJMS Bike Tour 2020ironman canadaspin class10kmreturn to runningBFR trainingwhat is physiotherapykidstechniquedizzinessrunning injuriesprotectshoulder massageimPACT testingcity chase national championshipstretchingbest of T8Nvertigolost souls ultravirtual rehabSwimcancer careworld grand final edmonton5kpelvic healthultrarunnercycling raceGLA:D™knee injurydiagnostic imagingworking from homecore strengtheninginjuryexerciseclinic closurethoracic spinecustom fit compression stockingsbarefoot runningACLITU World Grand Final Triathlon Edmontongolfer's elbowpiraformis syndromecuppingst albert triathlongolfparadeniagara fallsfort saskatchewan trade showmarathon runninglateral epicondylitisprehab before rehabmud rungood fridayfoot painvelocity stage racewhat to expectintraoral massagefundraisertreating sports injuriescupping in st albertpiraformistraining on vacationpreventing sports injuriesbanff triathlonracingtelerehabactive physio works teamGLA:D™ knee programrunning techniquefernie ultrasinister 7hip replacementHIITcat-scanglute strengthdr chansports concussioncarpal tunnelconcussion in sportrunning gait


Archive

What to Expect

We understand that you may have a few questions before visiting our clinics for your initial appointment.

Book an Appointment

Book in for an appointment with one of our qualified Active Physio Works Physiotherapists &
Registered Massage Therapists.

Treatments

We understand each person is different so we offer a variety of techniques that are best suited to your individual needs.