Where have ergonomics gone?
By Cody Lents, change manager, Covi
The past few weeks have sent us disruption after disruption and change after change. Most of us have experienced a massive shift in incoming business, a migration of our workforces from the office to work from home, and an influx of administrative tasks and emails. Not only has the work force made a shift, so have students and teachers and now home is the classroom with e-learning.
As we continue work and classes in home spaces, it may be beneficial to remember the ergonomics and body posture in the office and classroom don’t always translate to the home work spaces.
To avoid discomfort in the upper and lower back and a pain in the neck adults and children alike should think about the following tips:
- Eyes straight: If working from a laptop, elevate the device so that the screen allows your eyes to stay level (as opposed to looking downward…at your lap area). Keep shoulders back and down and top of the head towards the ceiling. This will avoid tension on the upper back (shoulder blade area) and the neck. You don’t have to purchase a fancy monitor or docking station to accomplish this. Be creative with a large, leather-bound book or riser from Amazon.
- Elbows at 90-degrees: Try to keep your laptop or keyboard/mouse at a level where your arms can stay near a 90-degree angle to avoid tension in the shoulders and progress towards wrist pain. This also helps to keep your head level. If a laptop causes problems here, an external mouse and keyboard will go a long way to repositioning your hands, arms and shoulders. There are both wired and wireless options with plug-and-play simplicity that are inexpensive.
- Feet on the floor: Keep your feet on the floor and leg space clear. This will help alleviate tension from the lower back.
- Lumbar support: If you feel excess tension on your lower back, a lumbar support cushion or wearable strap will go a long way to relaxing the joints, muscles and disks that are hard at work supporting your new work-at-home habits.
A combination of these tips will help everyone stay focused, productive, and avoiding the chiropractor when the world swings back to normal.
Stay happy and healthy! We’re all in this together…
Here’s an additional resource: Ergonomics Recommendations for Remote Work
For nearly seven years, Cody Lents has been a changemaker at Covi. His pursuit of variety is relentless. From music to tech to business to his personal running routes, he’s comfortable with change. He seeks out growing companies and nonprofits because they evolve quickly, and they appreciate his adaptability. Cody works alongside visionary leaders, anticipating their needs and supporting their success. He’s a tireless advocate for his clients.