Have you been working from your couch? Many people have transitioned to working from home without the resources or knowledge of how to best set up their new office space. Our team in Belgrade has put together some tips to making working from home more convenient and efficient for you!
- If possible, designate a specific space in your home that is just for work. Select a corner, room, or table that meets your space requirements and does not feel overly cramped. Your space should be as comfortable as possible. Avoid spending time in this space when you aren’t ‘at work’ and vice versa. Also, setting aside specific times of your day “for work” and specific times when you are “off work” can be extremely helpful. Try not to mix the two.
- Pro Tip: Avoid working on your couch or bed. This is for your mental and physical health!
- For desk spaces here are some general rules of thumb:
- Feet should be flat on the floor and legs parallel to the floor. Try using a stack of books under your feet if they don’t reach, or a pillow on your seat if you are too tall for your chair.
- The top of your computer monitor should be about 2 inches below eye level. Use more books to raise a lap top or computer monitor to this level, don’t over shoot so that you are looking up at your screen!
- Monitor should be about 18” away from eyes- a good estimate of this is to reach your arm out in front of you and you should just barely touch it.
- Shoulders should be able to relax with elbows at approximately 90 degrees.
- Try to find 1-2 set ups if you have the space available. For example, if you mostly sit at a table and have a lap top, gather enough books to stack so that you can stand for a little bit at a time while working on your laptop. Stack the books up and set your laptop here. Having a couple of different positions that you can work in will help prevent overuse injuries by decreasing the time that you spend in a single position.
- Complete a virtual ergonomics consultation to help get your home office set up so that you can stay physically healthy while working from home. See below for what that all entails.
Lone Peak Physical Therapy in Bozeman and Belgrade are now offering virtual home office ergonomics assessments to help you stay healthy while working from your personal residence. If you are unfamiliar with the term ergonomics, it simply refers to the study of people in their work environment. Our ergonomic assessments are done by physical and occupational therapists with experience in biomechanics and musculoskeletal overuse injuries. Our goal is to help people set their home work space for optimum comfort and productivity given the constraints of using what they have on hand or can easily get during this difficult time.
The process is pretty straight-forward. We begin with some questions about any potential pain you may be having that could be associated with your new work routine and station. What you are finding is comfortable or uncomfortable/inefficient. From there, we will check out your current set up, and alternatives if there are other options in the house. Finally, we will make recommendations for improving your work-station layout, based on what we find during the appointment and depending on the availability of materials. We will have you try out the new set up while on the call and make any necessary adjustments.
We will also make recommendations about organizing, stretching and taking breaks. All of these additional areas influence the comfort that you will have throughout your day and can make a significant impact in your overall productivity.