Home and office Ergonomics

There are some really simple ergonomic advice that your physiotherapist can recommend for you to avoid developing aches and pain, injuries and even increase work productivity. These suggestions can:

  1. Increase your comfort

  2. Make you more relaxed/reduce stress

  3. Improve productivity

  4. Reduce heath and safety risks, including pain and injury

If you do not practice good ergonomics in your home and office, you can develop some musculoskeletal and postural disorders.

Common problems due to bad ergonomics:

  1. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)

  2. Thoracic outlet Syndrome

  3. Tendinitis

  4. Spinal disc herniation

  5. Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)

  6. Neck and back pain

Office Ergonomics:

The first important thing in ergonomics is posture. Posture is how the body is situated. Neutral posture allows for maximum strength ans efficiency while working with minimum effort and stress on the body.

Figuring out the height of the keyboard is simple: It should be set so your arm and forearm are at a right angle to the keyboard with the forearms and hands forming straight lines with 90 degrees bending of the elbow. The mouse should be at the same level as- and directly next to- the keyboard. Surfaces too high or too low may lead to awkward positions such as straight arms, raised shoulders or twisted wrists. Your knees should be lower than your hips level and foot should be on the ground or foot rest. Keep your back  naturally curved. Do not slouch and keep your head and neck straight.

Working with a computer at home:

Try to have the same ergonomics at home that you use at the office, even if you work with your PC less frequently than your office. If you’re using your laptop as your primary computer, you might consider connecting a decent keyboard, monitor and mouse to it.

Living Room:

Try to sit straight on a good firm sofa and put the TV just in front of the sofa in the direction of your eye line. Do not hunch or lean on the sofa and after each half an hour of sitting, stand up, do some stretching, walk around then continue your sitting.

Bedroom:

Try to choose a proper medicated mattress and pillow. A good mattress guarantee your sleep quality and keeps your back alignment in a good position for the whole night. A proper pillow put your neck in a neutral position and support your shoulders from dropping. Your pillow should have an arch to support your neck arch and hold it it neutral position.

Other factors:

Check the following regularly to make sure they do no contribute to the stress on your body:

  • Eye sight and glasses strength
  • Lighting in the work space
  • Air quality in the work space
  • Noise pollution
  • Excessive use of mobile phones being held between the neck and shoulder- utilise a head set
  • Most importantly have your physiotherapist assess your posture at work and in every day situations to prevent injury and to allow them to give you exercises to stretch and strengthen the right muscles.
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Parisa Tanoori

Parisa Tanoori

Physiotherapist at Physio Savvy
Parisa is certified with a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy from Shiraz University of Medical Science, Iran. She is currently completing her PhD in Sports Medicine with the special interest of Kinesiology taping in Universiti Malaya.
Parisa Tanoori

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Posted in Musculoskeletal Disorders.