Ergonomic tips for your home office

 

To reduce the risk of injury related to telework activities consider the following ergonomic tips when setting up your workstation:

COMPUTER SETUP

computer setup
Image credit: University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • Set up your keyboard and mouse together on a level surface at elbow height.
  • Place your monitor an arms distance away and adjust the height of the monitor to eye level or just below. Use a box or books to achieve the proper height.
  • Keep arms at your side, elbows bent at 90 degrees, keeping your wrists straight or slightly downward. You may have to place a pillow or cushion under you if the table is too high.
  • Using a laptop that does not allow the screen and keyboard to be separated can result in either neck/head strain or hand/wrist strain. Attach an external monitor in order to achieve the proper monitor height, if possible.
  • Close the blinds or locate the monitor away from the window to eliminate or avoid glare.

CHAIR SETUP

chair setup
Image credit: American Industrial Hygiene Association

  • Adjust your chair so that your legs are parallel to the floor and your feet can be placed on the floor. Use a footrest or stack some books to support your feet if needed.
  • If you need more back support roll up a towel or place a cushion behind your lower back to provide better lumbar support.
  • Locate your phone and other accessories within in arms reach. To enhance teleworking options see UW IT resources.

strech
Image credit: University of Wisconsin-Madison 

TAKE BREAKS

Get up, stretch and move around often. Take a five minute break every 30-40 minutes, especially if your workstation is less supportive for neutral postures.

For more information, contact EH&S ehsergo@uw.edu or 206.543.7388.

Resources:

UW EH&S Ergonomics

American Industrial Hygiene Association Ergonomics Guide to Computer Workstations

ABC News Australia “Working from home during coronavirus shutdown? These hacks may help keep ease the pain of your home office

University of Wisconsin-Madison University Health Services