Computer Ergonomics While Working From Home

October 8th, 2020

neck strain from improper laptop computer posture

Don’t let your pajama pants fool you. 

Over the past several months, more people have made the switch to working from home than ever before. While many were initially enjoying the “pants-optional” work environment, some are beginning to feel the strain of a less-than-ergonomic home office setup…or lack thereof. Let’s look at some tips for cultivating good posture habits and computer placement when working from home. 

Increasing the Ergonomics of Your Laptop

Despite their convenience and prevalence, most laptop computers are not designed to be used on their own for extended periods. While extremely handy for checking emails from any chair on the go, laptop placement of the keyboard and screen cause the user to dip their head and slouch to get a proper view. There are a few ways to use laptop computers in a way that isn’t so hard on your neck and back. 

The Fix 

Ideally, the top of your computer monitors should level with your browline when sitting with proper posture. Elevating your laptop computer using a specialized stand or even a stack of books can bring it to the appropriate level. This position will require that your also use a secondary keyboard and mouse to keep your hands below your heart to maintain proper blood flow and reduce numbness. 

Treating the “Achey Work-From-Home” Back

When the advantages of working remotely are advertised, the typical image is a happy person on the couch, lawn chair, or even hammocks with a laptop computer. While this sounds nice, over time, hours of lounging while working can put a severe strain on your back and can impair your ability to focus.  

The Fix 

Most people report the least amount of work-related strain by practicing proper posture as though they were being observed at the office. Make sure that you have an ergonomic chair in your home office space. Strive to keep your back straight, shoulders back, and chin above your collarbone. 

While returning to this posture after months of working from the couch or dining room chair can feel odd at first, your back will thank you in the long run. 

Remembering to Move

A lack of physical meetings and no other colleagues watching feels like permission to sit in one place all day. Many fool themselves into thinking that their productivity is an excuse to remain sedentary. “I’m getting stuff done, right?” Despite the lack of judgment from coworkers, movement is incredibly important to maintain proper bodily health. 

The Fix 

Set a timer on your computer, phone, or watch to remind you to get up at least once every hour. During this time, stretch, walk around, or at least pace. If you insist on working through movement sessions, incorporate them into how you work. Take phone calls while walking. Stand during virtual meetings. Consider investing in a standing desk (or convincing your boss that it’s a worthwhile investment.) 

In Conclusion

Remote working effectively has a slight learning curve to it. While you may be tempted to enjoy the less formal aspects of this work style, you owe it to yourself to guard your body against improper ergonomics and a lack of movement. Your neck, back, shoulders, and legs will all thank you. 

Computer Repair in Tulsa, OK

Working from home means that your usual IT department help may not be at your fingertips like they were before. Though this is the case, there’s no need to worry—Geeks to the Rescue has your back. For any computer problem you or your staff are experiencing in the Tulsa, OK area, our experienced computer Geeks can help. 

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