By Lisa Altena, PT
Recently, Tulsa Bone and Joint Physical Therapy has seen a lot of workers start to work from home. With this change, posture or home ergonomics has started to become a very important topic to address. Poor posture while working at a computer can create injuries in multiple areas of the body. Correcting this posture can help with injury prevention especially when you are working from a computer over a long period of time. Working from home brings up new topics to address, like using laptops, surfaces you are working on, and chairs.
What to look at:
- Chair: chair height, seat of chair, and back support of the chair
- Monitor: the height and location of the monitor
- Edge of workstation surface
Ways to make your chair more posture-friendly:
- Put a pillow on the seat to elevate the seat if needed
- Roll up a towel behind the back for lumbar support
- Wrap the armrests in a towel to allow your elbows to rest
- Move your chair close to help prevent leaning over the surface
- Lower the chair so your feet can touch the ground
Ways to make your laptop positioning more posture-friendly:
- Place something under the laptop when using it on your lap
- Use an external monitor, keyboard, or mouse if possible
Way to make your edge of surface more posture-friendly:
Pad the surface edge that you are working on with a towel or pool noodle
Other things to think about:
- If you use two monitors, have your main monitor in front of you.
- Try to stay away from the dining table, couch, bed, and floor.
Applying these ideas and others can help prevent injuries over time.
Davis, K. G., Kotowski, S. E., Daniel, D., Gerding, T., Naylor, J., & Syck, M. (2020). The Home Office: Ergonomic Lessons From the “New Normal.” Ergonomics in Design, 28(4), 4–10. https://doi.org/10.1177/1064804620937907