From our friends at OT Virtual - here's a fantastic article if you are experiencing neck or shoulder pain or eye strain from working at home!
When I finally stood up from my chair after my first full day of working from home, I felt how I imagine someone would feel climbing out of a boxing ring after a horrific loss.
My neck was knotted and tight, I had a throbbing tension headache, my shoulders were sore, my legs ached, and my low back felt as if it were about to snap in two.
Here I was, a seasoned occupational therapist starting up a virtual OT practice, and I hadn’t followed the workplace ergonomics advice that I have educated over and over again to my clients.
I imagine you relate to my story. When I started working from home, it was an immediate transition from my typical routines and I definitely didn’t think it would last this long. I cobbled together a temporary workplace at home rather quickly – as did most Americans – due to the abrupt school and business closures, stay-at-home orders, and overall shift toward remote work. It only took one full day at my desk to feel like I had just been battered in a boxing match: I knew it was time to re-evaluate my ergonomics and start adapting.
According to the International Ergonomics Association, the word ergonomics — “the science of work” is derived from the Greek ergon (work) and nomos (natural laws). Ergonomics is the scientific study of adapting the design of products to optimize them for human use, often specifically applied to work settings.
OTs are especially interested in how to design clients’ work environments in order to promote their highest level of function.
Here are a few benefits of improving ergonomics, backed by 250 case studies according to Ergo Plus:
OTs so often hear about eye strain, neck pain, and sore wrists from working at a desk all day. I will leave you with two simple adjustments you can make to your work environment today to increase comfort and productivity:
- Lower your keyboard and mouse down to bent elbow height. They should be on the same level as the underside of your forearms when your elbows are bent at 90 degrees.
- Raise the monitor screen height so the top is roughly eye-level. We have ours currently resting on an old Xbox!
If you found this article helpful and want to improve your ergonomics, book a virtual consultation with us today!