The Ergonomics Health Association recently released a series of new guidelines to help remote workers stay comfortable and healthy.
Adam Binstock, President of the organization believes that the trend of working from home will only increase and therefore guidelines need to implemented to protect workers.
“The global pandemic has very abruptly pushed employees into a new home work environment. For better or worse, I strongly believe that this trend will continue in a post pandemic world too”, says Binstock.
“We’re seeing a number of positive benefits from workers being able to work at home. People value the increased flexibility, efficiency, and independence. But it’s not a perfect solution, and these issues need to be explored”.
The article covers a number of important themes such as ergonomics, posture, productivity, and mental health. These are covered by the author Meredith Chandler, a licensed Occupational Therapist.
The guide’s main contributor, Meredith Chandler (OT) goes on to elaborate on a number useful tips
How to sit properly
Chandler recommends the “90-90-90 rule”. The person sitting should keep their legs, hips, and back at roughly 90 degrees while working at their desk They should also have their arms and wrist at 90 degrees while using their computer.
An ergonomic and comfortable chair is the most critical step in having an ergonomic workstation. But Chandler also recommends other ergonomic equipment such as monitor risers, under desk keyboard trays, and even lumbar support cushions.
Some other important guidelines she recommends are:
- Monitor risers can keep the screen at face-level
- Laptop stands to ensure better outcomes when using it at a desk
- Back cushions may help with immediate comfort and training a person to sit correctly
Posture and taking regular breaks is also critical in maintaining a healthy environment. Healthy posture is proven to:
- Fewer headaches
- Less back pain
- Higher levels of concentration
- More energy
There are also mental health consequences from working from home. Remote workers are at risk of depression, loneliness, lack of motivation, and anxiety.
Chandler lists some of the warning signs that workers and employers should pay attention to. She also recommends some important things like maintaining contact with family and friends, using all the mental health resources available, getting regular exercise, and having a strict work routine.