Office ergonomics in 2022 – the home office

Hila Gold & Inbar Gilboa
Senior Ergonomist

Office ergonomics at home?

In the last two years, the home office has become a primary or secondary workplace.

Quiet, an individually adapted environment and dynamism are the ergonomic solutions that will help you work comfortably and efficiently.

But how is it done? And what about office ergonomics in the home environment?

What is ergonomics?

Ergonomics is a scientific field that deals with the interface between man and his environment. The aim of ergonomic research is to find the gaps in the man to workspace interface and identify ergonomic hazards, followed by providing ergonomic solutions to optimize the match of the workspace for that person.

Most of us spend at least a third of each day in our workspace, making it important for us to work in an environment that is tailored to us. Some major organizations and offices have office ergonomics consultants who adapt the workspace for office work, but the home environment is not always tailored to the user.

For this reason, we have put together a few ergonomic tips that will help you tailor your home workspace to you so that you can work comfortably, efficiently and pain free.

Quiet at work!

To reduce cognitive load while working, it is desirable to maintain a quiet workspace. Find a regular, quiet corner in the home and turn it into your home office, where you can go bat to each day.

Also, a constant, defined corner will form separation between “home” and “work”.

Adapting the workspace – office ergonomics

Provide the workspace with a desk, adjustable chair, a screen, keyboard and of course a mouse in, to reduce the risk of aches and pains.

Choose a desk that is at least 100 cm wide and 70 cm deep to form a workspace that will allow you unimpeded movement. A desk free of obstructions such as a drawer or a thick support that would get in the way of your legs and other disturbances such as storage under the desk is recommended.

A chair is used for most of the hours of day, making it the most important element for adapting the workspace. Choose an ergonomic chair that has at least the following adjustment mechanisms:

  • Height adjustment- to reduce static load on the shoulders and neck, one should approach the desk slightly above it, shoulders relaxed and hands on the table without effort.
  • Adjustable armrests or without armrests- armrest height adjustment is important for maintaining the correct elbow height, which will allow the shoulders to be at rest.

Add an external screen, keyboard and mouse. Do not be tempted to work directly on the laptop. Arrange external accessories to prevent flexing of the neck, wrist fatigue and comfort while typing.

Be more dynamic while working, prolonged static positions are the most common ergonomic hazard, muscle exertion caused by a long stay in constant positions (sitting / standing for more than an hour) can cause pain and discomfort in many areas of the body, including the neck, lower back, wrist and more.

How to avoid:

  • Change your seating position at least 10 times an hour – moving a little to the right or left, leg on leg, bent knee or straight knee.
  • Use wireless headphones and walk around during a meeting.
  • Try to work standing up – using an adjustable desk or improvise one using existing objects in the home: work with a laptop for about half an hour on the bar in the kitchen, use an ironing board on the desk to raise the screen or place the screen and keyboard on high shelves.
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