5% of Americans regularly work from home and 43% of Americans have reported that their job allows them to occasionally work from home. That means there is still a solid 57% who never.
And with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing workplaces to restructure, Americans have found themselves struggling to build work-friendly environments in their homes. One of the most common issues we’ve been hearing about is the lack of an in-home office and without that designated work space, neck pains and poor posture will be infiltrating our homes! The problem with most of our devices is that they are typically designed for our head to drop downward, causing us to overuse and strain our necks. Luckily, DASHA® has some simple ergonomic improvements that you can make to your temporary work-from-home environment a little kinder to your spinal column. (And sometimes it’s as simple as adjusting the height of your chair!)
Below are a few Pro Tips from DASHA®s Team
1. POP UP YOUR LAPTOP Laptops are almost always an ergonomic disaster. The monitor is either too low or the keyboard istoo high. What we can recommend is to mix up the height as you work. Reading a large document? Prop your laptop up on a stack of books or a higher surface so that your monitor is more at eye-level. Typing the quarterly report? Have your laptop’s keyboard on a flat surface so that your arms can be at a 90-degree angle, parallel to the floor.2. FIND YOUR CHAIR You want to find a chair that supports your natural spinal curve by keeping your chest up. The ability to adjust the height is a big plus as it prevents your neck from constantly straining towards the monitor. We understand that not everyone might have a seat with an adjustable height, so it’s important to try and keep your feet rested flat on the floor, or slightly elevated on a footrest! (Don’t have one of those available, either? A small stack of books also work great!)3. YOUR MVP OBJECTS Keep your most frequently used office objects within reach is also important. Contorting your body or overextending your arms to grab that stapler at the other end of the table is not great and will throw off your spinal alignment. If you’re working from a smaller space, put your key objects so far away from you that it forces you to stand up and get them.
4. SOUND ON! If your job requires you to be on the phone for hours at a time, use the speaker to prevent the inevitable neck pressed to your shoulder phone hold. If you are working in a tighter space with other individuals, use a pair of headphones!