Work ergonomically: don't be like 72% of all home workers!

Work ergonomically: don't be like 72% of all home workers!

Now that almost everyone is homebound due to the corona pandemic, it is important to create a good workplace at home. A good workplace equals an ergonomic workplace. Working ergonomics means that you adopt a correct working posture and schedule sufficient mental and physical recovery moments during working hours. But how exactly do you work ergonomically? Below are ten ergonomic tips to be as productive (or more productive) at home as at work.

1 Place the keyboard at the edge of the desk

Place the keyboard at the edge of the desk, towards your stomach. This is an easy way to prevent many physical complaints. This ensures that you adopt a straighter posture.

Do you work with a laptop? However, this principle does not work for a laptop. This is because the keyboard and the screen of the laptop are attached to each other (an extensive article will soon be published on how to work ergonomics with a laptop).

A tip for people who use a laptop every day: place the laptop on a laptop holder. You should not place this at the edge of the desk, but at a length so that the screen is exactly at eye level. An additional (ergonomic) mouse and keyboard is recommended, as the laptop sits on the holder, which can still cause poor posture (see point 5 for more information about an ergonomic mouse).

2 Make sure you have a reason to keep moving

With an eight-hour working day, you can easily end up sitting in your office chair for a few hours at a time. It is therefore tempting to put everything within reach. Think of a printer, trash can or perhaps the coffee maker. Do not do this!

Place these items a little further away from your workplace so that you have to get up regularly. By getting up every hour you prevent your muscles from getting stuck in the wrong position.

Even more ideal is to take a regular walk (outside), do some stretching exercises or do some yoga.

3 Buy a suitable desk

By a suitable desk we mean a table that can be adjusted in height. If the table is set to the correct height, this ensures a better working posture.

4 Buy a suitable chair

A dining room chair is not ideal for ergonomics. It is important that an office chair is adjustable. The adjustment options are diverse and range from armrests to tiltable seats to mechanisms that always keep your sitting position active. It is important that you adjust the base so that your posture is correct in relation to the desk. Consider the seat height and position of the armrests.

5 Make sure you sit upright in the chair

This tip is very obvious, but it is incredibly important. Prevent annoying pain in the (lower) back, shoulders and neck. Make sure you have a good backrest against which you sit with your back straight. This ''active'' posture contributes to a healthy/ergonomic working position.

Always make sure that you can place both feet flat on the ground. If this is not the case, you will soon automatically slide forward on the edge of your seat. This puts unnecessary pressure on the bottom of the spine. This leads to back problems.

6 Place the monitor at the correct distance and height

The location of the monitor affects the neck muscles. Both a monitor position that is too high or too low is very stressful. Therefore, make sure that the top of the screen is at eye level and the monitor is an arm's length away from you. For taller people, it is recommended to place the monitor on an elevated surface.

Also, place the monitor straight in front of you and not at an angle. A crooked position creates a disproportionate burden on the neck. If it is not entirely suitable in terms of space and you are forced to place the monitor at an angle, purchase a monitor arm.

For people with a laptop, see point 1.

7 Use an ergonomic mouse

A good ergonomic mouse places less strain on the forearm and improves comfort because you work within your comfort zone. An ergonomic mouse ensures a neutral position with the arm, hand and fingers.

The mouse provides comfort and supports the use of the mouse with the entire arm instead of, in particular, the wrist. Large weights can bear more weight than small joints. The shoulder and elbow joint are therefore more resilient than the wrist joint.

8 Drink enough

An incorrect posture restricts blood circulation: this causes, among other things, RSI-related complaints. Lack of fluid makes it more difficult for your body to remove waste products. Therefore, drink enough! The recommended amount is 2 liters of fluid per day. So always have a jug of water within reach.

9 Find a suitable place for paper

Despite the fact that the use of paper is decreasing, a large proportion of people behind the computer still use notebooks or loose sheets of paper to write down anything and everything. However, the place where the papers are placed also affects the neck muscles. Do not place it between the keyboard and your stomach. This forces a position that forces you to look down.

Place the paper to the right or left of the keyboard (which is on the edge of the desk). This is relatively useful, especially if you want to write something down. Another option is an angled surface between the keyboard and the screen.

10 Ensure a fixed rhythm

Working from home has a number of positive aspects, but can also be difficult. Work and private life suddenly come close together and the chance of distraction is high. It helps to have a fixed daily rhythm. Choose a fixed start and end time, set an alarm for breaks and choose a fixed workplace.

Be sure to get dressed and jump into the shower in the morning. Maintain the same ritual as if you had to go to work.

In short, there are many points to work ergonomically at home. If these points are applied, you will soon notice the benefits: productivity increases and physical complaints decrease.