October 27, 2020

Remote Control: Ergonomics of the Home Office

Cody Broussard

Home officing shouldn’t mean working from your sofa. The allure of the new Ozark season or the strange obsession most of our country has developed toward Tiger King can be tempting, but setting up your laptop on your coffee table and camping out on your sofa to churn out projects for work during this new shift toward working from home is not the answer. And there is more to it than a decline in productivity as a result of being distracted by Jason Bateman’s snarky one-liners.

Ergonomic is not just a word you hear when you are ordering a new office chair from HR on your first week in a new office. A recent study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 31% of workers compensation claims stemmed from back strains or neck injuries related to repetitive activity and extended time in static positions. Using your bar stools as a desk chair, sitting on the couch or working from the floor and using your coffee table to balance your laptop for hours at a time are straining your neck and your productivity. In the era of self-care, it would be a cardinal sin to come out of this quarantine with an injury related to too much time on the couch.

Setting boundaries is an important part of developing a work life balance when your home becomes your office. It can be easy to fall victim to the distraction of laundry or your television if you are new to a home office. It can also be far too easy to jump back onto the laptop to respond to “just a few emails” after dinner and end up working until midnight when your work is right there at your fingertips. Creating a balance between productivity and over working can be as simple as establishing a place that your computer and other work tools are located, that gives you access to everything you need, allows your brain to switch to work mode when you sit down and is designed for you to work comfortably for up to eight hours.

Stand goals are not just a setting to ignore on your iPhone. Take advantage of being at home and make sure to get up from your desk occasionally, even if its to talk to your dog about lunch plans or to walk to the mailbox. This is a perfect time to develop good habits that you can work into your post COVID-life, like these simple stretches designed to counter the effect of staring at your screen all day. Denver Chiropractor Patrick Smith encourages all his patients to utilize these quick stretches to keep their spines happy and their mobility ready for the day we all return to our normally scheduled mountain biking and hiking once this is all behind us. His below video walks you through three key stretches to keep you feeling good.

When we get back to life as we knew it, be sure to continue supporting small business and visit Patrick at his practice in the Golden Triangle. https://www.chiropatrick.com/