The Jakarta Post
Illustration of a home workspace. (Shutterstock/Photographee.eu)
It’s safe to say that a lot of us have been working from home or at least spending a lot of our time there. This means way more screen time than we are used to, or a change in our work set-up now that our homes have now become our offices.
Whether you’ve made your dining room or bedroom your new workspace, your current set-up may not be ergonomically ideal, according to office ergonomics expert Kermit Davis.
Laptops are simply not built for whole-day use, said Davis, and using it as such causes strain on your back, shoulders and neck. As many of us have no choice but to use them, here is a list of tips to make sure you’re good to your body while working with a laptop, as compiled by Huffington Post.
1. Your laptop should be at the appropriate eye-level
With laptops have smaller screens compared to PCs, having to look down below your eye height can cause stress to your eyes. This can also be caused by where you sit.
If you are sitting with your laptop on your lap, a lap desk or pillow under your laptop will raise the monitor and help your eyes and neck.
The best option according to Davis is working from a desk or table. Do so by putting your laptop on a stand or a stack of books, along with an external keyboard and mouse if possible.
2. Have the right posture
Where you sit also impacts how your body is affected when you work.
A study by the University of Cincinnati found that chairs in work-from-home setups were 41 percent too low and 2 percent too high, with 69 percent of workers not using lower back support, which is critical for posture.
To fix this, you can place a pillow on your seat to elevate yourself and place a pillow or rolled up towel for back support.
Your armrests should also be relatively high, and your chair should be close to the desk, so your back is against the back of the seat.
Your feet should not be dangling so a footrest may be ideal to keep your thighs as parallel to the floor as possible and hips slightly higher than your knees.
3. Take breaks
Not taking breaks from looking at a screen can cause strain to your eyes and also give you headaches.
A break should be done every 30 minutes, and doing so can minimize back, shoulder and arm injuries.
“The body doesn’t like static postures continually,” said Davis. “You don’t want to do all sitting or all standing all the time. You want to alter your position and change it up throughout the day.”
To help you take regular breaks, consider apps like The Work Break Timer or Google Chrome extensions like Break Time or Micro Breaks. (car/wng)
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