Set Up a Healthy Home Office

Home OfficeIf you’re one of the many Americans now working from home, your commute to the office likely dropped to only a few seconds. Or maybe you’ve always worked from home but have some new challenges sharing a workspace with a partner or child.

In any case, a new or updated work environment presents an opportunity. Take this time to examine your space and routines to ensure that they support good habits and help you avoid injury. The checklist below can help you get started.

Your Space

Avoid: Working in a dark space

Good habit: Lots of light will help improve your performance. Arrange your work area perpendicular to any windows to cut glare. Use a desk lamp, too.

Desk or Table

Avoid: Cluttering your work area

Good habit: To work more efficiently, make sure items you frequently use are within reach, and items needed only occasionally are placed further away.

Computer

Avoid: Placing your laptop in your lap for long periods of time

Good habit: Put your computer on a flat surface with your monitor positioned directly in front of you at least 20 inches away. If needed, place your laptop on stacks of books to make sure the top of the monitor is at or below eye level. You can experience eyestrain if your monitor is too close or too far, and placing your monitor to the side may cause fatigue and pain in your neck muscles.

Chair

Avoid: Sitting in a nonadjustable chair or one that doesn’t support your lower back 

Good habit: If you don’t have an adjustable office chair at home, use one that has a cushion on the seat and supports your lower back. You can roll a towel or blanket to place in your low-back area to prevent problems with back pain.

Your Routine

Avoid: Sitting for too long

Good habit: To avoid back, neck, and leg pain, get up and move every 30 minutes. Stretching or walking will increase your circulation, boost productivity, and help you feel better.

Pain, Pain Go Away

Struggling with severe neck or back pain? Get in touch with our bone and joint specialists to stop all the achy hours at the computer: