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How to Create a Safe Ergonomic Workspace at Home

Ergonomics, Risk Management, Wellness |
Written by Kevin Lombardo

Does this sound familiar?

It’s the first thing in the morning, and you’ve only just gotten out of bed. Your alarm feels like it went off too early, and even though you know you’ll be working from home today, it’s still hard—once you remember what’s going on in the world outside, you remember that working at a home office is just about your only option. You make your way to the kitchen, make some coffee, and try to decide where you should work for the day. No one gave you a remote worker safety checklist, and your options might be less than ideal. 

If you’re lucky, you might have an office at home with a desk—but you’ll be up and down all day watching the kids, dogs, or cats, or just walking around to keep your blood flowing.

The dining table? Maybe—it’s just about the next best thing to a desk, but those chairs…your back aches just looking at them.

Kitchen counters? Okay, if you don’t mind standing all day and bending over just to see the screen. Maybe just while you make lunch.

The couch? Comfortable, sure, but the most productive option? Maybe not.

The point is, we’re living in strange times, and we’re all doing the best we can to stay safe, healthy, and productive even while working among the distractions of the real world and the sometimes stressful, uncomfortable environment of home. Home is great, but it’s not always optimized for work, and your employer may not have begun safety training for remote workers.

That’s where ergonomics come in. The five videos below will help you use ergonomic practices to set up a home workstation where you can be comfortable and stay on task without putting your joints and muscles at risk of injury. 

Video 1: Ergonomic posture and workstation setup

DORN specialists know you’re doing your best with the space you have. If you’re able to set up and work from a desk at home, it’s important to make sure you’re using proper ergonomics and healthy body mechanics, including posture, monitor height and keyboard placement.

Video 2: How to Convert Your Dining Table into a Safe Ergonomic Workspace

Sit down at your dining table with a laptop and you’ll probably notice right away some things don’t feel right. To start, your arms probably don’t fall parallel to the keyboard, and there’s a good chance your chair is too low or too high. Here’s how to adjust your table to make it into a safe workspace.

Video 3: How to Work Safely from Your Kitchen

If you’re comfortable working while standing, it’s important to make sure you’re placing your computer and keyboard in a spot where you won’t have to bend forward to see the screen. Here are some easy adjustments that will make working from your kitchen counters easier.

Video 4: How to Work Comfortably on the Couch

It might be tough to resist using the couch for work at some point if you’re going to be at home for a while. Make sure you set up your cushions so that you have sufficient back support, and check the resting height of your laptop when you sit.

We know that not all employees are able to work from home during this time, so virtual safety options will be essential in reinforcing best practices and making sure on-site workers are as safe as their colleagues at home. If you’re interested in learning more about virtual training, including virtual ergonomic evaluations for your workforce, contact the DORN team today at [email protected].

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About the Author

Kevin Lombardo

CEO & President at DORN Companies
Kevin is Senior Executive and widely recognized thought leader in workers’ compensation and Total Worker Wellness with a focus on workplace injury prevention and on-site innovative therapy solutions.
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