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Work from Home Ergonomics – Virtual Assessments

With work-from-home dragging on for much long longer than many of us ever expected, now is a good time to ensure our workstations are still set up properly. We also need to remind ourselves to stretch regularly and take breaks.

Particularly for people with a physical disability or those recovering from injury or illness, having the right ergonomics is essential to our wellbeing. And of course, it is essential from our employer’s perspective that our workstations are correctly adjusted to reduce any risk of musculoskeletal injury.

Ensuring we are fit and well, and taking regular exercise or stretching breaks, reduces stress and increases productivity – which is a win-win for everyone. So, it’s important to check that you have not slipped into unhealthy habits. Yes, we mean you with your several coffee cups, kids’ homework sheets and those other, unnecessary, things that have migrated to your desk. Let’s face it, when no one is watching and reminding us, it’s easy to become lax over ergonomic practices.

But while PJ work days might be OK, poor posture isn’t!

How do I know if my workstation is right?

To keep us all safe and well, Rehab Management consultants can provide remote virtual workstation assessments across Australia to identify any risks, focusing on the following guidelines:

  • Chair height should allow your feet to rest comfortably on the floor, or on a footrest if the desk is too high, ensuring your knees are level with your hips, your back is straight, and your shoulders are back when sitting.
  • Desks need to be deep enough for the monitor to be at an appropriate viewing distance and accommodate all other equipment that we need within reach.
  • Desks need either a soft edge or wrist rest.
  • Monitors are placed directly in front and at a comfortable viewing distance, about an arm’s length away, with the top of the screen at or just below eye level.
  • Place keyboards directly in front, allowing your elbows to be close to your body, your forearms to be horizonal and wrists straight when typing.
  • The mouse needs to be close to your keyboard and fit comfortably in your hand, with the wrist in a neutral position and your fingers resting lightly on the buttons between actions.

The importance of moving and stretching

The experts say we should take a 10-15 minute break away from our workstations every two hours to do some stretches, or even fit in some proper exercise, and rehydrate and re-energise. While getting out and about outdoors is ideal, even a quick stretch while sitting at your desk is important to minimise fatigue and reduce the risk of soreness or injury.

Follow this link to try some Stretches You Can Do at Your Desk

If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact us at Rehab Management.

What can employers do?

For employers, regular ergonomic assessments are important to ensure workers are both safe and productive – which makes it a good business decision to spend time and money on ensuring correct ergonomic practices are in place.

Rehab Management offers Workplace Ergonomic Assessment and Training services and also an Ergonomics e-learning module that can be completed anywhere, at any time. Contact us to find out more.

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