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Nationwide Health & Safety Training and Assessments

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Stay Comfortable When Working at Home

You may have recently started to work from home, without the time or the knowledge to adapt properly and without the opportunity to set up a comfortable workstation. If your working conditions aren’t adequate, it can lead to the onset of adverse health conditions such as a bad back, wrist ache, neck strain and so on.

If you find you are sitting in a kitchen or dining room chair, these were never designed for sitting in for long periods of time.  If your homeworking is ongoing, can you arrange for your office chair to be delivered to your home?

Likewise laptops aren’t always suitable for long periods of use if they are not positioned correctly.

Despite limitations, you should do your best to achieve a good posture wherever you are working, even if you are doing so temporarily.

Here are our three top tips for you to improve your posture right now.

1. Seating

You may be working from home without a compliant office chair. Using the wrong seating can quickly lead to aches and pain as well as long term musculoskeletal conditions.

Supporting your back

Sit up with your back straight and your shoulders back. Ideally, your buttocks should reach the back of your chair and your back should be fully supported.

TIP:  If you don’t have a chair with lumbar support, use a rolled up towel between your lower back and the chair to provide support.

Sitting at correct height

Your forearms should the same height as, and parallel to your desk, with your elbows at a 90° – 110° angle.

Your feet should be flat on the floor and knees bent 90° with your hips slightly higher than your knees.

TIP: If your chair seat height can’t be raised, try sitting on a cushion to improve your posture.

2. Laptop users

When working from a laptop, the most important thing you can do to protect your back and neck is to position the laptop screen at the correct height.
The top of your laptop screen should be roughly at eye level. This is important to prevent hunching and lessen the risk of neck pain and injury. To achieve this, raise your screen using a laptop riser.

TIP: If you do not have a laptop riser, using books or a box as a temporary measure will work.

Once you have raised your laptop to a suitable height, your keyboard and trackpad will not be accessible, therefore you will need to connect an external mouse and keyboard to your laptop.

3. Supporting your feet

You should be able to plant your feet firmly and comfortably on the floor.  Without correct support, your feet impact on your spine health.

If your feet do not sit firmly on the floor or if there is pressure on the back of your legs, you should use a footrest.

TIP:  If you do not have a footrest, use a box or some books as a substitute to support your feet as a temporary measure.

Essential Items for All Laptop Users

If you plan to use a laptop for work on a regular basis, you will need a few essential items to make sure you can work comfortably and productively. It is well worth investing in an adjustable laptop stand, a separate keyboard and a separate mouse.  A mini keyboard can be chosen if desk space is limited.

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