• Lori A. LaRochelle, asid, midc

Life has changed! We need to change our home office!

A lot has changed in the past couple of months and one of the biggest changes is that home has become more than just a home. It is now our school and our office and it looks like a lot of these changes are here to stay! I have always had myself set up to work from both homes and offices, but most of you have not. There are some responsibilities that shift from our bosses to us when working from home. We are now responsible for our own safety. That means there is no one to remind us to support ourselves ergonomically as we work. We are now accountable for this ourselves. I have an advantage over most of you this way, I was trained by one of my former employees on how to set up an ergonomic workstation. But as many of you may know it’s not the space being 100% ergonomic that will help keep you safe. I have a small number of clients who still hire me to do their ergonomic evaluations for each new employee that they hire. I think they like me because with each evaluation I do I inform the employee that only they have control over their health and wellbeing. Basically, it is your responsibility to take good care of yourself, whether at work or at home. So how do you set up your workstation?

Here are a few tips.

  • Design it so you are not sitting in the same position all day long.

  • Research the internet to discover what user-friendly and functional ergonomic designs can work for you.

  • Remember these recommendations will need to be tweaked to fit you as an individual.

  • There is no perfect way to set up a workstation.

We’ve all heard the expression that “too much of a good thing is no longer a good thing!” Well, it is true, sitting is now the new smoking. It is good to have your desk so it uniquely fits you, but you still need to take a break. By law, you’re still entitled to breaks throughout your workday. If you value your health, I highly recommend that you pause, get up, and move to get your blood circulating. The human body is not designed to stagnate. If you are uncomfortable setting up your workstation ask your employer. Often, corporate insurance will pay for your evaluation. But remember it is up to you to take your breaks and stretch periodically throughout the day.

Be safe and be healthy!