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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Soares

Active Cape Cod: Episode 02 Home Workstation Ergonomics

Let’s talk workstation ergonomics! Most of us are adjusting to working from home these days, let’s make sure you are set up for success!

-Choice of Laptop vs Desktop: If given the choice between using a laptop and a desktop, opt for the desktop. Laptops are convenient due to being portable however they cause you to either look down at the screen or have your hands too high to type. The exception of course is if you attach an additional monitor or keyboard to allow for more adjust-ability.

-Seating: doesn’t it sound fun to work from the couch or recliner? Pretty luxurious. However, your back and neck think otherwise. I’m pretty sure at this point, most of us have tried to live out this fantasy. Back to reality, the ideal seat would have a back which is firm but has a little give to it, allows feet to be firmly planted on the floor or this can be achieved with a stool, footrest, books, etc. You also want to make sure you have good lumbar support and if that isn’t a feature of your selected chair, then roll up a towel or put a small pillow behind your lower back. Knees should be about level with hips if not slightly lower. Armrests, if present should be set so your arms gently rest on them without shrugging your shoulders

- Monitor: should be an arms length away, ideally the top of your monitor should be about 2-3 inches above level with your gaze. It’s important to try to limit glare and you can do so by adjusting the lighting in the room you are working from. Also important to give your eyes a break from staring at the screen. It’s recommended to take a break every 20 min.

-Keyboard: elbows kept close to the body, wrists straight, hands at or below elbow level

- Considerations for laptop use: elevate the laptop by using books or a laptop riser stand to bring monitor to a better height relative to eye-level, attach additional keyboard for improved wrist positioning

- Phone: use on speaker or use headset

- Take a break for goodness sake. Every 20 minutes would be swell but if not possible then at least once an hour. 20 20 20 rule, every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break to look 20 feet away

Stuff to buy: laptop stand, bluetooth keyboard and mouse, footrest, lumbar support, ergonomic chair

In this episode:

- Discuss various workstation components

- Learn ways to improve workstation ergonomics

- Suggested equipment

Show Resources:

Cornell University Ergonomics:


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