June 22, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Home office: work remotely without compromising your health

About ergonomic mistakes of those working remotely from home. What you need to pay attention to when setting up your workplace.

Remote work

The pandemic period moved the “office” into a home environment, and many people liked it – they categorically refuse to return to work, losing the comfort that has become familiar. However, the formation of a workspace, in the absence of “experience”, often leads to mistakes that threaten safety and health. What should you consider when designing a home office? What mistakes do remote workers most often make?

Furniture for work

For long-term work, you should equip not just a desk, but a special desk designed specifically for this. It should be the right height and configured to suit the requirements of the work process, without unnecessary objects and cables cluttering up the space (for example, you can use a laptop instead of a computer). A good option is to purchase a cable channel for all wires and a mount for the system unit.

But the most important thing is to choose the right table height to avoid awkward postures. This will prevent musculoskeletal problems and movements that could even cause you to accidentally fall. That is, you need to choose a table whose size matches your body type and height, or opt for an adjustable table, the height of which can vary. The superiority of the transforming table is convincingly demonstrated by its advantages:

  • health care – by alternating sitting and standing positions when working, you avoid the harmful effects of prolonged sitting on the body;
  • versatility of use – the adjustable table can be used by the whole family. A table with a memory function for height positions, for example, allows you to program a specific button for each family member. If your child needs to lower the table lower, he will simply press the necessary buttons – this trick will not work with a regular table;
  • increased productivity – many studies confirm that when working while standing, productivity increases by 10-15%.

In addition to the table, you should take care of an ergonomic chair that can be adjusted in height. Good work chairs have important characteristics:

  • the ability to adjust the height of the chair and the depth of the seat;
  • a properly profiled seat guarantees adequate thigh support during working hours;
  • allow you to select the backrest angle and adjust it according to your preferences;
  • necessary support for the spine – especially the lumbar region;
  • adjustable height and angle of the headrest;
  • soft pads on the armrests and the ability to individually adjust them.

Correct lighting

Lighting plays an important role in any work environment. Insufficient or excessive light strains the eyes, increases fatigue and reduces productivity, and can also lead to minor accidents. Therefore, you need to ensure that the light is strong, illuminates the entire space evenly, and does not cause reflections on the computer screen. Maximum use of natural light is encouraged.

Noise background

Noise is an insidious threat to work. It has been proven that it not only distracts attention, but also increases stress levels, with all the ensuing consequences. When arranging your workspace, you should protect it as much as possible from noise sources.

Equipment location

The main suspects in musculoskeletal injuries are… screens and keyboards. Their ill-considered placement leads to incorrect body position and tension. Ergonomic placement should ensure that the keyboard and screen are positioned so that your wrists are in a neutral position without strain, and that the top of the screen is at eye level.

Some more recommendations

If you have a job that requires you to sit a lot, you’re at risk for “new smoking”*: Sitting for long periods of time has serious health side effects because it puts too much strain on your body. Regular breaks are absolutely necessary, ideally with light exercise (such as stretching).

A sedentary lifestyle has become known as the “new smoking”. Even those who exercise more than 300 minutes a week are at risk of dying prematurely. This conclusion was reached by physiologists from the Department of Medicine at Columbia University. They examined the health of more than 8 thousand American volunteers over 45 years of age. results published in the National Library of Medicine of the US National Institutes of Health. “People who sit a lot during the day have an increased risk of premature death. This risk is highest in those who sit for more than 12.5 hours a day overall and for more than 10 minutes at a time.” quotes The Inertia.

Make sure the work area is clear and free of obstructions and the floor is not slippery. Whatever equipment a person uses for work, he must ensure that it is placed in a thoughtful way, so that he does not have to make “unnatural” movements to use it, so that he does not have to strain to reach it. And here, in addition to emerging health problems, there are also risks of accidents.

Tangled or untidy cables on the floor are a “fall hazard” as well as a “fire hazard”: cables that are stepped on or become tangled are more likely to fray on the outer sheath. Take the time to position them without creating a hazard.

*The term “sitting is the new smoking” was coined by Dr. James Levine, who said the following:“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV, and more insidious than skydiving. We sit ourselves to death.”

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