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Working from Home: The Long Game

Author: ergoCentric Seating Systems

In 1993, Management Guru Peter Drucker wrote in his book that “commuting to office work is obsolete” His vision did not quite come true back then. Then, COVID-19 hit. Suddenly, millions of workers started working from home.   

So, how’s all that going for you?

The DART & maru/Blue research polled (https://nationalpost.com/opinion/john-wright-on-covid-19-what-canadians-think-about-working-from-home)  at home Canadian workers in May, 2020 and found:

  • 52% want better seating
  • 48% want a better desk and working space
  • 19% better lighting

Amidst this mass work-from-home experiment, one thing hasn’t changed – what the human body needs. As you work, you need to maintain good alignment as you move through various postures that support your muscular and skeletal systems to avoid strain and overexertion.

Public health officials have informed us that Covid-19 is going to be with us until at least the end of 2021. It is clear it will cause permanent changes in how and where we work. Enter the long game. It is time to deliberately invest in an ergonomically sound workstation that yields benefits today and for years to come.

 An ergonomically sound workstation has the following characteristics: accommodates your body shape and size, allows you to move through multiple, supportive postures while maintaining your body in good alignment and supports you and your work tools. The components of an ergonomically sound workstation typically include a chair, work surface(s) and, accessories such as a monitor arm and/or footrest.

When searching for an ergonomic task chair, look for adjustable features to fine tune to your body dimensions so that your body is in good alignment for maximum support and comfort e.g. seat depth, seat height, lumbar support height, arm rest height and lateral position. To ensure you have the opportunity to move from one posture to another, look for a tilt feature e.g. synchro-tilt or multi-tilt that allows you to unlock the chair (both seat and back) so that you can gently tilt or rock to enhance blood flow. If you’re uncertain where to start, ergoCentric’s online chair fitting tool (https://ergocentric.com/online-ergocentric-chair-fitting/) provides recommended seating solutions based on your personal anthropometrics.

 

To maximize the return on your investment in an ergonomically sound chair, you need to place your computer equipment and other materials at appropriate heights and distances. Kitchen and dining room tables as well as products labelled “computer desk” are typically fixed at a height that is too high for many people. A height adjustable table  (https://ergocentric.com/product-category/height-adjustable-tables/ ) is often needed to allow you to set the work surface low enough to avoid stressing your body. Given the need to move more, selecting a height adjustment range that covers both your seated elbow height and your standing elbow height will allow you to comfortably move between sitting and standing postures. This can go a long way to help ward off the negative health outcomes of sedentary behaviour. You may also need to add accessories such as a monitor arm to properly position your screen. 

 

To get the most out of your ergonomically sound workstation, familiarize yourself with all the controls, make adjustments throughout the day and remember to take mental and physical breaks from work.



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