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The Importance Of Ergonomics In Your "Work From Home" Office




Home Office Desk and Computer

With the onset of Covid-19, many people began working from a home office space. Some people have always worked from home, while most were unprepared for this radical change. Now many companies are transitioning to permanent full-time or part-time work-from-home. 

Many people are working from makeshift workstations such as the kitchen table or a small desk in a corner of a room. When they bought or rented their living space, they didn’t foresee or plan for needing a workspace at home for doing their day job. Regardless of what kind of space you’re using, it’s crucially important to plan your workspace with good office ergonomics to avoid serious injuries.

What Kind Of Injuries Could I Get From Poor Workspace Ergonomics?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a repetitive-motion injury to your hands and wrists. You can get this injury from typing or other repetitive motions where your wrists are bent in an awkward position for prolonged periods. This painful and disabling injury can be avoided by having the right ergonomics in your computer workstation.  

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is injury to your hands and elbows. Repetitive motions such as reaching, lifting, and bending the elbow can cause this injury. Leaning on the elbow for prolonged periods can also cause Cubital tunnel syndrome. Symptoms include pain, numbness and, eventually, clumsiness and limited use of the hand. 

Sciatica (Herniated Spinal Disk) is injury to your back caused by sitting for extended periods. Sciatica is a painful condition which could eventually affect your ability to walk, sleep, and sit. This disabling injury can get better if you stop working or doing activities to aggravate it. It takes around 6-weeks to heal.

The above are only a partial list of the painful and disabling musculoskeletal injuries you can get from poor workspace ergonomics.

It’s Crucial to Plan a Home Workspace that Includes Proper Ergonomics  

Most employers are aware of the need to consult with experts and plan company office spaces around ergonomics. This actually saves time and money because there are less workplace injuries and employees are more productive when they’re not in pain. Also, since workspace injuries can be disabling, some workers have to file for workers comp and take off work for a period of time to allow their injury to heal, or even permanently.

If you’re an independent contractor, home office equipment that provides for proper ergonomics can be written off as a business expense. If you’re a regular employee, your employer may want to help you to obtain the right equipment to work safely from home. 

  • Ergonomics in your workspace is a safety measure that benefits everybody and can save a lot of money in: medical bills and higher insurance premiums
  • overtime paid to other employees filling in for you in a medical emergency
  • overall productivity

The most important reason to create a safe home workspace with good ergonomics is to avoid becoming temporarily or even permanently disabled and limited in your abilities to move, exercise, and enjoy life. You want to stay healthy, happy, and physically fit, and continue to enjoy doing the work you love to do.

About the Author: Mike Williams has covered the topics of health and wellness, including ergonomics and assistive technology for over 15 years.

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