Goodnet: Five easy home office ideas when you are working from home

Research and tips from UC ergonomics expert cited in online publication

COVID-19 has forced many companies to ask employees to work from home. If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to consider a few quick fixes to your home office furniture to make sure that your space is ergonomically safe. Kermit Davis, PhD, a University of Cincinnati College of Medicine professor, offered a few tips about your chair, desk and placement of your laptop in your home office space.  His latest research assessing ergonomics and home office space among UC employees was also referenced.

Davis suggests using a pillow to elevate seat height in your chair and placing a pillow or rolled up towel behind the back to provide lumbar and back support. Wrapping armrest when they are low and not adjustable is also a good idea. A common mistake is placing the monitor of a laptop too low in relation to our eyes for an extended period. It can lead to poor posture, especially in the back and neck. Davis proposes some easy fixes for this. When using the laptop on your lap, place a lap desk or a pillow under it to raise the monitor.  And when using the laptop on a desk, use an external keyboard and mouse, and raise the monitor by placing books or a box under the laptop.

The choice of a desk and how it is set up in terms of positioning your work tools and objects also impacts comfort and productivity for workers working at home. Davis suggested trying to avoid use of the couch, bed or dining table as a work surface when possible because it can lead to poor posture and discomfort. If getting an appropriate chair is not possible, you can try switching between a sitting workstation and a standing workstation. 

Read the full interview with Goodnet.

Learn more about the research of Kermit Davis, PhD.

Featured image of Kermit Davis, PhD, taken by Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand.