With so many people working from home, the Staff Advisory Council asked us to provide guidance to staff on how best to set up an ergonomic home office. We talked to Frank Pekarski, Manager of Safety & Environmental Compliance, and he provided these helpful tips and resources.
- Feel free to take easily movable furniture home. While there may be variations from department to department, the college generally supports this as a reasonable approach. College office chairs are purchased with ergonomics in mind and may be better for you than chairs you have at home.
- Take breaks. Getting up to walk around for just 1-3 minutes, about 1-3 times an hour, can make a big difference in comfort levels.
- Take advantage of what your home has to offer. If you have a place at home where you do yoga or stretching, that’s better than just doing chair stretches. Have a staircase? Walk up and down the stairs. Have a dog? Take them for a walk around the block!
- Build habits you can take back to the office. Times of turbulence like this offer us the opportunity to build new habits. Now that you’re here and thinking about ergonomics and other healthy working practices, build habits that will serve you for your entire career, whether you’re working from home or in the office.
Tip Sheets and links to further resources:
- Computer Workstations eTool – This website offers comprehensive guidance on simple, inexpensive principles that will help you create a safe and comfortable computer workstation. It includes a checklist you can use to adjust your workstation and make it more friendly to your body.
- How to Adjust Office Chairs – Guidance from the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety
- Stretching – At the Workstation – Again, you may be better off stretching anywhere else in the house where you have the space, but if you’re busy and want a quick stretch at your chair, these stretches are for you.
- Reducing Eye Strain – This web page has a thorough discussion of everything connected with the topic. Frank says: “The bit on the 20-20-20 Rule, near the end of this page, is especially helpful! Every 20 minutes, stare at something about 20 feet away, for about 20 seconds.”
- Healthy Workstation Guidelines – Standing (pdf)
- Healthy Workstation Guidelines – Sitting (pdf)