Preventing Stress Injuries While Working From Home

Sarah Donley, MS, OT, CHT, COMT-UL, demonstrates correct guidelines for improved ergonomic posture at your work station, as Caitlin McCormick, MS, OTR/L, CHT, narrates.

Are you working from home, away from a desk that was designed for your typical work day? If your new desk and chair are less than ideal, there are still ways you can reduce the chance of developing repetitive stress injuries due to poor posture while working from home:

  • Position your knees, hips, and elbows at 90 degrees.
  • The monitor should be directly in front of you and raised to eye-level so you can see the contents without bending your neck.
  • Sit at arm’s length from the monitor as a good viewing distance
  • Feet flat on floor or stable foot rest
  • Wrists flat and straight in relation to forearms to use keyboard and mouse
  • Arms and elbows relaxed and close to body
  • Keep the things you use most frequently within 10 inch reach (for example pen, paper, phone)
  • It is helpful to incorporate a few stretches throughout your work day. These include the prayer stretch, squeezing your shoulder blades together and rotating your neck side to side, bending your neck left to right, and looking up and down.
  • Finally, every 20 minutes, you should look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds to reduce strain on your eyes.

Caitlin McCormick, MS, OTR/L, CHT, and Sarah Donley, MS, OT, CHT, COMT-UL are Occupational Therapists with the Cooper Bone and Joint Institute. No matter your rehabilitation needs, Cooper University Health Care’s physical therapy and rehabilitation specialists provide specialized, focused, and comprehensive care. It’s our goal to help you restore function and enjoy an improved quality of life. Learn more at CooperHealth.org.

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