The goal of every ergonomics strategy is to reduce injury, improve comfort and boost productivity in the workplace. For decades, office ergonomics programs have focused on the individual in one standard workstation. But what about those who work outside of the traditional office?
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), mobile workers will account for nearly three quarters of the U.S. workforce by 2020. This is largely due to a steady rise in Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), hot desking and activity based working cultures. In these office plans, employees aren’t bound to single workstations and instead may choose from a variety of desks and communal spaces.
As the workforce shifts to flexible office environments, ergonomic principles are more important than ever. Read on for our tips for working comfortably, wherever your work takes you.
Although convenient, mobile devices are inherently not ergonomic. Because thumbs are used repeatedly in awkward positions, frequent texting can cause pain and repetitive stress injuries. Give your thumbs a rest by taking advantage of voice technology or alternating between other fingers.
Laptops and cell phones are also notorious for promoting hunched positions. Be sure to maintain an upright posture while using your device and avoid bending your head down or rounding your shoulders.
Working from Home
As tempting as it may be, working from the couch could do lasting damage to your back and productivity. Setting up a permanent workstation with a quality ergonomic chair is the first step for any home office. Next, invest in other essential components such as a sit/stand desk, adjustable monitor arm and task light.
While making calls at home, use a headset. Holding your phone up to your hear for long periods of time can cause pain and stiffness in your elbows, neck and shoulders.
The average American spends an average of 293 hours driving each year! Especially for those with a lengthy daily commute, it’s important to keep ergonomics in mind. Take a few minutes to adjust your car’s seat to best suit your height. Your hips should be as high as your knees and you should be able to comfortably see the road straight ahead of you. Next, bring the steering wheels down and closer to you to minimize reach and strain on your neck.
When traveling by air or train, be sure to move around and stretch throughout your trip. A little movement goes a long way!
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