In this day and age, we do a lot of repetitive tasks. Not only at work, but at home too. Ergonomic design, which helps people stay healthy as they perform tasks, isn’t just for workers. 

Using proper techniques at home can help avoid repetitive stress injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome. They’re bothersome and take so long to heal.

Standing ergonomics

Do you have a hobby, like quilting, that’s best done standing? Proper posture is important to avoid straining your back or neck. Just like your mom told you! 

Keeping your neck cricked to do your work, like looking down at your cellphone, leads to neck problems. Arms need to be bent at a 45 degree angle for your work. Most tables, especially folding tables, are too low for quilters to work at comfortably, unless they’re specially designed. 

If you have a folding table at home, you’re in luck. It’s pretty easy to get a set of folding table risers that lift your table up to kitchen counter height. Then you won’t strain your muscles to do your piecing (or whatever your hobby happens to be!)

 

Sitting ergonomics

Anyone use computers at home? Pretty much all of us do. Scrolling through social media, or posting updates, or writing a research report for school? Prevent injuries by arranging your house to work for you.

If you’re spending any time at all at the computer, you probably need a real office chair. Your lumpy old sofa or extra lawn chair just isn’t going to take care of your back. 

Feet should be flat on the floor. Neither dangling, or conversely, with  knees up by your ears. If you’ve got short legs (no judgement!) just get a footrest. Try a repurposed monitor stand, or get yourself a shiny new one. 

Support your lower back with a pillow or rolled-up towel if you need to. Make sure the seat isn’t too long and doesn’t put pressure on your legs.

 

At the computer

Your monitor’s position should have the top of the screen at or a tad below eye level. If you work on a laptop, most likely you’re going to need an external keyboard and mouse.

Did you ever take piano or stringed instrument lessons? Your teacher told you to keep your wrists straight, right? Instead of letting them flop down lower than your hands. 

Same with typing and mousing. You can try an ergonomic keyboard and/or mouse for extra help. Properly adjusted, your arms are bent 90 degrees at the elbow and you can keep your wrists straight.

Surprisingly, sitting is actually worse for your body than standing or lying down. Or moving around. If you’re just relaxing in front of the screen, feel free to lie down on the sofa to watch your favorite show! Otherwise, sit up straight. (Thanks, Mom.)

 

Summary

Keep your body healthy at home by adjusting your environment! Let proper posture guide you to a strain-free home.

Do you have any other home ergonomic hacks? Share in the comments!