Home Office

Working from Home – Office Ergonomics to help mind & body

With the COVID-19 outbreak, many of us are finding ourselves working from home for the first time. I’ve read a lot of great posts about how to get the most of out of your office ergonomics to help prevent pain and discomfort, so I won’t be covering that all here again – instead, I’d like to talk about the things you can do in your home office (or as you might know it, your couch, dining table, kitchen island, or spare bedroom) to get the most out of your workday. 

Physical Ergonomics while working from home 

Lots of great tips are floating around the internet on how you should set up a home office, so I won’t spend much time doing that here. At the end of the day, many of us didn’t have much time to prepare for this big change in our working life – so the chances of running out to the store to grab a spare monitor and keyboard are pretty limited. 

That being said, do what you can to get yourself in a good posture – and if you can’t, moving around your home office can be a big help. Sitting on the couch with your laptop on your lap, and your neck constantly bent down is a recipe for neck pain – but if you mix that in with sitting at the kitchen table, standing at the counter, or other mixed postures – you can introduce the kind of movement that helps keep you comfortable.  

Distancing your Home Office from your living space 

This has its challenges for those of us working in apartments or smaller areas – but try to set up a work area or home office space in your house. When you work all day where you relax all night, it’s tough to get that mental distance between when your brain is “on” and you’re now trying to watch some Netflix. If you can’t do that physically, try to set up your schedule where you get dressed into working clothes for your work day, and change into your more casual attire once you’ve finished your job. 

Give yourself a break 

Take a break
Photo by The Lazy Artist Gallery from Pexels

We have entered a time that none of us have ever been prepared for – the world is changing at a pace we have never seen, and there’s news coming out every 15 minutes that shakes your core. Give yourself a chance to adapt to the new normal and don’t beat yourself up over writing less words per minute, making fewer connections with prospects, or making a mistake in your spreadsheet. You need to give yourself the mental space to adjust and berating yourself (or your co-workers) won’t help. We’re all in this together, and it starts with taking care of yourself! 

Now when it comes to taking a break, a change of scenery can help you mentally and physically. Instead of checking the latest news sites, go for a short walk, take a stretch break, or get some exercise.  Get out of that home office and refresh your mind.

Rely on the tools at your disposal 

Both Android and iOS operating systems have tools for managing your working hours to minimize distractions when your day is done. Using these will help you disconnect and allow you to manage stress levels better.  

None of this is gospel, and much like anyone reading this – we’re all trying to figure things out as we go! Take care of yourself, help those who need help, and we’ll be back to gathering around the water cooler in no time. 

 Learn more about office ergonomics in my earlier article here.

Dr. Michael Sonne, PhD, CCPE
Dr. Michael Sonne, PhD, CCPE

Mike is the creator of the Rapid Office Strain Assessment, or ROSA, which is being taught at numerous universities around the globe.

Improve Office Ergonomics

Office ergonomics can improve (or hurt) well-being

Did you know that over 60% of office workers are feeling discomfort? Or that musculoskeletal disorders (MSD’s) account for a third of workers’ compensation claims? Improving office ergonomics is quickly becoming a necessity.

This inspired the creation of the Rapid Office Strain Assessment, or ROSA. This online tool guides users through an office ergonomic self-assessment. ROSA provides immediate recommendations on adjustments that will reduce their risk of discomfort and eventually injury.

ROSA has been around for a few years and is a science-based process that has been peer-reviewed. For example, there are over 170 citations around the globe of the original paper. The methodology is now being taught at several universities. It has also been translated into several languages.

Development and evaluation of office ergonomic risk

Cited over 170 times, this paper demonstrates ROSA’s efficacy.

Actual Results in the Office

There are also real-world examples of how ROSA has improved office ergonomics with tangible results. In fact, a Top 20 globally ranked university has been using ROSA for their office ergonomics program for a few years.

As a result, 87% of their users were able to make meaningful changes to their workstations. Discomfort levels have steadily dropped, reducing the risk of discomfort or MSD’s by ~20%.

In another example, Hamilton Health Sciences achieved similar results. In a one year time period, they completed 431 assessments and noted a decrease of ~45% in computer workstation MSDs.

As a result, Lisa Gilmour, Manager Health, Safety & Wellness Initiatives said, “The results provided meaningful change and helped improve the wellness of our colleagues.”

The Impact of Office Ergonomics

Each MSD incident can cost thousands of dollars. These are meaningful results that can improve the well-being of your employees and their productivity. So your business saves money and increases productivity.

To learn more about ROSA, click here, or contact MyAbilities here.

Dr. Michael Sonne, PhD, CCPE
Dr. Michael Sonne, PhD, CCPE

Mike is the creator of the Rapid Office Strain Assessment, or ROSA, which is being taught at numerous universities around the globe.

MyAbilities hosts webinar to transform workplace ergonomics and introduce self-administered ROSA – Rapid Office Strain Assessment – to new audiences

MISSISSAUGA, Ont., February 25, 2020 – MyAbilities, innovator in smart health technology and workplace safety, will host a webinar tomorrow, February 26, to help organizations reduce their lost time injuries due to poor office ergonomics.

“On average, the office worker spends two-thirds of each day at their desk,” says Dr. Michael Sonne, vice president of innovations and research at MyAbilities. “For the rest of their day, they’re often working with cellphones, tablets, and other electronic devices. Combine that with hot-desks and mobile offices, proper ergonomics becomes an even bigger challenge for the modern worker than it was a decade ago”.

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) are on the rise due in part to the lack of emphasis by employers on proper office ergonomics. Posture, contact stress, and improper seating continue to be contributing factors of MSDs.

“Providing office ergonomics is no easy task,” says Jacob Lazarovic M.D., chief medical officer of MyAbilities. “ROSA teaches employees how to adjust their current office equipment for proper ergonomics in order to minimize injury and MSDs. Simple adjustments to your desk, computer screen or even your posture can provide long-term health benefits for the entire body. ROSA is peer-reviewed and has a firm basis in research, making it a great tool to be the foundation of an office ergonomics program.”

Created in 2012 by Sonne, Rapid Office Strain Assessment (ROSA) focuses on risk-assessment for ergonomics and provides guidance on proper setup for the workplace. ROSA can reduce lost time on the job by proactively improving office health for employees through proper office ergonomics.

This will be the second webinar organized by MyAbilities this year. A first one was held, January 15, 2020, to introduce JobXweb.com, the company’ s digital job profile analysis database.

To attend tomorrow’s webinar, please click here.

About MyAbilities Technologies Inc.

MyAbilities is an employee health management technology company that delivers transformative injury prevention and return-to-work solutions through a cloud-based data analytics SaaS platform powered by artificial intelligence.

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Media contact, resources and information:

Alex Wu
Torchia Communications
(416) 341-9929, ext. 239
alexwu@torchiacom.com

Webinar Registration click HERE