Ergonomics in the post-pandemic age

April 5, 2021

The good news: the light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel is growing larger. Millions of Americans have been vaccinated and are beginning to emerge into society again. The effect that the pandemic has had on the way we lives our lives has been significant and research is revealing that some of our adaptations are here to stay.

According to a recent article on Fox Business News, "More than half of workers, 61%, who have been at home since last March say they would like a hybrid work schedule where they go into the office only two or three days a week. Another 27% want to work remotely full-time, and only 18% want to go back into the office full-time." Judging by these statistics the corporate environment will have changed permanently. As the Covid fog lifts, it appears that remote working is actually preferred for numerous reasons and employees are opting for a work from home environment at least at a hybrid level.

The March 2020 shut-down forced most office employees out of their offices and into makeshift work spaces, often created at kitchen tables, couches and even beds. With working from home now becoming the norm, what is happening with those makeshift office spaces? How much postural discomfort are these workers experiencing on a daily basis? Here are some ways to improve your ergonomic environment if plans to return to the office are not in the cards.

  1. Consult with your Human Resources Department regarding a stipend for new, ergonomic office furniture for your home. It doesn't hurt to ask.
  2. Hire an ergonomics specialist to help you create an office space that is designed for your body to decrease the neck,

    shoulder

    , low back, etc, discomfort you're having from working at a sub-optimal work station.
  3. Get up and move for 1-2 minutes every 30-60 minutes. Do some jumping jacks next to your desk, walk up and down the steps a couple of times, whatever it takes to get the blood pumping and those muscles that have been holding you steady a break.
  4. Use the time that you used to spend commuting to benefit your health: mind/body/spirit. Now that the weather is getting warmer and our daylight is increasing, go for a walk or a bike ride outside if you can. If you have a yard, spend some time in the grass and observe the nature around you. Seek out a little natural vitamin D, with sunscreen on, of course.
  5. Remember your posture. An ergonomic set-up will assist your in maintaining good posture and your body will thank you for it.

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