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American Stroke Foundation

Life SkillsSetting Up Your Home Office

Setting Up Your Home Office

Now that we live in a virtual world, people are spending more time on their computers, tablets, and phones. Whether it be at your office or when working from home, it is important to adapt your workstation to promote proper body alignment. This video describes how to adjust your chair and posture, position your computer, and methods for protecting your eyes from excess screen time.

Ergonomics (0:00-0:39)

Occupational therapists are trained in the study of ergonomics. OTs can provide suggestions for environmental and habitual modifications to help prevent workplace overuse injuries.

Seated Position and Chair Adjustments (0:40-2:33)

  1. Sit with your knees bent to a 90 degree angle with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Have a small space between the back of your knee and chair.
  3. Support your lower back against the chair.
  4. Keep your shoulders in a relaxed, natural position with elbows resting comfortably on the arm rest.

Ergonomic chairs typically have levers below the seat and on the side of the chair to make adjustments. Not all chairs can be adjusted, so try your best to be mindful of any changes you can make to your posture when working from home.

Setting Up Your Keyboard (2:34-3:19)

  1. Keep your wrist in a neutral position
  2. Keep wrists straight,
  3. Avoid twisting wrist to the right or the left
  4. Place the mouse close enough to the keyboard that you do not need to move your shoulder when reaching for it

Adjusting Your Monitor (3:20- 3:55)

  1. Adjust the height of the monitor so the top is at the same level as your eyebrow
  2. Keep the monitor one arm’s length away from your face

Working with a Laptop (3:56-4:49)

When using a laptop, there are limited options for making adjustments to the keyboard and monitor. Try placing the laptop on top of a binder and tilting the screen backward so your wrists are still in a neutral position and the top of the monitor is closer to your eye line.

Protecting Your Eyes (4:50-6:01)

  1. Adjust night light settings on your computer to adjust the hue of the screen
  2. Consider wearing blue light glasses
  3. Follow the 20-20-20 rule. After 20 minutes of screen time, look away for 20 seconds at an object that is 20 feet away

Get Moving! (6:02-6:41)

“Sitting is the new Smoking”. When working on a computer or at a desk for long periods of time, make sure to take stretch and movement breaks to improve blood flow and focus.

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