Ergonomic Tips for Working From Home in an Emergency

As a company that provides essential services to our community, many of Carson’s staff are on the front lines delivering the fuellubricants and heating oil required to keep businesses running, machinery functioning, and homes warm. Supporting them is a team of staff members who, like many, rapidly adjusted to work from home in order to protect everyone in our communities.

The health and safety of all our staff is of utmost importance to Carson. We recognize that working from home comes with its own unique challenges, and we’re grateful to our at-home warriors for their flexibility and sacrifice for the good of us all. To help them in adjusting to their new environment, Ron Meyers,  our Director of Health, Safety and Environment, crafted some tips. We decided to share it with our greater Carson community because many of you are likely going through similar transitions.

By now I’m sure those of you working from home like myself have a daily routine down amid the COVID-19 pandemic, you might find that your makeshift office is a literal pain in the neck, much like mine is.

Many of us don’t have ergonomic office chairs, and working for extended periods of time at your kitchen counter or hunched over a coffee table is not great for your body and overall health. That means you have to be extra aware of your posture and work routine, so you can combat the stress and strain that might come from working in a compromised position. 

Below are some great tips to help combat the home office potentially poor ergonomics potential and break up your daily home-office routine:

Put a pillow on your seat

Placing a thin pillow underneath your seat can go a long way to making an ordinary chair a lot more comfortable. If you don’t have a pillow, you could also fold up a fluffy towel for the same effect.  Draping a soft towel over the back of your chair is also a small thing that can make your chair feel plush.

Add a rolled towel for lumbar support

If you’re someone who struggles with lower back pain, lumbar support pillows that rest on the back of your pelvis will increase comfort while seated. You don’t need to buy a fancy pillow to accomplish this effect, also rolling a towel and placing it between your chair and lower back works too!

Put your feet up

Supporting your feet on an elevated surface, or stretching your legs long increases circulation and can feel nice.  Ideally, your hips and thighs should form 90-degree angles when you sit in your chair, but you can move your feet back and forth for exercise.

Elevate your laptop

Laptops are never going to be ergonomically good, because the monitor is either going to be too low or the keyboard is going to be too high.  Ideally, the top of your monitor should be just below eye level, so you don’t have to strain your neck to read.

If you’re working on a reading-intensive task, prop your laptop up on objects (like a stack of books or shoeboxes) so it’s eye-level, then, when you need to type, you can lower it to a level that allows your arms to be bent at 90-degree angles.

Take breaks!

Most of you take breaks to walk around when you’re in the office, but when you’re at home “we have a tendency to just be focused,” so you might forget.

Set a timer to go off every 30-60 minutes max to take a break for three to five minutes. Get up and walk around, go outside and get some fresh air or do some quick stretches at your desk, drink some water or have a snack. 

Adding regular exercise, even if it’s low-level activity, is really important to keep your body healthy and avoid back pain.   

Thank you all for your sacrifices during these times,  I hope you and you’re families are well, and remember we are here for you!

Carson has been providing essential energy and business services since 1938, and we will do so throughout this crisis and beyond. Continue to contact your Carson representatives through normal channels. You can help us protect our staff by 1) keeping a safe social distance of at least 6 feet while they service your home or business 2) calling to set up an appointment before stopping by one of our locations. We thank you for trusting us to be your partner during these unprecedented times.

New to Carson? Contact us to learn more about how we can support your business or home.