Teleworking offers cost-benefit advantages, both for the employer and for the worker, such as flexible schedules, reduced expenses by avoiding commuting to the office, more time to do housework and share with the family. However, now the time we spend in front of a computer, using a mouse or keyboard is much greater.
Due to the pandemic, working from home has been the common denominator since 2020 and, thus, resulting in an increase in the number of people with pain in the upper limbs, which represents a 15% and 52%. Some triggering factors are due to ergonomics, design of the working area, work stress and of course the excessive use of the mouse and keyboard.
Since teleworking has come to our lives to stay, it is necessary to review the ergonomic conditions of the workplace at home, to achieve greater comfort, efficiency, but above all to prevent future ailments in the upper limbs, specifically in the hands.
- It must have a proper height allowing the support of your forearms on the work table.
- Feet must be flat on the ground or on a footrest.
- Avoid sitting on the edge of the chair, since your back should always be supported by the back of the seat.
- If you need to add support to the back, it is recommended to use a roll of towels that should be located across the back and between the shoulder blades.
Desk or working area
- The mouse and keyboard must be at elbow level.
- The height of the monitor should be adjusted, ensuring that the upper third of it is at the level of your eyes.
- When working with a laptop, you should use elements that could help to improve its height, such as elevators or books.
- When working with a laptop, the ideal is to have an external keyboard that allows you to rest your forearms on the table, this will keep your wrists straight but relaxed at the same time.
- Avoid placing the laptop or external keyboard at the edge of the table because this location will not allow ideal forearm support; if the table space does not allow it, a chair with armrests should be used.
- The use of a vertical mouse avoids certain types of repetitive movements such as dorsiflexion and ulnar deviation of the wrist, since these movements can cause pain in the thumb area.
For more recommendations about the use of the mouse, keyboard and mobile devices, you can read the blog article: tips for a better use of the mouse and keyboard.
It is suggested to take moments of rest during teleworking, being advisable to take short active breaks of 1 to 2 minutes, every 30 minutes, thus avoiding bad postures or repetitive movements, since this will let you will change your position and you will be able to perform some exercises.
To find out which exercises are recommendable to relax your hands and wrists while teleworking, watch the active breaks video.