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In the wake of COVID-19 virus, telecommuting has become the norm to maintain business operations at the university. Even though many of us are working from home, safe work practices are still encouraged.

Smart Phone and Tablet Computers

The use of hand-held technology has revolutionized communications and many other aspects of life. However, if overused or misused, hand held technology can present physical challenges.

A photo showing the proper way to hold your mobile phone to avoid hand cramping.

  • Hand held technology (HHT) should be used in a portrait orientation to reduce thumb stress.
  • Alternate fingers (index) should be used to operate HHT.
  • For extended use of HHT, wireless input (keyboard/mouse) devices should be available and used.
  • HHT should never be used while driving.
  • Wired or wireless headsets should be used to avoid awkward arm postures while using HHT.
  • Watch your phone posture, the pressure on your spine dramatically increases when the head is tilted forward.

Seated Arrangement

Good seated posture is the cornerstone of a comfortable seated working arrangement. If a person is unable to sit comfortably, then it will be difficult to achieve high levels of performance, productivity and quality work. Often people do not know how to adjust their chairs. A few minutes spent learning about the various adjustments of your chair can significantly impact its effectiveness.

Charlie Coyote sitting at a computer showing proper computer seating arrangement.

  • Upper back should be reclined with shoulders relaxed and elbows at sides.
  • Backrest of the chair should support curve in the lower back.
  • Adjust your seat for optimal height.
  • The top of your monitor should be at eye level or slightly below.
  • Arms should be relaxed at your sides with upper arm and lower arm forming a 90-degree angle. Wrists are straight with fingers relaxed.
  • Lower legs are at a 90-degree to 100-degree angle to thighs with adequate leg room.
  • Feet are firmly on the floor or a footrest.

Keyboard and Mouse Arrangement

Good upper extremity and spine posture corresponds directly to the arrangement of the keyboard and mouse. If these items are too far away, then the arms are extended, which affects the shoulders and both the lower and upper spine. In addition, the technique with which the keyboard and mouse are operated directly affect the hands and wrists.

  • The keyboard and mouse should be on the same surface/plane.
  • The keyboard and mouse should be operated without reaching.
  • The shoulders should be relaxed, and elbows are about 90-degrees.
  • The keyboard and mouse should be at about elbow height.
  • The arms should not contact squared edges on the work surface.
  • The mouse should be operated with a straight (no wrinkles) wrist posture.
  • The keyboard should be operated with straight (no wrinkles) wrist postures.
  • A docking station with full-sized keyboard and mouse should be used for laptop computers.

Hazard Recognition at Home

This checklist is to help with hazard recognition while you work from home.