The Top Work at Home Risks

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Are you working at home during Covid and are starting to experience pain in your back, neck, arms or hips? As time goes by, more and more people are starting to experience pain after working in awkward postures for months and months. With our home office ergonomic consultations, we commonly see employees working all over the house.

Many people are working in awkward postures all over their house. They are working in ways that create a high risk of discomfort, which can lead to injury if sustained over time.

The Top Ways You Should Not Work At Home if You Want to Feel Great

#1. Sitting on a sofa with a laptop working from 8-12 hours a day with no back support, all while looking down at a laptop 

Working in Discomfort at day is a risk

#2. Working from a chair that is either too low or too high that creates “contact stress” on the soft tissue of the wrist

Contact stress on the desk edge

#3. Leaning in too close to see a laptop monitor or a desktop monitor, creating neck and hand awkward postures. 

Don't Lean Forward in Your Chair

#4. Sitting with no back support 8-12 hours a day, often because the chair is too big or too small, not comfortable, or can’t be adjusted to move into the desk properly

]Back hurt from not sitting in chair

#5. Sitting on a stool at the kitchen counter with no back support, while working on a laptop 

Sitting on a stool with no back support on a laptop

#6. Sitting on a hard kitchen chair and kitchen table for 8-12 hours a day

Many people all over the U.S. are sitting like this. Hard kitchen chairs were meant to sit in for 1 hour while eating, not 8-12 hours a day while typing.

#7. Working from bed creates awkward postures of the back, shoulders, neck and hands

Twisting the body and looking down at the monitor. Awkward postures in bed

This is an example of healthy postures for working 8-12 hours a day. It is impossible to work like this from a bed, a sofa or a hard kitchen chair.

Ideal Posturing for healthy home office workers

From a safety risk prevention standpoint, MSD injury with office work occurs as a result of sitting in awkward posture all day with repetition, which over time creates discomfort, which leads to injury.  This can occur from improper posture, products that are not the right size, or a lack of products.

It is the best idea to create a dedicated work station and to avoid working in the following areas.

  • Kitchen table with their hard kitchen chair
  • Bed (This is quite common)
  • Sofa
  • A chair the employee bought online (often it is too big, too small, or creates additional pain)
  • From a home office desk (not one designed to work at all day)
  • A fold-up chair or table
  • Barstool at the kitchen counter
  • The floor
  • Patio chair
  • Sharing a “home office” desk where bills are paid with a spouse
  • Some have an office, but often it hasn’t been set up to properly work all-day

If you are sitting on the couch using your laptop with your neck leaning down all day, your neck will likely start hurting. If you do this for months, that pain can turn into an injury.

These work settings put the employee in awkward postures, which if done every day leads to discomfort and injury.  Companies have a choice to either ignore or address this with a solution.

About the author

Annie Berzanski
CEO at | 619-546-0872 101 | annie@pacificergo.com | Website | + posts

Annie Berzanski is proud and honored to be the CEO of Pacific Ergonomics, a full-service San Diego ergonomic company with consulting and ergonomic product solutions. Her team helps employees and employers thrive. Annie leads a customer service obsessed team with certified ergonomists and Account managers who help employees increase productivity and feel great working. At the same time, Pacific Ergonomics helps companies decrease and prevent costly Workers Comp claims from work-related Musculoskeletal Skeletal Disorders (MSDs.) Annie is a certified office and industrial ergonomist. She is passionate about helping her customers create customized solutions that have a bottom line impact, make employees healthier and decrease risk of injury.