Due to hurricane damage, the Havelock location is closed until further notice. Havelock therapists Hannah Zhang, Sarah Hall and Judy Hickes are available to see patients at the New Bern location. Please call the New Bern location at (252) 636-9800 to discuss your care.

Should I have an ergonomic assessment done for my home workstation?

Ergonomic Assessment

Ergonomics is the art of designing equipment to fit people rather than forcing people to adapt their bodies to the equipment. In other words, it is the proper application of material handling, safety, and medical science to create a safe and comfortable workplace.

An ergonomically designed work space reduces strain on the body and improves overall efficiency. While many workers associate ergonomics with their office jobs, it’s also essential in a home setting, as many people are working remotely, sometimes for extended hours.


4 ergonomic assessment steps for the home office

Ergonomics also addresses how to modify the way a job is done to make it safer and easier on the body (especially while recovering from an injury). Here are four basic steps involved in an ergonomic assessment for a home office:

  • Step 1 — Sit in your current chair with your feet on the floor and check whether the backs of your legs rest comfortably against it. If not, consider upgrading to a chair that can be adjusted for height and seat depth or adding a footrest.
  • Step 2 — Place your hands on the keyboard and mouse (or trackpad). Check if your elbows are at about 90-degree angles with forearms parallel to the ground. If not, you may want to purchase an adjustable keyboard tray to slide it out from underneath the desk and push it back in place when not in use.
  • Step 3 — Check the distance between your eyes and monitor: Your eyes should be roughly level with the top of the monitor and no more than an arm’s length away. If you have multiple monitors, consider getting an adjustable monitor mount so they can all be adequately aligned at eye level. Consider buying a monitor stand or stacking books under it to raise it to eye level for monitors that cannot be adjusted.
  • Step 4 — Make sure all cords are out of the way and properly secured, so they don’t get tangled up during use, potentially causing trips and falls.


3 benefits of an ergonomic assessment

The goal is to keep your body in neutral positions that minimize strain and discomfort, especially in the back, neck, shoulders and wrists. Here are three other benefits:

  1. Improving posture and reducing discomfort — Working at home is often associated with reclining on the sofa or sitting at a kitchen table, to the detriment of our bodies. An ergonomic assessment will help you identify the best way to sit and how you can support your spine and neck to minimize any pain or discomfort.
  2. Creating a healthy working environment — Ergonomics looks at how the body interacts with its environment. Our workstations should be designed to suit our bodies, not the other way around. During an assessment, a physical therapist will look at everything from your chair and desk height to the position of your computer screen, keyboard and mouse.
  3. Increasing productivity — It’s essential for us to feel comfortable doing our jobs well. An ergonomic assessment will identify where there is room for improvement in your home office to work more comfortably and productively.


Peak Performance can assist you with an ergonomic assessment for a more comfortable home office

Are you feeling body strain because of the setup of your work environment? One of our physical therapists can thoroughly evaluate your body, current and past medical history, and home and work environment. We virtually simulate or re-create specific tasks or setups to get a clearer idea of the nature of your work and your general capacity for performing such work and create a customized plan for your ergonomic needs.


Contact us today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.