Ergonomic Tips for Working in a Bed

By Ryan Fogel,

woman working in bed

Long hours working from a bed is detrimental to your posture, causing both long-term and short-term discomfort. There are many problems associated with working in bed, including practicing bad ergonomic posture.

While working in a bed is hardly ideal, some individuals have no choice. They may be suffering from an injury or illness that leaves them bed-bound. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to protect your posture and health:

Improve Posture with Pillows

Working from bed requires supporting the back and neck when sleeping, but your sleeping pillows are not recommended for this. Since you are sitting on a bed, which is already a soft surface, you need the extra lumbar support a wedge pillow provides, or one that has extra filling that supports the lower back. An ideal support pillow should be extra-long, enough to contour from your spine to your shoulder and back. The goal is to have you sitting up fairly straight, as if you were sitting on a chair.

Light for Working, Not Just Reading

Your lighting has to be as good as you would have it at your desk or reading chair. Your task light should not cast shadows on your work material or create glare. If either one occurs, try to reposition the light. The shade may need to be higher on a night table to be able to disperse more light, in which case, it can be placed on a hard book or two to elevate it. Another option is a wall lamp.

Ambient light is also important, when working on the bed you tend to use more space than if you were reading. It is sensible to have more than just a reading lamp to illuminate your work area.

Elevate Your Workspace

Consider purchasing lap desks, bed trays, or cushions for laptop use while in bed. They will slightly elevate the work surface, which helps to maintain a good posture and encourages longer work.

Transition from Work to Sleep

Sleep experts recommend not to work in bed at night, especially if you already suffer from insomnia. But if this habit is not one you are planning to break, then add some decompression time to help with work-sleep transitioning. For many of us, this includes reading and watching TV.

Find Your Best Time

Working in bed doesn’t have to be a nocturnal activity. Some people work in bed in the mornings and feel best at that time. Although this can make you stay there till noon, which is not healthy. Get out of the bed every 30 to 45 minutes to stretch your legs and refresh as blood circulation improves. You will find that you return better, and more relaxed.

Working on a bed cannot replace having a dedicated home office. To achieve an optimal ergonomic workstation, it is important to hire a Specialist to examine your current workplace. At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we can evaluate your current workspace, find ways to make it more ergonomic, and then provide and install the necessary equipment to do so. To learn more, contact us today!

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How to Stay Productive While Working from Home

By Ryan Fogel,

young productive woman working from home

For many people, working from home has increased their productivity. Nevertheless, others have struggled to make the transition. This has become especially difficult now that more and more offices are switching to a permanent work from home policy. So, what can you do if you’re struggling to stay productive while working from home? Here are a few tips:

Create a designated workspace

While working from home, you may be tempted to do your work on the couch or even in bed. But this can easily cause you to get distracted. Suddenly you’re watching TV or looking through social media rather doing your work. To get you in the right mindset, create a designated workspace. Ideally, this would be a separate room in your house, but if you don’t have the room, a small corner in your living room will do just fine, too.

Plan out your day

Creating a structured, daily schedule can commit you to your work. How you create that schedule will depend on your own preferences. Some people do just fine with a to-do list, while others plan out exactly what they’re going to do each hour of the workday.

Take a break

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. It also makes Jack a stressed boy. The more stressed you are, the less productive you are. As such, try to schedule a few breaks into your workday. Go outside, take a walk, or listen to a meditation practice to help you step away from your work. You’ll come back more rejuvenated than ever before.

Find out your most productive time of day

You’ll read dozens of articles that encourage people to get up early and get to work as soon as possible. And while this may work for some people, it may not work for everyone. Different people are productive at different times of the day. As a result, you’ll want to structure your schedule so that your most important work is done during those most productive hours. But how do you know when you’re most productive? Read over this article to help you find out.

At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we believe that ergonomic equipment can help boost productivity in the office and at home. Contact us today to learn more!

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How to Organize Your Home Office

By Ryan Fogel,

How to Organize Your Home Office

Many Americans have now permanently switched from working in an office to working from home. However, in order to stay productive, you need a proper home office and workspace. Organizing your home office can help you do just that. Here’s where to start:

Purge what you don’t need

Papers, notepads, pens, and other junk can quickly pile up. Before we know it, our desks are overflowing with month-old reports. Take some time to go through your entire workstation and sort through items you need and items you don’t need. Whatever you no longer need, either throw it out or shred it.

Invest in drawer organizers

Drawer organizers can be a life-changer. Even after purging your workstation of old items, you will likely still have pens, pencils, folders, and other items that you want to keep long-term. Organizing these items will not only keep your desk clutter-free, but it will also make it easier to find those items in the future.

Get a bulletin board or white board

If you’re like most people, you probably need to write notes and reminders for yourself throughout the day. If you don’t want these notes cluttering your desk, you can invest in a bulletin board or white board. Not only are they great for notes, but you can also use them for to-do lists, business cards, calendars, and more.

Color code

When you start organizing items in your drawers and around your desk, you should take the extra step of color coding everything. This will make it easier to find necessary items if you’re in a rush. You can use your system for your document holder, your drawer organizer, and even the notes you keep on your bulletin board or white board.

At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, our ergonomic evaluations can help you create the perfect home office. Contact us today to learn more!

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Stretches and Exercises to Reduce Your Lower Back Pain

By Ryan Fogel,

Stretches and Exercises to Reduce Your Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is an extremely common phenomenon for American workers, with about 31 million experiencing it at any given time. To help reduce your lower back pain, you can perform exercises to strengthen and stretch out the muscles and ligaments. These exercises can even be done while working at home, or on break at the office.

Child’s Pose

  • A traditional yoga pose that is easy to perform
  • Sit down on your knees and stretch your hands forward (your upper body should be lying on top of your legs)
  • For a deeper stretch, separate your legs (still keeping them bent at the knee)
  • Hold for 1 minute

Knee-to-Chest

  • Lie on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor
  • Keeping one leg bent, lift the other and bring it towards your chest, clasping your hands around your thigh or shinbone (whatever’s most comfortable)
  • Hold for 1-3 minutes then switch legs and repeat

Lower back rotational stretch

  • Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor
  • Slowly turn your legs over to one side, keeping your shoulders flat on the ground and your arms stretched out on either side
  • Hold for 5-10 seconds and then switch sides

Pelvic Tilt

  • Easy to do for people with limited movement
  • Lie on your back with both feet flat on the floor
  • Engaging your abdominal muscles, flatten your lower back against the floor (if you can’t slide your hand underneath your lower back, you’re doing it right)
  • Hold for 10 seconds then release
  • Repeat 3-5 times

While these stretches and exercises can help reduce your lower back pain, they won’t solve the problem completely. To do so, you need an active lifestyle and ergonomic furniture to prevent lower back pain from occurring in the first place. At Accredited Rehabilitations, we can help you find the perfect ergonomic furniture to prevent and reduce your lower back pain. Contact us today to get started.

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How to Stay Active While Working from Home

By Ryan Fogel,

How to Stay Active While Working from Home

We’ve discussed how you can stay active and get more steps in while working in an office. But what about when you’re working at home? Staying active while working from home is even more difficult than when working in an office. After all, there’s no commute, and if you live in small quarters (like an apartment), you have less room to walk around.

So, if you’re working from home, here are some tips on how you can stay active:

Get up once each hour

Any kind of movement helps, no matter how small. Even if you’re just standing up for a few minutes each hour, that means you’re being more active than sitting at your desk for 8 hours straight. And frankly, you don’t need to do a lot to see benefits. Recent research has shown that simply increasing the number of steps you get (no matter how small that increase is) will bring overall benefits to your health.

Pro Tip: If you have trouble remembering to get up each hour, set a reminder. Some devices even have this automatically built in, like the Apple Watch.

Be creative

If you live in a small space, you’ll need to get creative in how you stay active throughout the day. Here are a few tips:

  • Stand up while on a phone call
  • Invest in a standing desk
  • Get a stationary bike and use it while working
  • Take a five-minute break and dance along to your favorite music
  • Do some desk stretches

Schedule time for exercise

Working from home allows for a more flexible schedule. As such, you should have some more time to work out each day. You don’t need to work out for an hour each day; as we said, even just a little bit of movement is beneficial. So, find a time during your day that you can commit to some light exercise, be it yoga, Pilates, a walk, or indoor cycling.

If you have trouble motivating yourself, use some of these tips:

  • Tell yourself you’ll exercise for five minutes. If you’re like most people, you’ll stick around for longer.
  • Put on your workout clothes when you get up in the morning (after all, you don’t have to dress for the office).
  • Schedule your workout during the time of day you have the most energy
  • Set up a reward system
  • Don’t overdo it—plan to work out only a few times each week instead of every day

At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, our ergonomic equipment can help workers stay healthy, even at home. Contact us today to learn more.

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How to Set Up a Home Office in a Small Space

By Ryan Fogel,

How to Set Up a Home Office in a Small Space

Due to the coronavirus, we have said goodbye to our cubicle and hello to home offices. While working in our yoga pants and PJs sounds fun, the reality of work-from-home is much different. Most of us don’t have spacious studies or home offices to take advantage of. Instead, we live in small houses or cramped apartments that weren’t built for us to live and work in.

Here we discuss how you can set up a home office no matter how small your space is:

 

Check for outlets

Chances are that you need a workspace with access to electricity. Unless you want cables strewn about your floor, you should aim for an area that is nearby an electrical outlet. If you can’t get near an outlet, then keep the wires and cables along the wall so that they don’t become a tripping hazard.

Purchase the right desk

If you don’t have a large space, then you shouldn’t get a large desk. However, there are small desks that can maximize the space you have. Corner desks, for instance, take up very little floor space but offer plenty of room to work on. You could also purchase a floating desk or a small writing desk that can be pushed up against the wall.

Use vertical storage

Your small desk likely won’t be able to store much of your supplies. Vertical storage can be the solution. Set up a few floating shelves above your desk for you to keep your pens, papers, and other office supplies. This will free up floor space while keeping your home office compact.

At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we offer ergonomic office equipment that can fit into any space. Contact us today to learn more!

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Ergonomic Lighting Tips for the Office and Home

By Ryan Fogel,

When you hear the term “office ergonomic,” the first things you will think about are chairs, desks and keyboards. While all of these are crucial to proper office ergonomics, ergonomic lighting is also crucial, as it is able to prevent the development of a condition known as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) that presents with symptoms such as blurred vision, neck pain, headaches, itchy eyes, insomnia among others. Furthermore, poor lighting can contribute to general discomfort, drop in productivity, an increased propensity for errors, plummeting morale and a sharp reduction in mental alertness.

Many workers do not take ergonomic lighting seriously and it’s common to see someone hunched over their keyboard in a dim lighted room or typing away under harsh, fluorescent lighting. For sensible ergonomic lighting interventions that can keep your eyes healthy and help to avoid neck pain, here are a few tips:

1. Work Under Lights Not Too High or Too Low

When office lights are too dim, this will cause employees to squint or strain their eyes to see what’s on the screen. Not only does it reduce efficiency, it can cause vision to deteriorate over time. The problems are similar with bright lights, especially as they make images on computer screens appear washed out. The ideal scenario is to have employees able to read what’s on their screen without having to strain. For a dim room, put in a little brightness with supplemental table lighting. For bright rooms, consider taking one or two bulbs out to reduce the brightness.

2. Go for a Soft Yellow Light

Lights that are yellow toned are much easier on the eyes and have a pleasing effect on mood. Although many workplaces go fluorescent because of the numerous benefits it offers, chief of which is energy savings. This issue can be addressed by using the newest generation of incandescents. While they will not be as efficient as fluorescents, they are not as detrimental to your vision.

3. Watch the Placement of Your Lighting

Regardless of the light you settle for, one area of concern you may deal with is glare, especially when it comes to computer screens. That’s why indirect lighting is the best. Never position lights to bounce off the screen. Also, try out glare filters for computer screens, and glare shields for immovable lights that shine too brightly.

4. Keep Monitors Away from Windows

Screens near windows pose a high risk of glare. What’s more, if a window is placed directly behind a screen, it can create a situation where there is too high of a contrast between the screen brightness and that of the window, making it hard for employees to see what’s on the screen. If screens cannot be placed in another position, a mitigation strategy is to use blinds and drapes, and window tinting.

5. Adjust Lighting with the Time of Day

Staring at bright screens throughout the day has the capacity to influence circadian rhythms and interrupt sleep. To prevent this, you can download an automatic screen brightening detection app to either brighten or dim screens throughout the day.

To have a Specialist examine your lighting situation and to achieve an optimal ergonomic workstation, it is important to hire a Specialist to examine your current workplace.  At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we can evaluate your current workspace, find ways to make it more ergonomic, and then provide and install the necessary equipment to do so. To learn more, contact us today!

  Filed under: Ergonomics at Home, Ergonomics Office Design, Ergonomics Risk Management
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How to Treat Work-From-Home Burnout

By Ryan Fogel,

How to Treat Work-From-Home Burnout

Any modern-day student or worker is more than familiar with burnout. It’s that feeling of utter physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion, brought on by a relentless workload and prolonged stress. However, many thought they might get a break from the burnout cycle with everyone working from home. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Due to a mixed bag of pandemic anxiety, economic woes, and an increasingly blurring line between our work and home lives, more and more Americans are falling prey to work-from-home burnout.

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be this way. With a few lifestyle adjustments, you can recharge your batteries and find better ways to cope with stress and anxiety.

How to Spot Work-From-Home Burnout

The first step in treating work-from-home burnout is recognizing it in the first place. The critical thing to look out for is the persistence of your exhaustion or anxiety. If you can’t seem to sit down and relax, or if you wake up to each morning with dread, you may be suffering from burnout.

Here are a few more signs to look out for:

  • Difficulty starting or completing tasks
  • Losing track of tasks
  • Lack of motivation and increasing apathy towards work
  • Mood changes
  • Poor sleep or insomnia
  • Other physical symptoms, such as chest pain, gastrointestinal distress, headaches, heart palpitations, etc.

How to Treat It

Work-from-home burnout is different from other kinds of burnout. You don’t have that work-life separation as you did in the office, so it’s easier for your work-life to creep in and disrupt your home-life. This is why you have to create clear set boundaries and stick to them to regain any sense of normalcy again.

Set office hours

Sure, you’re not in an office, but you can trick your mind into thinking that you are by creating office hours. This will provide further boundaries between your work and home life, teaching your brain when to focus on work and when to focus on the home.

Take time off

Taking some time off may seem silly during a pandemic, but it can do wonders for your mental health. It gives you a chance to unplug and step away from your work for a few days. You don’t even have to go out for the weekend to experience the benefits. Put all of your work equipment away, turn off your email notifications, and relax for the next few days.

Create a workspace

A dedicated workspace can also provide a better boundary between your work and home life. Preferably, your workspace should be in a separate room that you can close it off from the rest of the house once you’ve finished working. If you don’t have space, you can create a small workspace with a desk, chair, and more. Once you’ve completed work for the day, turn everything off and don’t touch that area until the next day.

At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, our ergonomic furniture and evaluations can help you create the perfect workspace in your home. Contact us today to learn more.

 

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How to Design a Healthy Home Office

By Ryan Fogel,

How to Design a Healthy Home Office

For most of us, the coronavirus has forced us out of our office buildings and into our homes. While there is certainly an appeal to working at home, it’s important that you build yourself a healthy home office to keep yourself productive and fit during this time. Here we provide you with a few tips to get you started:

Use a desk

When you start working from home, there is the temptation to just do all of your work on your couch or in your bed. However, if you are able, it is highly recommended that you use a desk instead. Doing so will improve your posture and your productivity, ensuring that you get your work done instead of laying around on the couch.

Bring in some natural light

It has been proven time and time again that the more natural light we are exposed to, the happier and healthier we are. Natural light can also make us more productive, boosting our energy levels and encouraging us to get our work done. So, draw open those drapes and let in some sunlight before you get to work.

Find the right chair

If you work a desk job, then you’re going to be spending most of your ours sitting. While you should try to get up and walk around throughout the day, you will have to spend some of your hours in a chair. So, make sure that chair is a comfortable one. Opt for ergonomic furniture that has plenty of back support to keep your posture tall and upright.

Adopt some plants

The natural world can do wonders to our health and well-being. This is true with sunlight as well as plants. Installing just a few potted plants around your home office can boost your mood, energy levels, and productivity.

At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, our ergonomic furniture and evaluations can help you build a healthier home office. Contact us today to learn more.

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Make your Workspace at Home More Ergonomic

By Ryan Fogel,

With most people are telecommuting these days, it is important to consider how to make your workspace at home more ergonomic. While you may find it easy to respond to an email from the kitchen counter or write a few emails while lying in bed, working under these conditions for an extended period of time can cause you to experience aches and pains.

Consider reviewing your home setup to ensure it is ergonomically sound and to ensure overall body wellness in the future. Here are some tips to evolve your home office and preserve your physical health:

1. If you use a laptop, get a laptop riser and external keyboard

Although it can be convenient using laptops and notebooks, they are not great to use on an ongoing basis. Due to the fact that laptop screens and keyboards are attached to each other, this causes you to bend and/or twist your neck while looking down to view your keyboard. A laptop riser will allow you to put the laptop at a comfortable monitor height, and an external ergonomic keyboard will allow you to type comfortably with your arms in a neutral posture.

2. Sit with elbows and knees at a 90-degree angle

The optimal ergonomic sitting posture is as follows: sit with your spine straight, knees and elbows bent at 90-degree angles, and/or use a footrest to ensure your hips are level with your knees. A chair/desk combination that lets you fit this 90-degree configuration is vital. There are a variety of ergonomic chair options that can provide you with the right support.

3. Look straight ahead at your monitor

Your monitor should be positioned at a height that allows you to look straight, without having to bend your neck. This means elevating the monitor to the correct viewing height or using an adjustable height monitor stand if necessary. Additionally, avoid positioning your monitor at an angle where you have to turn your head to see it.

4. Switch it up

There are many dangers associated with sitting for long hours. Take microbreaks by alternating between sitting and standing for short periods of time. This prevents muscle fatigue by allowing you to move around. Another option is utilizing a sit/stand desk, which will allow you to continue working in a standing or sitting position throughout the day.

Making your home workspace ergonomic is a decision that will prove greatly beneficial to your overall physical health for many years to come.

To achieve an optimal ergonomic workstation, it is important to hire a Specialist to examine your current workplace.  At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we can evaluate your current workspace, find ways to make it more ergonomic, and then provide and install the necessary equipment to do so. To learn more, contact us today!

  Filed under: Ergonomics Assessment, Ergonomics at Home, Ergonomics Risk Management
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