Ergonomic Tips If You Must Work in Bed

      Ryan Fogel    Filed under: Ergonomic Injury Prevention, Ergonomics Assessment, Ergonomics at Home

Long hours working from a bed is not great for your posture and can cause pains and discomfort. There are many problems associated with working in bed, including practicing bad ergonomic posture. For example, many people who work in bed tend to place their bodies in awkward positions or prop themselves up with their elbow.

Working in bed is not the ideal work environment; however, if you’ve got no choice, ensure you are working as ergonomically as you can. Here are some things you can do:

Improve Posture with Pillows

Working from the 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 a 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!