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Has the kitchen table become both a reading room and a study?

How to avoid repetitive stress injuries when studying from home.

Image may contain: Cup, Coffee cup, Sitting, Tableware, Drinkware.

Illustration: Colourbox

Studying from home is usually okay for shorter periods, but a short period  is very different from studying from home all the time.

As far as possible, avoid working in your bed, couch or other areas not intended for work. Strains and stress injuries do not occur suddenly. They come slowly and are the result of poorly adapted equipment, poor posture and repetitive work.

Unfortunately, if you get this kind of injury,  it can take a long time and be a  difficult process to get rid of.. It is therefore best to prevent these injuries from occurring at all. This means that we must redo our homes into safe and healthy places to study.

These tips can help you make simple adjustments to your work area to keep you productive and injury-free.

  • If you can regulate your chair and table, you should take advantage of this opportunity.
  • When sitting, the chair should be so high that your entire footsole is planted on the floor when the knee joint has an angle of approximately 90 degrees.
  • If the chair is too high, you may want to find something to put under your feet.
  • The table should be so high that the elbow joint is 90 degrees when the forearm and hand are flat on the table.
  • If you have the opportunity, it is advantageous to provide good forearm support either by using the table top or armrests on the chair.
  • Use an external mouse or similar if possible. The built-in TouchPad on a laptop is not optimal for long-term use.
  • Make sure you have good support for the lower back. If you do not have a chair with such support, use a small pillow or rolled up towel to support your lower back.
  • It is a myth that you should sit with your back straight. It is actually better if you have the opportunity to lean back a little.
  • Screens are demanding for our vision. Try to set the screen as far away as you comfortably can.
  • Laptop screens are small. Use a larger external screen if you can.
  • Do not place the screen too high.It is easier for our eyes to see slightly downwards. The top of the screen should be approx. 10- 15 degrees below eye level when looking straight ahead.
  • Think about the light you have in the workplace. Avoid placing your workplace so that you look straight into a luminous surface or light source (direct glare). Also avoid mirroring of light sources on the screen (indirect glare).
  • However, the most important thing is to take breaks. Get up, move and look at something more than 6 feet away. Our eyes benefit from variety.
  • If you have the opportunity, you may want to stand and work as a variation.

Additional resources

Sources: These text is based on research and texts from the Department of Psychology at the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Faculty of Educational Sciences and the Faculty of Law.

 

Published Apr. 3, 2020 12:39 PM - Last modified Apr. 3, 2020 12:51 PM