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A healthy workstation/home workstation

Whether you have a permanent, flexible or a home workstation, it is essential for your health that the workstation meets a number of conditions. Your working posture, for example, is very important.

Set-up a workplace at home

Of course, your home situation is slightly different from the occupational health and safety support that we normally offer at the UT. We ask you to be as flexible as possible and to follow the guidelines below as closely as possible in order to be able to work at home as healthy and sustainable as possible:

  • Use a fixed time schedule to work;
  • Provide adequate lighting above your workplace;
  • If you have to make a lot of calls, preferably use earphones / headphones or the speaker function so that you have your hands free;
  • Do you have an office workplace at home? Then use it as you are used to in the office;
  • Do you have an office chair at a (dining) table.
    • Adjust the armrests of the chair for good, relaxed support of the arms. Make sure the shoulders are not pushed up;
    • Then raise the chair seat so that the armrests are at the same height as the table top;
    • Put something under the feet so that the thighs are horizontal. This prevents pinching of the blood vessels at the edge of the seat;
  • Don't you have the above? Then try raising the chair if necessary. This so that when your forearms are on the table, you don't have to shrug the shoulders;
  • Rest the arms well on the table with the keyboard slightly further away. But keep the back straight and avoid leaning over.
  • Avoid typing with outstretched arms. This gives an increased tension in the arm, shoulder and neck muscles.
  • Alternate sitting at the table every half hour with walking, moving or doing exercises. For example, walk around while phoning.
  • The golden rule for pausing is minimal 5 minutes every hour.
  • If possible, use a separate keyboard at the table and place the laptop on a platform (for example, a stack of books). This so that the top edge of the screen is slightly below eye level.
  • If you use a separate monitor, set it to the above height.
  • Place your monitor about an arm's length away.
  • When working on the laptop, without a separate keyboard, be extra alert to relax your shoulder and neck muscles and move extra, so that the muscles continue to flow.
  • Preferably sit in a place with the window on the side or behind you. It is extra tiring to look towards the daylight. If you suffer from light reflection on your screen, you can close the (net) curtains a bit;

For additional information see the RSI information on our website. 

The risks of working from home

Working from home is inextricably linked to working with a monitor. Physical strain and RSI are also risks for those working from home. Many physical complaints, such as tired eyes, and wrist, arm, shoulder and neck pain, are associated with intensive monitor work. The longer someone works without a break, the more the complaints increase. RSI stands for Repetitive Strain Injury and is the term generally used for physical injury as a result of repetitive strain. RSI is collective term for chronic conditions affecting the neck, shoulders, elbows and/or wrists. For more information about RSI, go to www.utwente.nl/rsi.