Last reviewed 21 August 2020

The Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF) has published information to help people working at home to stay healthy, covering workstations, mental health and also temperature and lighting tips.

In terms of computer workstations, workers are advised to do the following.

  • Look straight ahead.

  • Don’t shrug shoulders.

  • Sit back, taking full backrest support.

  • Keep thighs parallel to the floor.

  • Keep up regular movement — getting up from the chair two or three times an hour to stretch and move.

  • Give eyes a break — at least every 20 minutes look 20 feet away for 20 seconds — the 20-20-20 rule.

  • Keep feet planted on the floor — a footrest is ideal.

As far as the environment is concerned:

  • make sure the temperature is comfortable aiming for around 22°C — not too hot or cold

  • let fresh air and light in

  • add a desk lamp and plants to your work area

  • use earphones, headphone or music to reduce noise distraction.

Stay mentally fit by thinking about the following.

  • Don’t be hard on yourself as you try to juggle childcare, home schooling and other commitments with work responsibilities.

  • Make sure you are getting enough sleep and create boundaries, eg no looking at emails at night or on weekends for example.

  • Make sure you have downtime to prevent home and work blurring unhelpfully — time outside and in nature may help.

  • If you are missing colleagues, organise some regular get togethers via conference calls or apps — just for a chat rather than to discuss specific work.

The Home Working and Staying Healthy information is available in the form of an infographic or interactive version online.