What is it about?

This is an observational study based on an online questionnaire and two photos (side and back or overhead views) by people working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic. Productivity was perceived as changed for 10 of the 16 respondants, most frequently positive. However four (25%0 noted increased pain or fatigue intensity in the areas typically associated with office work: eyes, head/neck, lower back and shoulders. Working posture was often not as recommended: while most (15 of 16) had an adjustable chair, 6 did not use traditional chair-sitting for up to half their working day. Three quarters noted their trunk posture was not upright at least 10% of the time. Only half had their legs properly supported.

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Why is it important?

People working from their home may be limited in the layout and equipment available for their office work. In this case, most respondants had access to an appropriately adjustable chair, but their working conditions were still less good than in a formal office. It is crucial to understand real working conditions to ensure worker needs are met and musculoskeletal discomfort already present in formal workplaces are not worsened by home-based work.


While the population was small (16 people) and we did not ask where they originally worked, the data appears respresentative of the general population (demographics) and observed home-work challenges are clearly described.

Nancy Black
Universite de Moncton

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Measuring pandemic home-work conditions to determine ergonomic recommendation relevance, Work, January 2022, IOS Press,
DOI: 10.3233/wor-210726.
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