Movement is Medicine: How to Work Safely at Home

Use these tips from Michigan Tech faculty and staff to be more physically comfortable and safer while learning, working and staying healthy at home.

For many, the biggest challenge with remote work isn’t keeping the cat off the keyboard or responding to the toddler who informs your Zoom webinar audience that she needs to use the bathroom now. Instead, it’s preventing strains, pains and other potential injuries caused by working in unaccustomed, unhealthy positions. Another concern: sitting more and moving less throughout the day.

While some workplaces, including Michigan Technological University, have activated plans for how to resume onsite operations, the phase-ins are gradual and fluid – and can rapidly change. For employees here in Houghton and around the globe, working remotely at least part of the time might continue to be the reality for the foreseeable future.

Chris Maxon, general safety specialist with MTU Environmental Health and Safety, regularly checks with his colleagues across the country to share the latest industry info. To say that the global pandemic has caused an uptick in ergonomics concerns is an understatement.

“More people than ever are working at home,” he said.

In Michigan Tech’s Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology (KIP), Carolyn Duncan, assistant professor, and Steve Elmer, associate professor, bring their specialized expertise to the question of how to work in an unfamiliar work setting – like home.

Duncan worked as an ergonomist before she became a researcher. “I’ll be covering this topic in detail in my ergonomics course this fall,” she noted.

About the Researchers

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