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New normal? Here are some home office strategies for the long haul

File photo
File photo

After months of working and learning from home, many families are settling into what has become the new normal.

So if your kids are doing their schoolwork on the kitchen table while you take conference calls from your bed, Consumer Reports can help you set up workspaces for the long haul.

As long as you understand some simple principles of ergonomics, you can use them in different work areas. It’s important that your body is in good alignment to minimize the strain on it. The basics of good posture are the same for kids as well.

Start with your chair. If your lower back doesn’t meet the back of your chair comfortably, put a pillow behind you. If your feet don’t reach the floor, place them on a stable footrest.

Next, make sure the bend of your arms is anywhere from 90 degrees to 115 degrees. Your eyes should be an arm’s length away from the computer, with the monitor at eye level.

Some people prefer to add a second monitor for comfort and efficiency. CR recommends the Dell Ultrasharp 24-inch and BenQ 23.8-inch displays.

You may also want to consider a standing desk, but some can come with a hefty price. While standing all day isn’t better than sitting, a standing desk gives you the ability to move around. And movement is more important than ever now to stay healthy. Remember to change positions and take visual, physical, and cognitive breaks.

In addition, to avoid eye strain, experts recommend following the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look 20 feet away.