Ergonomics for your home workstation

Are you starting to experience any of these symptoms after working at your home work station?

  • Discomfort
  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Loss of motion/flexibility
  • Stiff joints
  • Tingling

Listen to your body – these are symptoms that the ergonomics of your home workstation may not be right.  Make changes to your ergonomic environment at home so that your body is in a neutral position (DOA Proper Neutral Posture poster).  You want to avoid awkward posture (ex. slouching – shoulders should be relaxed and should have a straight line from lower back to top of head), avoid reaching out to get to keyboard or mouse (should be close enough to reach easily when your elbows are at 90 degrees), have your feet flat on the floor, and keep knees at 90 degree angle (if sitting).

The State of Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) provides some additional helpful resources:

If you sit at a desk or table to work at home, consider making some small adjustments so that you are more comfortable.  In the example above, the picture on the right shows how she used items easily available at home to improve her work area.

  • She added a patio furniture cushion to her chair
  • Put a box under her laptop to improve her neck alignment
  • Connected a keyboard and mouse to her laptop to improve her posture
  • Put a shoe box under her feet to keep her knees at a 90 degree angle (could add a non slip pad under if needed)
  • Rested her wrists on a folded towel to improve her wrist position

Do you sit on the couch while working from home?  Here are some tips you can consider, that were used in the second photo.

  • Add a cushion or pillow behind your back
  • Use a TV tray or card table for your computer/keyboard
  • Put laptop on a box to improve neck alignment
  • Have feet flat on ground to improve circulation

If you stand while working at home, here are some tips that helped in the photo on the right.

  • Wear shoes for better support
  • Put laptop and/or keyboard on a box to change their height
  • Connect keyboard and mouse to laptop

Some other tips:

  • Monitors should be placed directly in front of you at the same height, so that your eyes stare straight ahead at them. (DOA Workstation Arrangement poster)
  • If you have two monitors, your primary screen should line up with your dominant eye (ex. if your right eye is your dominant eye, your right monitor should be your primary screen).
  • Do you have sufficient lighting that doesn’t glare on the screen?  Consider adding a lamp or supplemental lighting to your work area.
  • 20/20/20 rule – every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds to avoid eye strain.
  • Every hour, take a stretch break – stand up, stretch your arms, neck and legs.  Do some hand stretching exercises.  (DOA Take A Break! poster)
  • Apply Ergonomics While Working From Home – helpful brochure from DOA

Please evaluate your home work station, and implement some of the changes noted above so that you feel more comfortable and keep your body healthy while working.

Returning to the Work Site

In an upside-down world, sometimes good news can cause mixed feelings.

For instance, if you or a family member was furloughed, temporarily laid off, or asked to work from home in response to the COVID-19 epidemic, being asked to return to work can be great news—wrapped in fear. With a bow of anxiety on top.

That’s OK. That’s a normal reaction.

Make a Personal Plan

Some states are very slowly starting to reopen work sites, shops, schools, and public spaces. Venturing back into these spaces may cause feelings of fear, worry, and even anger.

It may help you to know that many other people share your anxiety. It’s a healthy response. Use it to motivate yourself to make a solid plan for returning to work. Here are some things you should know before creating your plan:

  • How COVID-19 is transmitted.
  • Basic infection prevention measures.
  • The signs and symptoms of infection.

Execute Your Plan

Now that you have some solid science-backed information, start your plan. The best plan is one that you create and feel you can execute. Below are some suggestions. You can rearrange, skip, or add items as you need or want to. This is your plan.

Make sure you continue to:

  • Exercise to reduce stress and boost your immune system.
  • Get enough sleep to help your body manage stress and boost your immune system.
  • Eat healthy to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to prevent infection.
  • Meditate to calm your mind for clear thinking and better focus.

Start working on:

  • Figuring out how you will ease back in to work—Create a calendar, step-by-step plan, or tactical report—it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you have a plan.
  • Making household arrangements—Talk to family members about their concerns and expectations. Don’t wait until the day before to line up daycare, meals, etc., if you usually take care of those things.
  • Getting your supply list together—Start a list now of the things you want to bring with you.
  • Learning to avoid touching your face—Seriously. You would be surprised how often and unconsciously you touch your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Things you can do when back on the work site:

  • Discourage coworkers and visitors from using your phone, computer, tools, or other work items.  If you must share, be sure to wipe down all surfaces between users.  And try not to use others’ items as well.
  • Keep a 60%-alcohol (or higher) hand sanitizer at your desk or in your tool bag or pocket.
  • Try to maintain space between yourself and coworkers.
  • Stay home if you are sick.  Ask others to do the same.
  • Know and follow your employer’s guidelines about staying safe at work.

Source: The StayWell Company, LLC

8 Areas to Clean While Quarantined

Sneezes, coughs and handshakes aren’t the only way to spread illness-causing germs. Viruses like COVID-19 can linger around your home, too.

Take some time to clean a few high-touch spots in your home, and check out the Resources section of the Well Wisconsin portal for more coronavirus-related information.

8 AREAS TO CLEAN WHILE QUARANTINED

  1. Smartphones and tablets: Clean frequently with disinfecting wipes.
  2. Doorknobs and light switches: Disinfect them using 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water.
  3. Cutting boards: Wash acrylic, plastic, glass and wood boards in the dishwasher.
  4. Toys: Wipe or dunk toys in a diluted bleach solution (see above), and then let stand for three to five minutes before rinsing with clean water.
  5. Dishrags and hand towels: Machine-wash rags often using the hot cycle and replace sponges frequently.
  6. Sinks: Wash frequently with hot, soapy water.
  7. Pillowcases and sheets: Wash regularly in hot water and detergent.
  8. Computer mice and keyboards: Wash your hands frequently and wipe the mouse and keyboard down with antiseptic pads.

Source: The StayWell Company, LLC

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Programs Available

Fallveggies

Eating vegetables and fruits provides many health benefits, such as providing nutrients, help maintaining healthy blood pressure, reducing risk of some chronic diseases, reducing cholesterol levels, lowering risk of heart disease, and protecting against infections.  As we know, it can be more challenging to eat healthy during winter, so it is important to make a contentious effort.  One way to get more healthy vegetables and fruits in our diet is to participate in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).  Two area CSA’s provided us information about their programs (details below), but you can find out about other CSA’s in your local community through a quick internet search or word-of-mouth.

Garden to Doorstep Organics LLC: https://www.gardentodoorsteporganics.com/

  • Information about discount promotion for UW-Green Bay:
  • Garden to Doorstep Organics LLC offers year-around produce, and you can select from two different sizes of fruit only boxes or two different sizes of vegetable/fruit mixed boxes.
  • If enough people sign up, we could have our produce boxes delivered to UWGB each week!  Please click here to sign up by Friday, November 29th.

SLO Farmers Co-Op: https://slofarmersco-op.com/

  • SLO Farmers Co-Op is offering a fall CSA in November and December.  Some items may include winter squash, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, microgreens, onions, potatoes, radish, leeks, Brussel spouts, kohlrabi, beets, and parsnips.  They also have honey, meat and eggs available!

 

 

Backyard Chickens Lunch ‘n Learn held April 30th


IMG_0241 (2)

Thank you to Liz Biversie, Agricultural Educator with UW-Madison Division of Extension, for presenting the Backyard Chickens Lunch ‘n Learn on Tuesday, April 30th to 12 employees and students!  She IMG_0238shared a wealth of information including things to think about when considering raising backyard chickens, types of chickens that are good for laying eggs or providing meat, how much space you would need for each chicken, potential predators and diseases, and helpful resources available on the UW-Madison Division of Extension website.

Dr. Ron Kean, UW-Madison Division of Extension Poultry Specialist, also provided knowledgeable IMG_0237answers to our questions.  Monika Pynaker, UWGB Manager of Network Services, shared stories of her much-loved chickens, as well as helpful insight and pictures of her leghorns and their nice chicken coup!  Thank you to everyone who attended as well as Liz, Ron and Monika!

 

Backyard Chickens Lunch ‘n Learn

PicHave you ever wanted to learn more about raising backyard chickens?  UW-Madison Division of Extension Agriculture Educator Liz Binversie will provide some tips and tricks to help start your own backyard flock.  UW-Madison Division of Extension Poultry Specialist, Dr. Ron Kean, will also help answer questions via remote technology.  (Our own Monika Pynaker will also share a little about her experiences raising chickens!)  Please join us for this interesting and fun presentation, and feel free to bring your lunch.

Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Time: 12:00 to 12:45 pm

Place: 1965 Room, University Union

Presenters: Liz Binversie, Agriculture Educator with UW-Madison Division of Extension & Dr. Ron Kean, UW-Madison Division of Extension Poultry Specialist

RSVP: wellness@uwgb.edu

Note: This lunch ‘n learn was originally scheduled for 3/28/19 and was cancelled, so this is the rescheduled date.

Cancelled: Backyard Chickens Lunch ‘n Learn

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Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Backyard Chickens Lunch ‘n Learn for Thursday, March 28th has been cancelled.  The Wellness Committee will be looking to reschedule the event for a future date.  Please contact wellness@uwgb.edu with any questions.

 

Have you ever wanted to learn more about raising backyard chickens?  UW-Madison Division of Extension Agriculture Educator Liz Binversie will provide some tips and tricks to help start your own backyard flock.  (Our own Monika Pynaker will also share a little about her experiences raising chickens!)  Please join us for this interesting and fun presentation, and feel free to bring your lunch.

Date: Thursday, March 28th

Time: 12:00 to 12:45 pm

Place: 1965 Room, University Union

Presenter: Liz Binversie, Agriculture Educator with UW-Madison Division of Extension

RSVP: wellness@uwgb.edu

Stick with water today

DrinkWaterMany of the drinks you’ll encounter today contain lots of calories and few, if any, nutrients. Non-diet soft drinks, energy or sports drinks, fancy coffees, and other beverages sweetened with sugar can mean extra pounds over time. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says people consume about 400 calories per day in beverages. So today, try drinking only water, both with and between meals.

Sticking with zero-calorie water is an easy way to cut calories and get a jump on your weight-management goals. Plus, water is usually an inexpensive option. Drink water from the tap at home—it’s the cheapest way to stay hydrated. When you’re headed out and about, fill a water bottle and toss it into your bag or backpack. You can refill it throughout the day. Bonus: You’ll help the environment by reducing waste.

Article from the StayWell Company, LLC

Choose three things to donate or throw away

DonateHave you ever felt overwhelmed by your stuff? Maybe your kitchen cupboards are packed with unused gadgets and servingware (how did you end up with two blenders?). Or maybe it’s your closet that’s the problem—it’s so stuffed with clothes, shoes, and other belongings that it’s hard to find what you’re looking for.

Most of us have far more possessions than we need or even want. Why not cut back on the clutter and choose three things from your home to donate or throw away? If the item may be useful to someone else, set it aside for a charity or resale shop. If it’s broken or useless, throw it out. Getting rid of even a few items can reduce clutter, help you get organized, and help you feel more in control of your environment—and your life!

Article from the StayWell Company, LLC

Also, don’t forget about the Campus Cupboard in Rose Hall, room 140: https://www.uwgb.edu/cupboard/

Fresh Produce Delivered Weekly to Campus

The Wellness Committee recognizes how crucial eating well is to staying healthy.  Countless studies show the value of increasing our vegetable and fruit intake, including increased energy and reduced risk for certain diseases and types of cancers.  Set a goal for yourself to eat more vegetables and fruits – take good care of your body and you will feel the positive results!

Garden to Doorstep Organics, LLC is a local family business that delivers fresh organic fruits and veggies each week.  They will be on campus on Thursday, May 17th at 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at a table in the Union near the entrance to the Leona Cloud Commons across from the Phoenix Bookstore.  They will bring a box of produce to display so you can see in person what the boxes are like.  They will provide information about their program and answer any questions you have.  Please stop by and be entered in a drawing for a free box of produce!

Here are some details:GardenDoorstep

  • Each week there is a different variety of 100% organic produce
  • Two types of boxes available (Fruit/Veggie Combo boxes or Fruit only boxes)
  • Three sizes of each type of box available (you pick the size that best fits your family)
  • Each week you will know which produce is planned for your box.  You will also receive a newsletter each week with recipes using the produce in that box and tips on how to store each item.
  • They work with local farmers and wholesalers to provide organic produce year round.
  • You pay for your boxes with automatic payments through PayPal, by check or with cash.
  • Boxes will be delivered to campus on Tuesdays to Rose Hall, room 320 for you to pick up (NOTE: if you aren’t on campus over the summer, they will deliver to your home for free, as long as you live in their delivery area)

Please contact them with any questions at (920) 385-3253 or contactus@gardentodoorsteporganics.com