The sudden need to work from home might mean that you are currently having to work on the sofa balancing your laptop and a cup of tea. Whilst we’d never recommend this posture, in the present climate this may be your only option. So, we are going to endeavour to provide a few suggestions on how you can work on a sofa and minimise the risk to your back.
Top tips to help if you need to work on a sofa
- Is this really the only option? Sitting on the sofa might initially feel comfortable but long term your back is going to suffer. Have you got a table in your home that you could work from instead? Swap positions so you sit for some of the time at the table and some of the time on the sofa. If you’re finding sitting at the table uncomfortable read our blogpost on for tips on how to work at the kitchen table.
- Put a cushion under your bottom. Most sofas are lower than a standard chair, so when you sit your hips are lower than your knees. To help counteract this, sit on a cushion to try and raise your hips up a bit. Or use a sitting wedge to help correct the squidge factor. If you are suffering from sciatica then a coccyx wedge will be even better.
- Put another cushion in your lower back to provide some lumbar support. Or use the great Dorsaback to provide support all round for your back.
- Stop reaching over to use your laptop on the coffee table. In terms of ergonomic crimes, this is one of the big ones. The strain it will put on your lower back will have you reaching for the pain killers quicker than anything. Bring the laptop to you, balance it on a cushion if you must (careful your laptop doesn’t overheat). A much better option would be to use a laptop tray table.
This is not a position to sit in for hours working on your masterpiece. If you are going to sit on the sofa you need to build in very regular breaks (we’d suggest every 20-30 minutes). The basic rule is if it hurts when you get up, you’ve left it too long. So, shorten the time between working and the next break. The breaks don’t need to be that long, a quick stand and a few paces around the room will do.
If you’re still struggling now might be the time to bite the bullet and invest in a proper workstation at home. The homeworking section on our website shows everything that we can currently despatch