Home Office Ergonomics – Work from Home Comfortably
The recent Coronavirus pandemic has forced all of us to make changes to our lives. For many of us, one of the most significant changes is to work from home so that we are no longer putting ourselves or others at risk of catching the virus. However, not everyone has the perfect space for working from in their home, and spending too long working in the wrong position can affect your physical and mental wellbeing. If you’ve started experiencing problems such as neck ache, back pain, headaches, or stiff knees since you started working from home, how you are working is likely to be to blame. This is because very few people have an ergonomic setup. An ergonomic workplace refers to a workplace that is designed to fit the person that uses it.
Fortunately, whether you have a dedicated home office or you are working from a makeshift set up somewhere in your home, there are things that you can do to make working from home less of a pain. Here are our top ergonomic tips for working from home comfortably!
Position your screen at the right height
Screen height is an integral part of home office ergonomics, yet if you have a makeshift desk, chances are at the position of your laptop or computer screen isn’t right at all. Screen position may not seem important, but if it is incorrect, it can cause some very real, physical effects. For example, looking down or up at your screen can strain your neck, causing pain, stiffness and other symptoms. Ideally, your screen should be positioned so that the top is level with your eye height. If you need to add height to achieve this, consider using a box file or large book to place your screen on. Alternatively, you may need to use a laptop riser and a separate keyboard.
Use a separate keyboard and mouse
Speaking of keyboards, using a standalone variety can be much better for your wrists and forearms. This will help ensure that your forearms aren’t extended too far and that your elbows remain relaxed and bent at close to a 90-degree angle, which can help to prevent pain and swelling in the joint. Make sure your chair is at a height that enables you to achieve this bend in your elbows too.
Maintain good posture while sitting
Posture problems are one of the most common issues experienced by people who spend long periods of time sat in front of a computer or laptop screen. If you don’t work from home regularly, you are unlikely to have an ergonomic chair that will give your back adequate support, so you will have to use cushions or a rolled-up towel to help keep your spine straight.
Make sure your feet are flat on the ground
The position of the lower half of your body is just as important as the upper half, but it is often overlooked. Make sure that your knees are bent at 90-degree angles with your knees parallel to the floor to stop them from being under strain. If you have short legs, you can always use a footrest to bring your knees into the right position.
Don’t sit for too long
There is increasing evidence that suggests that sitting down for too much time each day is bad for our health, and it certainly contributes to aches and pains associated with office work. Staring at a computer screen for too long can also increase your risk of developing eye conditions such as dry eye and computer vision syndrome. Make sure you take regular breaks – every 20 minutes or so, get up and walk away from your workspace to stretch your muscles and to give your eyes a rest from the screen. Just a couple of minutes will be enough to get the blood flowing and to let your eyes relax and refocus.
Visit a chiropractor
Chiropractors specialize in problems affecting the bones, ligaments, muscles, and other structures of the musculoskeletal system. Not only can they diagnose them, but regular treatments can help to alleviate many of the musculoskeletal symptoms associated with office work, such as stiffness, joint, back, and neck pain, and even things like stress and insomnia. Chiropractic care involves the use of a variety of techniques, from massage and manipulation to trigger point therapy and spinal decompression to alleviate your discomfort, improve your mobility and provide relief from any other symptoms you are experiencing.
To find out more about home office ergonomics and how you can work from home comfortably, please speak to our dedicated chiropractic team.