If you are working from home, it is important to make sure that your workstation is suited to you. If you don’t have a home office and you’re having to get a bit creative with where you are able to work, these are the main things that you want to consider:
Make sure that your “desk” is at the correct height:
The kitchen table will double up as a temporary desk and is more adaptable that it may seem! In an ideal world, you want your elbows to be at right angles to the table top. Therefore, based on the height of your table, you may need to adjust the height of your seat with cushions, or prop objects under the table legs to raise the height.
The top of your screen should be at eye level:
Ignore this one at your own peril!
A stack of books will double up as a very effective laptop stand, experiment with adding/taking away until you have the screen at the correct height. If you don’t own a separate keyboard, now is the time to get one. If you spend all day looking down at the screen and having to slouch to get into a comfortable position, you will notice it in your back pretty quickly.
Maintain your lower back curve:
I would suggest using a straight backed chair if you don’t have a fancy adjustable chair at home, avoid stools if you can and swiss balls as neither option gives you the ability to adjust them.
I have two main tips for this one:
- The first is to use a pillow or rolled up jumper to support your lower back. Position the support just above the topic of your pelvis in the nook of your lower back curve. In doing this, you’ll notice that you don’t have to make any effort to stay upright and it will prevent you from slumping. This will keep your upper back and neck is a comfortable, neutral position preventing back pain and headaches.
- Look at the angle of your hips, you want your hips and knees to each have a 90 degree angle. Any more or less than have an undesirable effect on the tilt of your pelvis and affect your upper back and neck higher up.
Bring your keyboard and mouse within reaching distance:
Ideally you want to be able to keep your arms relaxed at your sides and still be able to reach everything you need, this will prevent strain on your shoulders.
What to avoid:
- Don’t cross your legs! Try and keep your feet on the floor to keep your pelvis in alignment
- Don’t work from the sofa or lying in bed!
What to do:
- Do take regular breaks! Stand up to walk around and do some gentle shoulder rolls and neck stretches.
- Do incorporate some extra activity into your day! You will be moving around less than if you were commuting to work and visiting colleagues around the office so make an effort to incorporate more physical activity.
This is a great opportunity to explore some of the free online yoga classes that you can do without even leaving the house. A lot of patients really rate Yoga with Adriene who offers short yoga classes for all abilities.
This is the first in a series of blogs with quarantine-related tips. If you’d like to be kept in the loop with further blogs, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.