Updated: Apr 26, 2020
You've finished your morning stretch routine, you've made yourself a nice cup of coffee, now it's time to get you set up properly for working from home.
You've probably been spending a lot more time working from home recently, and may be starting to develop tension in your neck, shoulders or back. Being away from the office is challenging, and will lead to many of you creating your own makeshift workstations.
It is important that you have the right work set-up, as this will enable you to work with a better posture and will help to prevent pain or injury occurring over time.
Here are my 4 tips for you.
1. Take the Laptop Off Your Lap
The most common reason for work-related neck and shoulder pain is incorrect screen position.
Whether you are using a laptop or monitor, the top third of the screen should be at eye level. If you need to, it's worthwhile investing in a laptop stand to ensure the screen is where it should be. Having your screen at the correct height will help ensure that your head and neck stay in a more neutral position therefore helping to prevent unnecessary strain to the muscles of your neck.
2. Adjust Your Chair Height
Bring your desk chair in so that your body is closer to the desk. If the chair has arms, these should fit comfortably under the desk. Having the chair in this position will make you naturally sit more upright therefore helping to prevent you from rounding your shoulders.
The height of the chair is also important. Your feet should be flat on the floor and your hips should be slightly above your knees. This will reduce the amount of tension through your lower back and pelvis therefore helping to prevent lower back pain. If you do not have an adjustable chair, think about using an orthopaedic cushion for your seat to prop yourself up.
3. Use a Separate Keyboard & Mouse
Using a separate keyboard and mouse will allow you to position your forearms and wrists correctly which will help prevent issues such as repetitive strain injury and carpal tunnel syndrome from developing. Your elbows should be bent to roughly a 90 degree angle with your forearms resting comfortably on the desk.
4. Take Regular Breaks
Posture tends to deteriorate the longer you spend sitting in a static position. The reason for this is that the postural muscles responsible for stabilising your spine and keeping you upright, become fatigued over time.
Without the usual commute to work, many of us are now walking less. It is essential that you take a break every 20-30 minutes, whether it’s getting up for a drink, having a stretch, or longer activities such as going for a walk. Not only will this help give your eyes a rest and maintain a good working posture, it will also give your postural muscles a break, helping to prevent pain developing.
You now have some simple but effective tips that will create a much better work set-up for you helping both your posture as well as injury prevention.
Hope you have a great day, and stay safe.