Working from home aches and pains are on the rise and it is no wonder with so many of us finding ourselves shifting from an ergonomically appropriate office space to makeshift desk in the lounge.
Classically, when we sit down our bodies are intrinsically fighting postural ideals by tempting our shoulders to roll forward, letting our necks crane towards the screen, legs are free to cross and tuck under our chairs, not to mention sitting increases the load we put through our pelvis. Working from home brings new factors such as unsupported soft chairs, very high and very low tables, lack of stimulus to take breaks and the temptation to work longer hours.
Settling for the wrong desk set up can contribute to:-
- Muscle tension
- Low back pain
- Poor circulation
- Poor digestion
- Postural problems
A few ways to combat the challenges of working from home: –
- Pick a sturdy chair that allows your hips to be higher than your knees to reduce load through your low back and pelvis.
- Keep your head upright and shoulders rolled back.
- Sit back into your chair. For additional lumbar support, place a rolled up towel behind the small of your back.
- Avoid crossing your legs.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor. To remind yourself, place a book on the floor and keep your feet in front of the book.
- Ensure your eyeline naturally falls to the top 1/3 of your screen.
- Set up your keyboard so it’s the same height as your elbows. If you are using a laptop, a detached keyboard can be a great remedy.
- If you have the space, standing desks are great as they do not disturb your spine’s natural curvature.
- If you are struggling for space, desk risers are a great way to turn your makeshift office into an ergonomic dream. Many are easy to store too if you do need to change your makeshift office back to its original purpose.
- One of the most important things – take regular breaks! If you struggle, set an alarm to remind yourself to move every 30 minutes