Make working from home a blessing and not a curse

So you are now working from home! For some, this is an exciting prospect, a chance to see their family more and enjoy a more relaxed work environment. For others, however, this prospect can feel quite daunting and be logistically challenging. It’s important to get a comfortable set-up to avoid neck tension, back pain, stiff joints and even knee pain.

Working from home has many positives and can provide you with great flexibility, to be able to get up and move more often. Add up all the time saved by simply not sitting in a car commuting to work, and you will start to see the potential.

To begin with, you will need to create a temporary work environment at home. This shouldn’t be difficult if you follow a few key principles. Below is an image that demonstrates how your body should look at your new workstation, ideally with sitting and standing options.

  • Your screen is approximately in line with your eyes – and not too close to your face
  • Your elbows and hands are at about the same height, with your elbows resting comfortably by your side – this may require you to raise or lower the height of your chair.
  • These measures will greatly reduce your chance of developing neck and shoulder pain.
  • Your feet need to rest on something. If you cannot reach the floor, bring in a small box or footrest to enable your legs to be more relaxed. Supported legs will also help prevent lower back pain.
  • Try sitting tall and feel the weight on your sitting bones rather than the flesh of your bottom.

You are always welcome here and we love seeing you, but if you want to avoid an urgent visit to Wisdom Physiotherapy, try following this checklist.

Do                                                                                  Don’t

Create a permanent workspace which will not become your child’s toy storage area Constantly shift your setup around the house to suit your family
Find a suitable work chair – this may be an office chair or a tall back dining chair Sit on your couch, bed or the floor while you work
Use a desktop computer or if using a laptop, attach a separate keyboard and mouse. Elevate your screen to be in line with your eye height Slouch over your laptop
Stand up at least every 30 mins, walk around the room and stretch your arms above your head Schedule regular standing activities. Eg make every phone call while standing Sit down at your computer for hours on end
Take active breaks from work – walking your dog, or your child – they will both bark less with some exercise. Shift from your work station to the couch to have your lunch break
Have a home exercise program (we can help you with that!) with neck and back stretches Forget to stretch and exercise

Make the most of it….

Working from home will provide you with more time, so make the most of it. Autumn is a great time to be outside and get fresh air. Set yourself a good work routine, and be active every day.  Being active will help you feel happy and avoid unnecessary issues such as stiff joints and back pain.

To get our Physiotherapists to check out your home work set-up, book in for an appointment today. Click here, or call (08) 6389 2947