Have you been working from home and feeling you are gradually getting more stiff and sore, is it affecting your ability to concentrate and making you irritable? Are you suffering from more headaches than usual and difficulty sleeping? If so then keep reading as I will be going over my top 5 tips to help you avoid pain when working from home.
So working from home is not a new challenge it just seems to be now the majority of people are doing so. I have seen unimaginable setups from people laying in their bed to those sitting on their couch to a full out ergonomic setup with adjustable chair and desk. What I have learned is that home workstation setups are unique to the individual.
So the problem with a poor workstation setup is that over time your muscles will begin to complain. It usually starts slowly and progressively gets worse. It will eventually get to the point where you can’t ignore it anymore and you start to question why you are getting this pain. Pain rarely comes out of the blue and it is usually due to using poor body mechanics day in and day out. A poor workstation setup can result in using the body incorrectly for a long period of time and is a recipe for pain. This pain is not only annoying but it can take over your day to day life, causing you to lose focus and concentration and be more irritable. So now we know the problem with workstation setup but how can we fix it? Read on to learn about my top 5 tips to help you avoid this pain when working from home.
Tip #1 Don’t sit too close to your screen
Sitting too close to your screen causes you to slouch and poke your head/chin forward. What this does is causes immense tension in the muscles beneath your skull. These muscles when held under tension will eventually lead to your tension headaches. So if you ever feel pressure behind your eyes or at the front of your head, this is likely due to these muscles being tight. To make sure you are sitting at the proper height, reach your arm straight out in front of you and the tips of the fingers should reach the screen. Any closer and you will eventually start feeling the strain.
Tip #2 Sit at 90 degree angles
Picture the able Lincoln memorial. You essentially want to position yourself like Abe. You want to be sitting at the back of your chair, feet flat on the floor with your arms and legs at 90degress. Make sure that you check your posture every hour so that you can readjust if needed
Tip #3 Use a back roll
Here is a secret that I teach my clients when using a back roll. Traditionally most people put the back roll across their low back. What I have found with our testing is that by placing the roll vertically up and down your spine and sitting at the back of the seat this allows you to maintain a proper pelvis position and provide more support to your spine.
Tip # 4 Use a standing desk/tray
We know that changing positions is necessary to avoid strains in our muscles. Moving is our medicine. Now not many people have adjustable desks but on amazon,you can purchase an adjustable table top that you can put your computer on. It has hydrolics that lets you easily lift your entire workstation up so that you can alternate between sitting and standing helping reduce joint stiffness.
Tip #5 Be mindful of your lighting
Screen brightness when exposed to it for prolonged periods actually can cause eye strain. This eye strain can lead to the tightening of those muscles beneath your skull and lead to tension headaches. Check your computer settings and set your screen brightness to a lower setting. Some displays even allow you to adjust to a warmer display. This is more favourable for long term viewing.
We understand and have experienced first hand the challenges and the pain associated with working from home. Here at Action Physiotherapy, we are proud to say we have helped many people take control of their workstations. After implementing our recommendations, patients are working from home pain free and feeling less tension at the end of the day and an increase in their energy levels.
If you would like us to evaluate your home workstation setup and achieve similar results to our patients, click HERE to book an appointment or give us a call at 905-457-7475 so we can get you back to doing what you want to do and what you love.
I honestly want you to get rid of this pain and back to doing the things you love.
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