Many of us were plunged into working from home at the end of March and I have heard from some of my patients about their temporary (or not so temporary now!) home office set-ups and what a variety there has been. The aches and pains may have started to show by now, so I thought I would run through some self-care tips that we all know deep down, but sometimes a reminder isn’t a bad thing!
Dining table, fold out garden table, chest of drawers, kitchen counter, bed side table… any surface that is at a good height, either for a sitting or standing position will work. I know not everyone has a full office set-up at home and that people may be limited with what they have so think laterally.
Key things to remember:
Is your neck flexed down? Could you bring your screen up to your eye level either with a laptop stand or a big book? Are you leaning forward to see the screen?
Can you rest your forearms on the table in front of you or does your chair have arm rests? You don’t want just your hands resting on the table with your wrists in a flexed position.
If you have a standing desk (or an adapted chest of drawers…) Are you standing with your weight through both legs or are you leaning to one side?
Lumbar support: again use what you have at home – a sofa cushion or a large towel folded up – this is especially important if you are on a dining chair where the back support is minimal.
Take a break & move around.
When working from home there is no commute to and from the office, no popping out to go and get a coffee or lunch and generally just less moving around the office chatting to colleagues.
So it’s important to schedule breaks into your day. Get up & have a general stretch out (think of a dog getting up), go and look out of your window, stretch your neck & shoulders out, get a glass of water, maybe a cup of tea. Spend 5-10 mins away from your home office, clear your head for a minute and go back feeling refreshed.
We’re not working in the clinic at the moment, but we are only a phone call or an email away. We can help tailor some stretches for you to try and keep you healthy during this time.