goPhysio Guide to: Working From Home

Mar 23, 2020

People up and down the country must have spent the weekend preparing to move their usual work place and into the home. Kitchen and dining tables across the land have been taken over, disused spare rooms hurriedly cleared!

There will be no doubt, that over the coming weeks, on top of everything else, people will start to suffer with new aches and pains from these new ‘temporary’ working set ups. So, what’s the best way to reduce the risk of developing aches and pains as we ,modify and adjust our working patters?

Our main tip would be not to be too focused on or worried about your set up and how ‘ergonomically perfect’ it is. If you can move and change position regularly, you can offset the imperfections! You’ll see a guide below to what aspects make a more ergonomically sound desk set up, but don’t worry if you can’t follow all of them.

You may need to adapt to work with what you have; use books to raise your screen or laptop, put something under your feet to improve your hip and knee position, or try different chairs for example.

Top Tips

  • Vary your position by relating it to tasks. Sit for certain tasks, stand for others – use your imagination!
  • If you’re on the phone, get up, have a little wonder round whilst you’re talking, perhaps get into the garden and walk whilst you talk.
  • Every time you get up to go to the toilet or make a drink, have a little stretch. Reach you arms up above you, take a deep breath, stretch to each side and rotate your trunk each way a few times.
  • Use your laptop on your kitchen worktop for a change, like a temporary ‘standing desk’. It’ll give your back and legs a different challenge, stretching out your hip flexors and helping circulation.
  • Don’t feel bad for sitting on the sofa with your lap top or phone, just try not to stay there for too long. It’s OK to slouch and have a relaxed posture for a short time.
  • A small rolled up towel in the small of your back can be a great way to help support you in sitting if your chair isn’t quite right.
  • Set a timer to remind you to get up and move on a regular basis, have a quick walk round the garden, do 10 star jumps or run on the spot for 60 seconds.
  • Try and put aside a dedicated working space that’s separate from your social space. Not only will this help with reducing stress levels, you’ll also be able to step away from work for a breather more easily.
  • If you can, schedule some exercise time in every day. Even just 10 minutes. The fact we’re all following guidance and going out less, staying home, is going to have a huge impact on our overall activity levels. There are so many great free resources out there and out of this horrendous situation, are many new opportunities – try yoga, karate, Pilates, boxercise….the list is endless.
  • As long as it is advised safe to do so, try and get out for a walk locally during the day or after work. Fresh air and walking will do wonders to help rejuvenate you after a day sat at a computer.
Ergonomic Checklist
Active Working Flyer EBC

If you do find yourself in pain or with a new injury or problem, we can offer online video consultations to help you. Find more information here.

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