While we are all bunkering down, working from home for the time being, I thought I would shed some light on ways you can easily improve your current home office work space set-up and reduce any undue strain on your body from poor ergonomics.
Sitting at your dining table?
An easy hack to improve your overall sitting posture and aligning your body to the height of the table. A couch cushion to sit on will help elevate you slightly, allowing a more relaxed resting position of your forearms on the table and less elevation of those shoulders, which in turn can generally cause a little havoc on your neck. Nice little domino effect the body can create with various strains.
If you weren’t able to grab your office chair from work and have to settle for your dining table chair, an easy makeshift lumbar support can be created by using a rolled-up towel and placing it in the lower-back. This can make your sitting experience that slight little bit more comfortable
Let there be light!
Lighting is very important with its effect on our posture and eyes. Ensuring you can make the most of natural light, without glare and then transitioning into more specific lighting once the sun goes down. Positioning of your new home office set up is crucial when you can avoid glare but make the most of natural lighting.
Now you’re working from home, if you don’t have a large computer desktop set-up and have to use your laptop for the time being, there is one product I do tend to encourage my patients, friends and family to purchase is a laptop stand and additional keyboard. In the days of amazon, next day deliveries and plenty of choices out there – these are very reasonable and cheap to obtain. If you’re feeling creative, a few reams of paper, large book or little box can do the job as well to elevate your laptop to eye level and allow you to sit back in a more relaxed position and tap away at the keyboard. Every 3cm we crane our necks and stick our head forward, our trapezius muscles have to work that little bit extra in order to counteract the heavier weight of the head, therefore loading up those tissues can create trigger-point development in the muscles, pain in the neck, neural compression etc.
If you’re taking a call, use that time to stand up for a moment, have a little walk around your home space, do some heel-raises, put the phone on loud speaker and do a little stretch. Little ‘micro’ breaks of your posture throughout the day can be an absolute lifesaver in reducing repetitive strain-like injuries. A nice little trick is ensuring you finish your water bottle by certain times in the day, this can encourage you to go to the bathroom more and break up the monotony of your extended sitting.
Keep it clean
At the moment, we have all become a little more conscious of our hygiene habits. We can definitely make the most of our staying home time and feel we are avoiding germs and the potential to get sick. However, New research has found that your computer or laptop keyboard is 20,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat. Meanwhile your smartphone has more than 9,000 times more germs than a toilet seat. Yikes!