How to Ensure Your Work From Home Set Up is Ergonomic
Our ergonomic office set up is something most of us take for advantage. It’s only now that a large number of people are working from home that we will start to really notice how much it helps our general health. The most common symptoms that non-infected people will experience over the next few weeks or months will be what many refer to as ‘tech ache’. This includes neck pain, backache, and headaches. There are however, steps that you can take to ensure that you don’t end up on the chiropractors couch after this is over.
Get off of the sofa.
Though it may be tempting, working from the sofa all day is one of the worst things that you can do for your posture. It can also have long term damaging effects. When you sit on the sofa to work you end up curving your lower back inwards, which causes back ache and can have long-term detrimental affects on your posture. Using a chair, whether it’s at the kitchen table, or a bar stool at a counter top or breakfast bar, will ensure you are sitting in a more neutral position that won’t damage your spine.
Ensure that your laptop or screen is at the correct height.
Laptops and notebooks are convenient for work on the go but not ergonomic for long-term use in a home office situation. They are designed for personal use intermittently not all day use as your primary set up. Because the laptop screen and keyboard are attached it means that if the keyboard is in a comfortable place for typing, you will have to bend your neck down to look at the screen. This creates tension in the back of one’s neck and can cause headaches. Using a laptop riser ensures that one’s screen is at eye level and can also ensure that strain on the neck is reduced.
Use and external keyboard and mouse.
Raising the height of your screen means that it would be more difficult to type without putting your wrists and hands at an awkward angle. You don’t want to risk exchanging pain in one area of the body for another, so if you’re using a laptop, and have raised the height of your screen the best thing to do is use an external keyboard and mouse. You can even get a keyboard and mouse that have built in wrist rests so that your wrists are supported in a neutral position as you work, reducing the chance of developing RSI.
Protect your eyes.
Working from home means that you are both working and interacting with your colleagues through a screen. The constant exposure to the screen’s blue light can cause eyestrain and headaches. There are a number of ways to manage this, either putting your laptop screen in dark mode, or using a screen tinting software. This has the dual benefit that for many with dyslexia they find it easier to read with a coloured overlay. The scree tinting allows you to read easier and prevents your eyes from becoming strained and dry, meaning your working day is all round easier.
Get up, stretch, and keep moving!
Moving and stretching are extremely important things to remember. You shouldn’t go for more than 90 minutes without getting up to take a stretching or movement break. Get up and stretch your back and neck out especially to prevent tension building up. Take advantage of the fact that you are at home and free to roam! Pace around whilst you take a call, lie on the floor, sit cross legged; no one is there to stare at you. Variety is what will prevent you from getting stiff and sore.