Learn how to optimize your working from home setup.
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With the progression of Covid-19, many of us are now working from home (WFH). It’s working to flatten the curve! But unfortunately for many, their WFH setup isn’t exactly working for their bodies. Here are some simple tips and switches you can make to optimize your WFH setup.
Work-related musculoskeletal issues are really common and often relate to static work postures (sitting in one position for long periods or cradling the phone to your ear) and repetitive movements (mouse navigation and typing). But there are other lesser-known factors that can further contribute like poor lighting, cold temperatures, excessive noise and stress.
Optimizing these is the key to making sure you can function at your best while working from home and avoid musculoskeletal issues.
Your home office setup:
- Starting with the desk, make sure that everything you use the most is closest to you (keyboard, mouse, document reader), followed by the things you use less behind them (phone, printer, computer monitor)
- Try to have everything directly in front of you to avoid reaching around for the printer or phone repetitively
- Computer height should be eye-level and close enough to see without leaning forward
- Your office chair should have adjustable height and lean, preferably with neck and lumbar support
- Wireless mouses are great to avoid them creeping away from you
- Mouse pads with wrist rests help to avoid wrist RSI
- Headsets and wireless earpieces are a great alternative to cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder
Your seated working posture:
- Posture should be upright with a supported lower back
- Try to avoid craning your neck towards your computer screen which should be at eye level
- Try to avoid sitting cross-legged to keep your hips level and knees slightly lower than hips
- Elbows should sit just above the desk with forearms and wrists horizontal to the desk
Your working environment:
- Good lighting is essential to avoid eye strain and a comfortable room temperature can help to prevent muscle aches
- Create an environment that allows you to focus and relax by minimizing interruptions and excessive noise
Take care of you:
- Most important to remember is that static posture is your biggest risk factor for developing musculoskeletal pain while you WFH
- Take regular breaks every 30-45mins and change position as the body responds best to regular movement
- Alter your WFH setup by changing items from left to right and vice versa
- Make sure you remain well hydrated throughout the day by keeping a water bottle at your desk
- Head out for 30 minutes of exercise before work, after work or during your lunch break
For an evaluation of your WFH setup, book online for a telehealth appointment where the team at Oak Tree can assess your home office setup and working posture. We may also suggest helpful hints and exercises you can do to keep functioning at your best!