In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 many Australians are now faced with the challenge of working from home. Kitchen benchtops have turned into desks and couches have transformed into our offices.
In the beginning, it may have been a convenient option to be working at home, but you may find yourself working in less than ideal ergonomic conditions, hunched over a laptop with a very sore back.
We have outlined below tips that will improve your ergonomic environment while working from home, that we guarantee your body will thank you for.
Maintain Good Posture Working from Home
Implementing good posture in order to not strain your back, shoulders and neck should be a priority if working from home.
Ideally it is better to work standing up, as it keeps you more active, lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as reduces back pain.
Although, if a standing desk is not an option for you, we have outlined some guidelines to follow for the prologue period of sitting.
- A good way to start is to make sure you are sitting in a symmetrical body position without leaning forward in order to avoid unwanted strain.
- We suggest you invest in a good chair that is able to support the curves of your spine in order to prevent fatigue. Your hips should be flexed at around 90 degrees and your feet should be flat on the floor.
- Your arms should be at 90 degrees with elbows tucked in.
- We highly recommend getting an external monitor rather than just your laptop. It is very important to make sure your monitor is directly in front of you as well as your keyboard and mouse, with your eyes eye-level with the top of the monitor.
- Additionally, implementing back support such as the LumboTrain can help as it is ideal for lower back pain and posture corrections. Back supports that can aid with postural adjustments, will encourage you to sit in an optimal way. Therefore, reducing the risk of pain and straining of your back. The LumboTrain activates your torso muscles and alleviates pain. It gives you a more stable feeling and straightens the lumbar spine. A special massage pad with 26 nubs releases tension during movement with a pleasant intermittent compression massage.
Generally, you want to avoid straining your muscles which is the primary cause of lower back pain. While you are sitting down your body is working much harder to support the spine.
Read More - How bad posture affects your health
Consider Your Environment
As attractive as it may be we definitely do not recommend you work from your couch. Not only will this cause numbness and discomfort in your legs, but it will also blur the boundaries between work and home time.
Try and stick to a routine just as you would in an office. We recommend you keep hydrated and stick to having healthy, nourishing meals, rather than just snacking throughout the day.
Additionally, it is very important to take some breaks. Implement the 20/20/20 rule to reduce eye strain. This rule outlines that for every 20mins spent looking at a screen, 20 seconds should be spent looking away from your screen, 20ft away.
Finally, it is very important to stay active while working from home. Regular exercise provides not only many physical benefits but it’s also been proven to improve your mental health. We don’t mean running 10km a day or a full 2hr workout. Even a quick walk is beneficial, just to keep the circulation flowing and the endorphins rolling!
Yoga before and after work can help stretch and strengthen your muscles, while lengthening the spine and returning the back to its proper alignment.
Read more: 5 Yoga poses to reduce back pain