Through this time of uncertainty, some of us will be capable of working from home. It is important to remember that the human body is designed to move and we need to maintain good habits to help avoid pain and soreness. The future is uncertain, but the FIVE points below can be implemented immediately to keep you fit, healthy and pain free while working from home.
1. Workplace ergonomics
How is your home workplace set up? It is important to look at your foot, chair, desk and screen positions to optimise your work performance. Firstly, your feet should always be touching the ground with your ankles, hips and knees at approximately 90 degrees. This promotes a sturdy base of support and allows the rest of your body to function optimally. Secondly, your chair position should be close to your desk so your arms are not extended away from your body. Keep your elbows close to your body! Chair comfort is necessary as well and pillows can be used to help. Lastly, desk and screen positioning is vital. The number one complaint here at North West Physio is neck pain and more often than not it is caused by staring at a screen. Make sure your desktop screen or laptop screen is in line with your eyes to avoid any sustained neck movements too far down or up. This leads us to our next point;
By following the above and setting up your desk efficiently, this is the first step to having solid posture at your work desk. You should make sure your bottom is as far back in the chair as possible to ensure your spine is well supported. If your chair is lacking lower back support, a pillow might help to increase support. Lastly, gently tuck your chin to your neck as if you had a pony tail and it was being pulled upwards. These pointers will help you achieve a sustainable posture at your desk.
3. Movement breaks and exercise
While working at a desk, it’s important that you take breaks away from the screen regularly. Looking to the left and right at something away from the screen every 15 minutes can help minimise neck soreness and is also beneficial for your eyes. Regular movement breaks should be taken away from the workspace to minimise pain and stiffness from remaining sedentary for prolonged periods. This can be done quickly (1 – 3 minutes) and easily through a variety of activities including:
- Star jumps
- Jogging on the spot
- Dancing to your favourite song
- Doing a handstand
- Hop-Scotch in the living room
- The floor is lava
YOUR IMAGINATION IS THE LIMIT!!
It is also important to take 30 to 60 minutes out of your day to exercise, whether that be taking the dog for a walk or doing a morning pilates routine. Exercise helps keep our muscles and bones strong, improves mood, as well as boosting brain and immune function!
Sitting down in the same position for most of the day can cause specific muscles to become stiff and sore. Completing these two stretches two to three times a day, holding for 45 seconds can help to offset some of this discomfort.
Don’t forget to eat and drink! Taking breaks to eat and drink help to break up the day and also provide your body with essential nutrients to keep your body moving and boost BRAINPOWER!
North West Physiotherapy are currently offering telehealth (webcam or phone) consultations for those who are not able to come into the clinic due to current circumstances. This allows us to remain in contact with our community and offer advice and management remotely, to help get you moving and pain free! If you’d be interested in booking a telehealth appointment or have any questions regarding the service and what we can offer you, feel free to get in touch with us.
North West Physiotherapy is your one-stop pain relief and healthy living practice in Brisbane. With six clinics across North Brisbane; Everton Park, Keperra, Eatons Hill, Nundah, Lutchwyche and Newmarket, our aim is to provide holistic healthcare solution to suit your specific lifestyle.
Our services include Physiotherapy, Sports Physio, Hydrotherapy, Pilates, Podiatry, Dry Needling, Massage, Womens Health, and Seniors Strength and Balance Classes. Please note that services vary across our clinics.
Contact your local clinic to book an appointment.