Working from home? Here are James’ top 10 tips
As the nation takes the required preventative measure to help flatten the curve and reduce the spread of COVID-19 more and more of us are working from home. It is important to make sure that we don’t assume poor postures and develop bad habits during this unprecedented time. Sitting in an awkward posture for a prolonged period of time creates a build-up of cumulative load on your body. This cumulative load leads to grumpy joints, tight muscles and pain. To reduce this cumulative load it is important to ensure your desk is setup well with the aim of preventing awkward posture.
Here are our 10 top tips for optimizing your desk setup that you can implement today:
- Optimal monitor height and position: The top of your computer screen should be even with your horizontal line of sight at a distance equal to your extended arm. Your monitor should also be directly in front of you so you don’t have to turn your head and neck to see the screen.
- Ensure you have the right chair for your body: It might be tempting to set up at the kitchen table or on the couch but having the right chair can make all the difference. A good chair should have the following adjustable features: height, seat tilt and back rest.
- Follow the 90 degree rule: Make sure your elbows rest just above desk height and are parallel to the floor (90deg bend at elbows) and your hips are bent to about 90 degrees (not more!).
- Key board and mouse setup: Position the mouse and keyboard close so that you don’t over-reach, allowing you to maintain a neutral wrist position and reducing the load on your shoulders.
- Be smart with paperwork: Use a document holder close to the screen and keep all documents within your line of vision to minimize excessive head movements and neck strain.
- Use a lumbar support: This is a great way to improve spinal alignment form the base of spine upwards. Also ensure you poke your bottom right back into base of your chair so that your lumbar support is effective.
- Use a foot rest: If your feet aren’t positioned comfortably flat on the floor, make use of a foot rest to ensure your body is properly aligned from the floor up.
- Watch that phone: Do you spend a lot of time on the phone? Think about getting a headset to reduce pressure on your neck and twisting movements to reach for your phone. Also be mindful of where your phone is positioned on your desk.
- MOVE! Remember to move around take regular breaks and stretch. Often when changing from the office to home people move around a lot less. Keep an eye on the daily steps and try to set a reminder to get up and move (walk, stretch or exercise) every 30-60mins.
- Relax! Although it may feel strange and different initially, optimal desk setup should feel easy and encourage a more relaxed posture once you become accustomed to it.