Working from Home
With COVID-19 cementing itself in our day-to-day life, it has forced more and more employees to work from home. Chances are, that you are reading this from your makeshift home office. Whilst working from home can provide some sort of liberty to your life, whether it be working in your pyjamas or being able to do that extra load of washing. It also presents a potential issue whereby you become more susceptible to aches and pains, headaches, and other discomforts because you are spending more time in an improvised place in your home as opposed to a tailormade set up at work.
As Osteopaths, located in South Melbourne, we can help you adjust and readjust to your now established indefinite working environment, aiding you to mitigate existing and potential aches and pains that may occur.
New Home Work Station?
For some, working from home can be a very foreign concept and have never previously thought about how or where to set themselves up at home with their laptop (or big and heavy PC, which isn’t designed to be moved). Anyway, you’re here now and haven’t had a choice. So let’s get going and check that what you have done is set up to an optimal level.
For starters, it’s best to choose a flat surface to be the foundation for your mouse and keyboard. You require adequate space underneath the table of your choice so that you are not cramped and have the ability to stretch out. Ideally, you would like to be set up with your knees at a similar height to your hips or slightly lower and that there is a gap approximately 2-4 fingers wide between the back of your knees and the front of your chair.
Does your chair not have lumbar support? No problem! Let’s improvise! Now that you are situated at home you have access to towels and pillows freely. No, I’m not talking about going to have a quick nap… I’m referring to going to grab one and bring it back to your newly made work chair. Place it behind your lower back so that you can feel that you are in a position where your shoulders are relaxed, your back is straight, the angle between your hips and knees is appropriate and your feet are placed firmly on the floor. Please note that that extra lower back support is not for everyone as sometimes it can compromise other mechanics that you had right before, so if it doesn’t feel right or is causing pain, please get in contact with us here.
Lastly, a key feature of modern-day offices is that there is a high chance that you are working off a larger screen than a 13” laptop. Whether it’s a larger PC at work or an additional screen, I’m sure it’s still bigger than the machine you use to send that quick email at home, that you forgot to send while at work. If you have a second monitor at home, that’s great but if not let’s use what you’ve got.
For starters, your screen should be approximately arm’s distance away. Ideally, you will have a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to maximise your ergonomics instead of reaching forward to your laptop and exhibiting a hunched posture. Next, make sure that the top of the screen is in line with your eye level to avoid straining. Now, this may require boosting up your laptop or monitor. But because you’re at home, you’ve got endless resources available to help you do that. Feel free to use books, shoe boxes or even the toilet paper that you’ve still got from the initial rush buy when COVID-19 hit. Finally, if you are lucky enough to have a couple of screens, make sure to use some common sense and place them side by side with no gap in between them to ensure you minimise your eyestrain. Side note, when you do move your cursor from screen to screen make sure to remember that you are not a stagnant robot… you are able to move your neck as this will help you to further minimise your eye strain when using multiple screens.
If you are still having any issues with your makeshift work set up or are experiencing aches and pains, make sure to get in touch so that we can help you enjoy your time working from home. You can either contact us here or call (03) 9077 3673.