Now that working from home is becoming a mainstay of modern working life, it has never been more crucial to set your home office up appropriately to protect and prevent musculoskeletal issues such a neck pain, headaches, back pain, tennis elbow and nerve entrapment.
Prolonged sitting can be tough on the body but ensuring you have the right setup and specialised advice can help to mitigate long term problem and protect your body.
Some home office essential checkpoints:
- Are you elevating your shoulders? Your shoulders should be relaxed by your sides and not raised by your ears. The position of the shoulders should not differ between standing and sitting. Only the angle of the elbow should change for typing.
Potential risk: Over-elevating the shoulders can cause chronic neck and shoulder pain.
Potential fix: Raise your seat up to avoid upward shoulder shrugging while typing.
- Is your chair supportive enough? Your chair should provide comfort and support from your lower to upper mid back and be adjustable to your needs.
Potential risk: Having an unsupportive chair will cause you to lean forward which may strain your postural muscles and create rounding of the spine.
Potential fix: Visit an ergonomic showroom to try out a chair to suit your needs.
- Is your monitor high enough? The top of the monitor should be in line with your eyebrows to avoid over-extending or flexing the neck.
Potential risk: Poor neck posture can cause chronic pain and increase intradiscal pressures.
Potential fix: Raise screen up with a laptop stand or raise monitor with supports.
- Are your feet supported? Your feet should be flat and in contact with a firm supportive surface at a level that allows your knees to be in line or slightly lower than your knees.
Potential risk: Too much downward pressure can cause increase loading through the lower back and cause chronic stiffness/pain.
Potential fix: Get footrest.
*Regardless of how comfortable your ergonomic setup is do remember to stand up and stretch at least once every 30-40 minutes!
To purchase or trial these products you can visit an ergonomic showroom like KOS or go online (https://www.kos.ie/).
A Physiotherapist can assess your posture and prescribe individualised ergonomic advice and a mobility plan to ensure you stay happy and healthy while you work.
For more ergonomic information or to treat sitting related myofascial pain make an appointment with a Physiotherapist who can assess your posture and prescribe individualised home workspace options.
Please contact our reception desk on 014913228 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Danielle Moran, Chartered Physiotherapist with a specialized interest in ergonomic conditions.