Many of us have had to adapt quickly to working from home, but how many of us have actually taken the time to organise our work space?
Here are a 3 tips (it’ll take 2 minutes to read!) to make give you work/life balance, avoid poor work posture and help relieve that poor lower back.
1. Have a designated space
Carve out that little bit of space to work in, especially if you have children in the home. Oh how we miss that precious commute time where we could get our heads into work gear and switch it off on the way home and think about what to have for tea.
We need to have that division between work and home life. Now more than ever we need to have space to relax and allow our thoughts to switch to something more pleasant and less stressful.
Maybe have a little desk in the corner? Or have designated “work periods” and at the end of the day put away your laptop and paperwork on a shelf. This option may be attractive to those where more than 1 person in the household is working from home.
2. Are your ergonomics right?
Ergonomics…that fancy word for desk set up.
Make sure you bum is sat right back into the chair. Then tuck yourself right up to the table.
As a rule of thumb, elbows, hips and knees should sit at approximately 90 degrees. You might need a foot rest to ease the tension on your knees.
Do you use a laptop? Have you considered getting an external keyboard and mouse? Both relatively inexpensive items which means work might be happier in their purchase.
If you do use an external keyboard and mouse, make sure their placement is correct. The keyboard should be placed it squarely in front of you. But if you use the mouse more, be sure you’re able to slide the keyboard to one side when not in use. This avoids over-reaching and putting undue stain on the shoulder, neck and back.
The top of your screen should sit at eye level, so that you’re looking slightly downwards at the screen.
3. Avoiding lower back pain
Organising your work space and ensuring your ergonomics are correct this already puts your ahead of the lower back pain race.
But here’s what to do to help yourself even more.
Get up regularly! We are not designed to sit for infinite hours of the day and the convenience of working from home means you can get that drink or have a wee or put the wash on at your leisure.
If you know you have that conference call coming up, make sure you’re had a minute to move the body before hand (especially if you’re still in pyjamas). Or perhaps you have the flexibility to move about during the call? I love to stand and sway side to side to keep the body moving without my eyes straying away from the screen.
Give it go!
Remember Movement is Medicine and Prevention is Better than Cure.