Good Posture Habits for the Home Office
A real trend we are seeing at the moment is people struggling with their home office and maintaining good posture as people work at desks not made for long term use. We’ve even had a few emergency appointments caused by the change of use. Even if you normally work in an office, suddenly having to do so at home will be a real shock on your body, so we’ve put together this guide to help you limit the strain on your joints and muscles.
Make the Most out of Your Environment
1) The Classic 90 Degree Rule
Set up your desk trying to employ the “90 degree” rule. This means your ankles, knees, hips and elbows are at 90 degrees from your body. The back support should be more like 110 degrees, and a simple lumbar support is very useful to encourage the right shape in the lower back, as well as giving the whole area a rest. Achieve the correct angle for your eye-line (in line with the top of your monitor) and drop your shoulders. Your mouse and keyboard should be positioned next to one another so you don’t need to reach.
2) Allow for Movement
Now that you know all that, relax a little! Remember that the most important thing you can do from an ergonomics standpoint is MOVE. So although the 90 degree rule is nice, think of it as a default to return to periodically throughout the day and then move about as much as possible! The reason for standing desks and chairs with wheels is to promote movement.
Now, this is the main difficulty with working from home anyway; having a productive schedule. We would recommend that you break down the day into 60-90 minute chunks. Not only does this improve productivity, but it forces you to have breaks and crucially to move in those breaks. This brings us to tip #4…
4) Force habitual movement
Put the bin on the other side of the room. Put the printer downstairs. Make tea regularly during your breaks. Do 10-20 chair squats whenever you get up. Go to the downstairs bathroom. Change positions whenever you look at your emails. Make phone calls standing up.
You get the idea! You need triggers not only in the schedule to force a break but also with your working habits. See if you can implement some ‘rules’ within your day.
5) Exercises twice a day
As well as things like chair squats, we recommend having some well thought out mobility and stretching exercises that you do twice a day. Focus on exercises that are the direct opposite of what you repeatedly do at work. For example, computer use promotes a tight shortened chest – so some dynamic chest stretching and shoulder girdle movement is always a good idea.
If You're Struggling
A body that has minimal stress and restriction can be free to move. That’s how you can fully enjoy all of what life has to offer.
Our amazing team of chiropractors and massage therapists are here to help. We specialise in gentle and effective techniques to reduce back pain and restore normal function. We also empower patients with knowledge and suggestions to help them lead healthier, happier lives. If you find you are suffering with aches or pains as a result of less than ideal working conditions then please feel free to book an appointment or contact us today.