As ‘you know what’ continues to spread and further restrictions on social distancing and self-isolation also continue, working from home is becoming the new norm. The question is…
Do I have a good office set-up at home?
Making sure you are in a good position to be working from your brand new home office is more important now than ever. The comfy, slouchy couch you may have worked from with your laptop splayed over your legs for those few extra hours here and there, realistically is not going to cut it for a standard 38 hour week.
What are the 3 most important factors when setting up a home office?
- Your chair should be high enough so that your knee sits slightly below your hip height but not so high that your feet can’t touch the floor
- Seat needs to be deep enough to support as much of the thigh as possible without pushing into the back of your calves
- Back rest should be tall enough to support the length of your spine and if there is lumbar support, ensuring this sits in the small of your back and not pushing onto hips
- Your desk should be high enough to allow the wrist to rest just below the line of the elbow, any higher and you are likely to hitch the shoulders to clear the desk and this can lead to neck/shoulder pain
- Ensure you sit close to the desk so that your arms are not over reaching to access the keyboard and mouse, your upper arm should fall vertically
- If you have one monitor ensure it is positioned directly in front of you, if you are using two monitors the more dominant should be directly in front with the non-dominant monitor lined up next to the dominant monitor and angled slightly inwards towards you
- Top of the monitor/s should be in line with your eye level, this may feel low but it in fact brings your spine into neutral rather than you tilting the head back and increasing neck load
Is there anything else I should be aware of to minimise risk of pain and injury?
Making time to get up and move your body even just within the constraints of your home will be more beneficial than staying sedentary all day. It is important to ensure you are still taking regular breaks and moving your body. This might be a little harder without the repeated interruptions from that colleague who keeps popping their head over the partition to update you on all the Netflix series they are currently binge watching… Breaks might be in the form of seated neck, back and glute stretches while still at the desk, or simply standing and walking to the kitchen to make that mid-morning coffee. Ensuring you’re not siting for longer than 1 hour at a time is just as important at your home office as it is in your work office.
What if I am still unsure about how my home office is set up?
Never fear, the team at Capital Clinic Physiotherapy are here! We have always offered home based workstation assessments and we are still offering this service. If for any reason a home visit is not a viable option for you at this time we also have the option for a live online appointment via our Telehealth platform.
Key points for working from home
- Ensure a good work set-up for your home office
- Chair, desk and monitor heights are the key elements to set up well to minimise risk of pain and injury
- Take regular breaks from your home office ensuring you’re moving your body regularly
- If in doubt, arrange a home workstation assessment either face to face or via our Telehealth platform
For more information call Capital Clinic Physiotherapy on 6257 8900.