With the government’s current mandate that everyone should stay at home as much as possible right now, many businesses have implemented a ‘work from home’ policy which allows their employees and staff to remain safe and indoors. Setting up your home workspace may seem as simple as opening your laptop and making sure you have an outlet close by for your charger, but in actual fact, there’s a lot to be considered to ensure you reduce body stress and don’t cause any long term damage to your muscles and joints. We’ve compiled our top tips below:
Make Sure you Have Back Support
Choose a seat that has adequate back support and allows your spine to stay in its neutral position. This will help to ease pressure on your lower back. You may want to consider purchasing a mesh lumbar support device, these really help to save your back in the long term. Alternatively, you can use a rolled-up towel. Hint! Pay attention to your posture, no slumping!
Sit with your feet flat on the floor, if your feet don’t reach the ground try to use a stool. Keep your elbows at around 90 degrees and your shoulders relaxed, not slumped or shrugged up towards your ears. If standing, keep your legs, midsection, neck and head all in a vertical line. If you’re standing slouched over or leaning to one side you will cause tension to build.
Change up your Position
You should be switching between sitting and standing periodically throughout the day. Perhaps switch between sitting at your kitchen table and standing at your kitchen counter if they are appropriate heights. Remaining in one position for too long will cause your body to become stiff.
Work at Eye Level
These days most of us work on laptops and computers so you should be making sure that your screen is at eye level as this will help you to maintain a healthy neck position. A wireless or plug in keyboard and mouse will allow more comfortable positioning, especially if using a laptop. When working with documents or paperwork, make sure you aren’t sitting bent over the table as you will quickly develop aches in your neck and shoulders.
Get up and Move
Once every hour or two get up and walk around. You may not even realise it, but working in an office generally requires us to walk around a lot, whether it’s from room to room, down the hallway or simply walking over to a colleagues desk. This consistent movement prevents our bodies from seizing up. Set an alarm on your phone to go off every hour and a half and do a few stretches. You can even write a list of stretches on a piece of paper beside your workstation so that they become easy to remember. Check out this page on our website crammed full of useful exercise videos complete with easy to understand demonstrations and various levels of difficulty.
Roll your Shoulders
You should also remember to roll your shoulders regularly- we recommend every 30 minutes. Just take a few seconds to drop your hands to your lap and roll your shoulders forwards and backwards to release the tension that we carry in our shoulders and upper backs.
Don’t Rest your Phone on your Shoulder
If you take a lot of calls for work, it can be tempting to support your phone using your ear and your shoulder but this is a big no-no. If you need to take notes during calls use loudspeaker or perhaps invest in a headset if necessary.
Make sure you’re drinking water regularly throughout the day as this will help to keep you hydrated, boost brain function and will also assist in flushing any toxins out of your body.
Leave the ‘Office’ Once a Day
While we all need to stay at home as much as possible right now for our health and the health of others it’s also vital for your health that you get outside even just for a few minutes each day. Not only will this allow you to stretch your legs and get a bit of fresh air, but the brief change of scenery will also be great for improving your state of mind.
At BodyViva we are committed to helping our clients remain safe, healthy and happy during these challenging times. For advice, assistance or to learn more about how we can help you to live a life free of pain and restriction, get in touch with us today!