Avoid home working injury

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How to avoid injury when working from home

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 many of us have been required to work from our homes, some with fantastic support and desk ergonomics and some perched on a kitchen countertop or sofa. So how do we set up our desks, maintain the correct posture and avoid getting neck and back pain?

You may be under the impression that there is an ideal posture in which we should sit and work, but recent research has shown that our bodies are strong and robust and quite capable of maintaining most postures. Of course, it’s still sensible to set up your home office as you would in the workplace, with adequate seating support and monitor, keyboard and mouse at an appropriate height and distance but the key to avoiding injury is to get up and move!

Our joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons are all designed to move, and they love a good walk, stretch or gym session which unfortunately has been limited in current times.

Our top tips to avoid stiffness, aches and pains:

  • Try to walk at least twice a day much as you would heading to and from the office

  • Ensure your desk is set up as well as possible in your home space:

Your keyboard should be around 5 cm from the edge of your desk to help you achieve around a 90 degree angle at the elbow. The monitor should be in a position to allow a relaxed slightly downward gaze to the cursor.

Get rid of any unnecessary clutter!

  • Make sure you have adequate support from your chair and make sure you know how it works, if it has adjustable arm rests make sure they are high enough for comfort. You may need to increase the height of your chair to achieve the elbow angle mentioned above and then if your feet are dangling, you’ll need a foot rest!

  • If working from a laptop, buy a dock and or separate monitor/keyboard so you are not looking down constantly.

  • Most importantly, get up from your desk every hour and stretch/walk/make a drink. You could also think about a variable height desk which allows you to alternate between sitting and standing positions.