Working from home does not need to be a PAIN!
Simple tips to redesign your workspace and prevent common causes of back and neck pain.
1) Chair and Posture: Adjust your seating to support the normal curves in your spine and practice good posture.
- Your chair should have a firm lumbar support that keeps you from slouching or slumping in the chair. Use a pillow if your chair does not provide good lumbar support.
- Your neck should be in neutral position with ears directly above the shoulders,
- Sit all the way back in your chair, backrest is upright or tilted back a bit for comfort, upper back supported and shoulders relaxed,
- Feet should be placed on the floor or a footrest so that thighs are sloping down slightly (hips are slightly higher than the knees);
- You should have a small 2-4 inch gap between the back of your legs and the front edge of the seat.
- When seated, avoid crossing your legs or lurching to one side.
2) Monitor, keyboard, mouse, and phone – Bring your workstation to you.
- Position the monitor, keyboard, and mouse close to you so that you do not have to reach up to them. Way too often, people place their monitor too far from them, having to crane forward to see the screen, putting the neck in a forward posture or slouching forward at the shoulders and back.
- Monitor should be placed directly in front of you at eye level so that you can scan the whole screen with only your eye movements and not your head movements; If you wear bifocals, you may need to lower the monitor an inch or two.
- The forearms should be either parallel to floor or sloping downward and wrists in neutral position (not pointing up or down);
- Use a document holder so that the document is in your line of vision and you do not have to look down frequently.
- Use a headset if you talk on the phone frequently.
3) Get up and move
- Even if you maintain the best posture while seated, taking active rest breaks every 20-30 mins has proven to reduce pain, limit fatigue and improve concentration.
- Use this time to hydrate, get your eyes off the screen, walk or simply stand up and stretch.
- Take it a step further and create a standing workstation!