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How to Work from Home: Tips from a Physiotherapist to Help with Home Office Ergonomics


1. Change your Posture. “You have bad posture and it is giving you pain”, right? Wrong. What is more important than “perfect” posture is actually just changing your posture throughout the day. Trying to have the ideal position will cause you to stay in one position for too long, which is actually more attributed to your pain. More and more, we are thinking that pain is not caused by the “poking chin and hunched shoulders” and more caused by the fact that you are staying in this position all day. Try to experiment with different postures as you catch yourself holding one for more than 45 minutes.

2. Move More. Pick a minimum of 4 positions to work in and cycle through them. Standing, sitting, standing on a cushion, or sitting on a foam cushion or exercise ball are all acceptable positions that you can change throughout the day. As per the latter examples, just changing the surface you are sitting on standing on can make a big difference. As we mentioned easier, it is more important to move than to hold a “good” posture for too long. Therefore, as long as you’re changing up your position, do not feel guilty about standing at the kitchen counter, laying on the couch, and even lying in bed (as long as you change it up every 45 minutes or so).

3. Be creative with your Equipment. Find some equipment that can help you move. It is easy to go between standing and sitting with a standing desk. That being said, you do not need to splurge on that $1000 standing desk you have been eyeing. The point is that your screen should be almost level with your eyes (this goes for sitting and for standing). You can pile up books to bring your computer screen up in standing or use cushions to bring it up while sitting on the couch. Using different equipment such as balance boards, foam balance boards, or even cushions, are an easy way to change your position slightly and increase movement. Rolling up a sweater and sticking it behind your lower back can make a lumbar support that is just as beneficial as the more expensive alternative.

4. Time Yourself. We all know that we need to give ourselves frequent breaks. But so often we “just need 10 more minutes to finish this task” and then forget about taking the break. We actually become less efficient throughout the day when we do not take a break at least once an hour. Set your timer for roughly 45 minutes, and then take a small, meaningful break. A Meaningful break means spending the break exercising briefly, eating, socializing, or resting your eyes…not scrolling through Facebook.

5. Get your Office Professionally Assessed. Whether working from home, or working from an office, an ergonomic assessment from a physiotherapist or trained professional can be extremely beneficial. There are millions of dollars every year spent on researching ergonomic interventions to manage pain and discomfort in the office. This research can be put into place to make meaningful change in your workspace. In fact, research into the economic impact of ergonomic intervention show them to be low in cost, and high in value…with many yielding significant and sustained cost savings (Workers Health & Safety Centre).

If you would like an ergonomic assessment of your office, home office and work space, or professional work space, call In-home Therapeutics at (343) 370-7393, or visit our website at www.in-hometherapeutics.com.

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