As we all know, times are a little different right now due to COVID-19 and many people are finding themselves working from home. This also means that many people could be working in less than ideal conditions putting them at risk for injury. Poor work ergonomics most commonly causes back and neck pain.
So whether you are working from your office like usual or working at home using your kitchen table, the Healthwise team has some tips to improve your work station.
DON'T work from the couch
I knoooow! It's very tempting to prop those legs up and place the computer on your lap and lounge while working. Over time this position will promote poor posture and circulation which could in turn leave you susceptible to many other injuries.
Choose the right chair
Try to avoid choosing a chair that has your legs in a dangled position. It is best for both feet to be planted flat on the floor and for your thighs to be parallel to the floor. If the chair you choose has armrests, make sure that when the arms are resting the shoulders are relaxed and not hiked towards the ears.
Work at an appropriate height
When working at your desk, position yourself so that both elbows are at 90 degrees and wrists are as straight as possible. This prevents impingement and unnecessary Carpal Tunnel stress in the wrists.
NO slouching allowed
When sitting at the computer for prolonged periods of time it's easy to get fatigued and start rounding the shoulders over the desk. Make sure to prop your computer screen up to an ideal height so that when looking at the computer your eyes are in line with the top of the monitor. Improper screen height and distance can compromise your good posture causing neck and back strains.
Take breaks often
Staring at a screen and sitting in the same position for an extended amount of time can cause eye strain, headaches, and muscle fatigue. make sure to look away from the screen every 20-30 minutes to give your eyes a break. Get up and take micro-breaks to grab a water or stretch your legs to prevent muscle and joint stiffness throughout the day.
Work smarter NOT harder! Working from home shouldn't be a pain in the neck!
All of us at Healthwise hope that these tips and tricks are helpful to you in staying healthy and injury free during this trying time.
If you find yourself with aches and pains due to poor work ergonomics, contact us today at 907.622.2500 to see how we can help.