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Home office: How to work from home without aches and pains

Sore neck, sore back, what a headache this has been. We thought it was bad working long hours in the office. We did not think working from home meant longer hours in front of the computer in our make shift home office. So how do we work from home without breaking our back?

The Right Chair

First, let’s look at the chair. The perfect chair should facilitate good posture. This will avoid muscle strain that causes aching necks and backs and heads.

Your shoulders should be directly above your hips. Elbows and knees should be at right angles and your knees should not be higher than your hips.

The chair should support your lower back, so the spine is in its natural S-shape. If not, you can roll up a small towel and place it in the curve of your lower back. This is used as a reminder to sit in an upright.

The chair should also allow the knees and elbows to be at right angles, to minimise unnecessary muscle strain.

Screen (ed)

When sitting up straight, your screen should be eye level: use a box or some books to stack your screen or laptop on. Your keyboard and mouse should be about 8cm to 10cm from the edge of your desk, and the top of the monitor should be about one arm’s length away, at eye level to avoid leaning forward or back.

Have you had Water today?

Your body is made up of 70% water and so are your discs in your spine. Your discs are very important shock absorbing structures that allow for healthy, easy, pain free movement. They rely on you drinking enough water to keep strong and thick which makes them less likely to get injured. Drinking water also will make sure you take enough bathroom breaks, which leads to my next point:

Movement is Medicine

I am finding more clients complaining about longer hours. Sitting for 8 hours straight means your important back and pelvic muscles shorten and weaken. Which leads to pain and dysfunction not only in your back and neck , but your pelvic floor as well! More on this soon… My advice is to stand every 45 min to change your position and adding a light stretching of your neck and shoulders. This is a great way to prevent muscle spasms.

Is a Standing desk the answer?

Standing desks are great! Mostly because they help you change your position often without moving away from your desk. However standing desks can be expensive! My solution: make your own using the same screen and principles discussed earlier.


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