Are you working from home? The past year has brought an unprecedented move from workplace to working from home. For many, there are advantages like no commuting and a better work-life balance. On the flip side, it has resulted in workstations with poor ergonomic design. A computer balanced on a stack of books. Hours spent hunched over a kitchen bench. Slouching on the couch with a laptop balanced on the knees.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
If we hold a strained posture for hours on end, our body gets tired. Let’s try this simple experiment… locate a heavy book and sit holding it near to your chest. It will rest easily because this position requires little effort. Next, hold the book out at arm’s length. Notice how quickly the book feels heavier? Observe how fast your arms weaken and ache. Poor posture increases the strain through the spine and body in the same way.
When your workstation is set up incorrectly, it alters your posture. Your head may jut forwards and shoulders round over. The bend though your upper back increases and your lumbar spine loses its natural forward curve. Your hips, ankles, knees and wrists get compressed. Headaches and pain in your neck, back, shoulder, arm and wrist can result.
SETTING UP YOUR WORKSTATION AND POSITION
To check your posture, set yourself up as usual at your desk and ask someone to photograph you from the back, front and sides. Take these photos to your chiropractor for advice, or assess yourself against these guidelines:
• Face forward and ensure the curve of your neck is neutral.
• The top of your monitor should be at, or just below eye level and an arm’s length away.
• Ensure your lower back is cushioned by lumbar support that maintains your natural forward curve.
• Your elbows, hips, knees and ankles need to rest at around 90-degrees. You may require an arm rest and foot stool.
• Your wrists should be supported and straight, and your mouse and keyboard within easy reach to enable this position.
Wherever you work from, the correct ergonomic set up is worth the effort. Reach out to your chiropractor if you need guidance.