Top tips when working from home to avoid pain!

Last updated: August 27, 2020

With the current situation unfolding a lot of our patients are continuing to work from home to help stop the spread of covid-19. It is imperative for those who are to make sure they are taking good of themselves! A common issue we are seeing in the clinic is neck and back pain which is strongly related to prolonged periods of inactivity!

It is important to remember that increased time spent in static, sedentary positions can lead to unwanted stress and load on your joints along with other structures through your body. Consequently, this can lead to tight muscles, pain and headaches just to name a few.

In order to prevent this from occurring we have come up some key points to ensure your workstation set up is optimally suited for your body.

These are our a2z Health Group Physiotherapists’ top tips for optimizing your home workstation setup:

  1. Monitor position: The top of your computer screen should be even with your line of sight at a distance equal to your extended arm. Your monitor should also be directly in front of you, ensuring you do not have to turn your head to see the screen. If you are working on a laptop, try to implement a stand or if you do not have this, place your laptop on some books to elevate its height. You may need to invest in a separate keyboard and mouse if this is the case.
  2. Chair: Ensuring you have a comfortable and ergonomically sound chair goes a long way to help prevent aches and pains. A good chair should be able to adjust the height, tilt position and back rest.
  3. Joint position: Try to ensure your elbows rest just at desk height and are parallel to the floor (90deg bend at elbows). Additionally, make sure your hips are bent to about 90 degrees (not more!). If you do have existing back pain it may be of more benefit to raise your chair slightly higher rather than sitting very low.
  4. Keyboard and mouse setup: They key point here is to ensure these devices are not too far away from you. Likewise, your wrist should not be overly extended. This should not be much of an issue if the above steps are implemented!
  5. Be organised: Try to implement files or folders which are at a friendly height to reach and do not require excessive movements through your back/neck/arms to access.
  6. Your best posture is your next posture: In other words, keep moving. Remember to move around to take regular breaks and stretch. Often when transitioning from the office to home people will move around a lot less. Try set a timer by the hour or 45 minutes to have a stretch or a short walk – this will help boost productivity and decreases the likelihood of overloading your joints and muscles.

If you have any questions with the above tips or are in pain, please give us a call and we can arrange an appointment with our physiotherapists to help ensure you work pain free from home!