Working from home is no longer rare and more and more people are spending time on their laptops at the dining room table. Unfortunately the workstation set-up in this situation is often far from ideal! Read below for some tips on how to avoid back and neck pain when working at home:
- Happy arms
Make sure the chair you have chosen is high enough (or adjustable) so that you’re not having to hitch up your shoulders or forearms to type. Your shoulders should be relaxed with your elbows by your sides and forearms parallel to the floor.
- Screen time
Position your screen so that it is roughly an arm’s length away from you. The height of your screen should be so that when you are looking straight ahead your eye level is at the point between the middle and the top of your monitor. Often people will use laptops at home – my advice would be to use a laptop stand or a few books to achieve this. A separate keyboard and mouse is advisable when raising a laptop – to avoid wrist strain.
- Sit back
Dining chairs don’t usually offer built in lumbar (lower back) support. A lumbar support cushion or a small rolled towel/cushion can be helpful to support your low back. Try to remember to sit back into the chair so that your back is supported and take postural breaks 1-2 times within the hour.
- Feet last
If your feet are not touching the ground, you can put a couple of large books under your feet or wear a cheeky pair of high heels.
Depending on how much you plan to work from home will dictate how you will set yourself up, i.e. working from the dining room table as opposed to a home office. If you have ongoing musculoskeletal neck or back pain, see your Physio at Bend + Mend for further advice and treatement.