Injury prevention is far better than a cure!
Since lockdown has ended we have seen a steady increase in the number of patients presenting with neck pain and headaches. For many it appears that this is related to the set up of home or office workstations. In this blog we are offering a number of suggestions that should help you improve your set up at home and avoid or reduce the risk of developing problems.
There are a few simple changes you can make to the work environment at home to take pressure off your neck, shoulders and lower back and reduce the amount of strain felt at the end of the day.
The following picture shows how to best assess if your work space is at an adequate height.
The top 1/3 of the screen should be in your direct eyeline. If working on a laptop, prop it up with books etc to get the screen to eye level and using a second keyboard is optimal over the laptop keyboard.
Always use a chair with a back support. Your knees should be below the angle of your hips when seated. If your knees are too high it will put excess pressure on your lower back. If you do not have an adjustable chair, use cushions or pillows to add support and height.
The keyboard should be on the desk roughly 10-15cm for the desk edge.
The mouse should be directly in line with your shoulder.
If you have documents or books that you are reading off as you work, have them propped up on document trays rather than flat on the desk. This will take pressure of the lower neck and its muscles.
It is important to have regular breaks. Set an alarm for 45mins-1 hour to make sure you stand up and stretch, refill your glass of water etc. This will reset your posture and help reduce tension in the muscles of the back.
We have staff trained in ergonomic assessment and can assess a range of parameters related to your work environment to identify if they may be playing a role in any pain or discomfort you may be experiencing. We are offering free ergonomic assessments for anyone working from home or in the office. Just simply send us a photograph of your sitting posture (from the side). From this we should be able to make suggestions as to how you can improve your home or office posture to resolve or prevent any problems you may face.
Just email in your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch with our suggestions.