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Working From Home Ergonomics

With many people working from home at the moment, we are seeing a lot of patients who are experiencing back, neck and shoulder pain. When working from home, it’s vital that you are setting up your workspace with the correct ergonomics that support your posture. But how can you do this? 

1. Desk height

The height of your desk is paramount. Ideally, it’s best that you work on a desk that is not too low down. Your desk should ideally be calculated using the following formula:  your height in inches + 1 = your perfect desk height in cm. So if I’m 5ft 2inches (yes I know that is small!), that is 62 inches in total, therefore my perfect desk height in 63cm. The average desk is the optimum height for those between 5’8 – 5’10 so if you don’t fall into that height category you should double check your desk. Working too low down can cause your spine to ‘bend’ into a banana shape which can cause extra pressure on your neck and shoulder muscles. 

2. Laptop height

When working at a screen such as a laptop or computer, the top of your screen should be at eye level to support your neck. There are many laptop stands that can help support this. It doesn’t have to be super expensive; you can even use a shoe box under your laptop for some height! However, this does mean that reaching the keyboard on a laptop can cause stress on your hands and arms, so getting yourself a plug-in keyboard can solve your ergonomic issues.

3. Seat wedge

Sitting at a desk for hours a day can cause pressure and discomfort on your spine, especially your lower spine. We understand that splashing out on an ergonomic chair isn’t feasible for everyone, but a great alternative is sitting on a posture wedge. We sell a fantastic posture wedge at Back in Shape Chiropractic Clinic that is approved by the Royal College of Chiropractors but you can also find these online. 

Posture wedges provide pelvic tilt to properly align the double curve of the spine and prevent extra weight on the front part of the vertebrae and discs. Continued and sustained forward posture can lead to disc bulges and osteoarthritis over time. Posture wedges also correctly align the knees and hips which reduces pressure on your lower spine and pelvis. A posture wedge will also help stop you from slouching in your upper body. This in turn prevents the shoulders from rounding and the neck from jutting forwards. Sustained periods of time in the wrong posture can lead to headaches and neck and back pain due the increased load on portions of the spine. To order your posture wedge contact us on 01264 300 275.

4. Regular breaks

It’s not just about how your workspace is set up, but also how many movement breaks you are doing throughout the day. When working from home and sitting for prolonged periods of time, it’s so vital that you take regular movement breaks. These breaks should include you standing up, stretching and going for little walks around the house or outside. Even just walking round the desk every hour will make a difference! Set an alarm to remind you. This will keep the blood flowing throughout your spine and body. Regular breaks are a good way to refocus your brain and increase productivity too! Set your alarm every 30mins and do our 10 second Brugger break which has been proven to reset the brain into better posture.

Elizabeth Garvey
    5 Wooler Park, North Way, Walworth Industrial Estate, Andover, Hampshire SP10 5AZ
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