With the massive rise in the remote workforce due to the pandemic, many people have been pushed into working from home. Due to the fast shift, many remote workers lacked the time and energy to set up an ergonomically correct workspace that optimized their posture. Over the past year, many chiropractors have seen a significant increase in the amount of patients complaining about lower back and neck issues, as the new normal became to work from home. Some examples of how and where people work from home include using a laptop on or in bed, typing on the couch, and sitting at a kitchen work surface. Unfortunately, less than ideal ergonomics, especially when repeatedly used over days, weeks, and months, can result in abnormal strains and stresses on the spine, poor posture, and an increase in pains, aches, and dysfunction in your lower back and neck. Read on to learn more about how to adjust your work from home setup for the ideal ergonomics.
Tips For Adjusting Your Work From Home Ergonomics
Here are some tips to optimize your posture and ergonomics when working from home:
- Try not to lean more on one seat bone than the other by keeping your weight distributed evenly through each buttock.
- Sit up straight; you may be unconsciously slouching. Find “neutral pelvis” where you’re balanced on your seat bones, bring your chin back a bit so your head doesn’t draw your whole body forwards into a slumped position, and roll your shoulders back to keep the collar bones “long.”
- Your knees should be the same height or slightly lower than your hips. Try using a seat wedge if your chair isn’t adjustable.
- The top of your computer screen should be about the length of your arm away from you, and about eye height. People have a tendency to look down at their screens, which can push their head forwards and overstretch the spinal cord. This can load the muscles up and stress the spinal joints, causing pain.
- If you have two monitors, you should position them equally to each side. Try to use an external keyboard for your laptop so you have something to raise the laptop up.
- The height of your desk and any arm rest needs to be elbow height to you. If it’s too high, then you may get repetitive strain like tennis elbow.
- Keep your keyboard within easy reach, along with anything else in regular use to prevent overstretching and causing neck strain and rotator cuff stress.
- Keep your wrists in a neutral ergonomic position without any bend or twist to help prevent carpal tunnel and RSI in the forearms.
- Place your feet flat on the floor and avoid crossing your legs. If you have shorter legs and your feet don’t reach the floor, get a foot rest.
- Try to move every thirty minutes to an hour. Take a brisk walk outdoors on your lunch break, or even just stand and stretch a bit every time you get done with a lengthy email.
Contact Us Today
It’s important to have an ergonomically correct work from home setup to prevent neck and back pain. Call Coastal Chiropractic for an appointment today.