Compiled by our Masters trained Physiotherapist Mark Quinn. To book an appointment with Mark, or read his Meet the Team profile CLICK HERE.
Most people have found themselves back working at home and thus are having to again improvise a "workstation" at their home desk, their counch, their dining table, or the kitchen counter. At Auckland Physiotherapy we observed a significant increase in posture-related pain during last lockdown so we want to help you with some basic and important tips! By following these steps you are protecting your body from that constant tension and you'll be better able to focus on your tasks - making you a more efficient and productive worker.
Did you know that your head weighs up to 8kg. Imagine the constant work you're doing to hold that 8kgs up without proper postural support if you're hunching over a poorly positioned laptop!
1. MOVE! Us human beings are not designed to stay still for long so please don’t remain in one position for longer than 45minutes at a time. This is not only for your spine but is good for your circulation and mental health.
2. STRETCH AND STRENGTHEN! Our bodies (in particular our spine) have not evolved fast enough to adapt to the ever increasing demands of being stuck in front of a device. In its most basic form, try to stretch the muscles that are in-the front of your body and strengthen those muscles that are on the back. At Auckland Physiotherapy we can assess exactly what you need and give you an online exercise programme for you to start straight away.
3. SET YOURSELF (YOUR DESK) UP FOR SUCCESS… NOT FAILURE. This is not always possible when at home but try to stick to these key tips!
- Standing is generally better than sitting but mix them up – remember, we are made to move!
- LEGS: Sit with your feet flat on the floor and knees at 90-degrees
- PELVIS: Ensure your bottom is right to the back of the chair and you are sitting in a ‘relaxed position’ ie. not overly upright or slumped
- ARMS: Do not let your arms hang down, ensure they are somehow supported
- HEAD/SHOULDERS: The height of the top of the monitor needs to be the same height as your eyes when you are sitting upright. When sitting in this position, you should be able to touch the monitor with your fingertips
Posture Medic: Prevents your shoulders from coming forwards and assists with offloading the muscles across your shoulders and upper back… nobody likes the look of that horrid hunched posture! Product is to be used intermittently while sitting or in front of your device.
Lumbar roll: Assists you with maintaining a good lower back position to offload this area, is especially good if you have had lower back issues in the past.
Laptop Stand: If you are working with a laptop only and you have not separated the keyboard from the monitor then you will be in the wrong position. A laptop stand will help you raise the height of the monitor to place your neck and upper back and a better position while keeping your arms/hands where they should be (which is down on the desk).
Sure, working on the couch sounds like a dream. But, after a few days, you might be fighting aches. Back pain, leg pain, even neck pain are all possible. Take the time to carefully consider your home-office ergonomics when working remotely. Your back, your arms, and every other part of your body will thank you.