Home Health And Wellness Tips How to Make Sure Your Work-from-Home Setup Isn’t a Pain in the Neck

How to Make Sure Your Work-from-Home Setup Isn’t a Pain in the Neck

13 min read

Working remotely? You’ll need to do every part you possibly can to make the state of affairs as snug as attainable—and that each one starts together with your workstation. An ergonomic work setup is really helpful as a means to help keep productive and pain-free throughout the day. But how, exactly, do you set up an ergonomic workstation in your house—whether or not you’re working from a residence office, squeezing a desk into your bedroom, or establishing shop at your kitchen table?

Why is an ergonomic workstation essential?

Before we bounce into how to arrange an ergonomic workstation, let’s speak about why ergonomics are so essential in the first place. “When situated in front of a computer most of the day, the body pays a price, including posture,” says Dr. Derrell Blackburn, D.C., Senior Manager of Chiropractic Relations and Training at The Joint Chiropractic. “When sitting, the hips flex, shoulders hunch, the chest caves, and the head drops forward, shortening and tightening the body’s muscles. As a result, the body begins to compensate and create postures that may be more comfortable, but do come with risks.”

Your body will ultimately adapt to these postures—and may trigger critical issues in your body, together with continual ache, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and postural modifications. “Over time, muscle tightness can lock into place, creating pain and reducing mobility,” says Blackburn.

An ergonomic workstation might help to alleviate these issues by supporting “natural, healthy posture and maximizing efficiency,” says Blackburn. By customizing your workspace (for instance, adjusting the height of your pc display or the angle of your arms while utilizing your mouse), you’ll be able to reduce your danger for damage and ache—and make your experience working from residence much less uncomfortable and more productive.

How can you make certain your work-from-home setup isn’t a pain in the neck (or again…or anyplace else), when looking for new workplace furniture isn’t all the time an choice? 

Use your library to elevate your pc display

Having your pc display at the proper height when you work is one among the cornerstones of an ergonomic workstation; your display ought to be at or just under eye degree so you’ll be able to avoid straining your neck by wanting up or down.

But if the floor you’re working on doesn’t offer you quite the height you want (for instance, in case you’re working from your kitchen table), there’s a simple answer—and you may simply discover that answer on your bookshelf.

Blackburn recommends “stacking some books already on hand to ensure the computer screen is at or just below eye level to avoid looking down.” Not only will the books elevate your pc display to the correct degree, however it’s additionally a simple and moveable answer—so in case you want to move your workstation throughout the day, it’s easy to recreate your ergonomic setup.

Keep things at the right distance

Height is a vital a part of building an ergonomic workstation—however so is distance. If you’re having to reach to the far corner of your desk every time you need to transfer your mouse, it’s in all probability too distant. Ideally, you need to maintain your arms at a snug 90-degree angle when you work.

“Keep your mouse and keyboard relatively close—shoot for a 90-degree bend in the elbow with the forearms right at desk height,” says Blake Dircksen, Doctor of Physical Therapy at Bespoke Treatments. “Wherever your hands end up on the desk is where your keyboard should be, and right next to that should be your mouse.”

Sit correctly

Even in the event you set up your workstation perfectly, you possibly can still put your self in danger in case your sitting posture is not-so-perfect. So, how do you have to be sitting whereas working from house? “Keep the back straight to avoid leaning forward or straining the neck,” says Blackburn. “Use a footrest if the chair is too tall. This could be anything easily found around the house, like a stack of books, a pillow, or even an empty box that may be laying around.”

Not solely will sitting properly at your WFH workstation assist maintain ache and different physique issues at bay, however it could possibly also assist to enhance your general posture. “Maintaining certain body angles will help predispose someone to better posture,” says Blackburn.

Make a DIY standing desk

Sitting correctly is nice—but in case you actually need to help your physique, change issues up and check out standing for a while. “Standing while working…supports the strengthening of the spinal curves and its natural weight carrying function,” says Blackburn. “While standing you are also incorporating your pelvis, which balances the spine and adds another component of ergonomic support to the ‘S’ shaped curve of the spine that acts as a spring and dampens the force of any gravitational impact and repetitive force.”

If you might have a standing desk at house, great! But if not, no worries—all you will have to do is seize your laptop computer and your ergonomic workstation provides and scope out some greater actual estate in your house. “See if you can move your workstation to a stand-up spot, perhaps at a kitchen counter while it’s not in use for cooking chores,” says wellness design advisor Jamie Gold, writer of the upcoming Wellness by Design: A Room-by-Room Guide to Optimizing Your Home for Health, Fitness, and Happiness.

Get up and move

Setting up an ergonomic workstation is necessary—but so is stepping away from that workstation all through the day. “Sitting at a desk for hours, even in the most supportive chair [or setup], isn’t healthy,” says Gold. “Get up at regular intervals and move around.”

“Every 30 minutes or so you should be out of the chair—walking, bending, twisting, getting blood flow and nutrition back to the spine, upper, and lower body,” says Dircksen. In addition to getting up and shifting frequently, be sure to’re additionally taking time to stretch when you’re working. Taking 5 minutes to give your shoulders, back, and neck a good stretch can make sitting (or standing) at your workstation a lot more snug all through the day!

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