The Home Office used to be a space where ‘I open my mail and pay my bills’. For so many of us in this new paradigm it’s where we actually do our job. For others, it’s just another day at the (home) office. Regardless of your classification, here are some basic home office ergonomics tips from Hall Chiropractic to help your working from home be more comfortable and productive.
Pick your spot.
If you do not have a designated home office with a regular desk, working from your kitchen table is generally much better than sitting on a couch with your computer on your lap.
Let’s start from the…bottom.
Your feet should be on the floor, platform or stool. Propping your feet up with your legs outstretched is stressful on your joints (especially knees). This posture also stretches and can irritate the big, temperamental sciatic nerve which runs from your low back all the way to your toes.
Take a seat.
Your seat pan (the part you sit on) should be shallow enough not to restrict blood flow behind your knees to and from your feet. Add a firm cushion behind your back if needed. Use a seat wedge to maintain better posture and sit up straighter will take the strain off your low back. You can make your own wedge by folding a pillow in half to form a forward-tilting 15 degrees wedge. We actually sell nifty seat ‘wedgies’ at our office for about 15 bucks.
Keyboards down and pass your papers to the front of the class.
Your keyboard and mouse should be positioned to allow your shoulders to stay relaxed with your wrists below your elbows. We don’t have a wedgie for that but about 15 degrees is ideal. Having your keyboard too high requires your shoulder muscles to stay contracted, leading to tight shoulders, stiff neck and headaches.
Monitor your monitor.
Your monitor should be directly in front of you. With your nose aligned in the middle of it. If you use multiple monitors, position the one you use most in front of you and the other one toward your non-dominant side.
Obviously, a laptop computer does not allow you to adjust your monitor, mouse and keyboard separately. Purchasing a wireless, full size keyboard and mouse is a good, long-term investment. And you’re worth it!
Up, Down, Up, Down.
Every seated workstation can be a sit/stand station. Simply stand up every 20 minutes and take a break to stretch and move. Remember your keyboard is now mobile. Prop it up and give your body a break from sitting if possible.
- Stand up and move your legs up and down like you are walking in place.
- Look at an object that is more than 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Gently shake your hands, wrists and elbows while gently rolling your shoulders up, back and down.
- Take a slow, deep breath to improve your posture and smile, then slowly exhale.
- Take a quick minute to see if there’s a new episode of your favorite Netflix show. (optional)
- Sit down, refreshed, in a good posture. You are ready to get back to work!
Chiropractic is a drug-free way to promote a healthy life. For more information visit our website at www.fortmill-chiropractor.com, call or text Hall Chiropractic at 803.412.2240 today for your FREE Health Consultation.