Sitting comfortably?

Pain-free tips on how to work from home

Healthy Living > Physical health > Pain-free tips for working from home

Blog Article | By The Simplyhealth Team 19 May 2020

Working from home has become a thing. A huge, relevant, undeniable thing. Most of us are having to find new ways of thinking, adapting to an unfamiliar office environment since the coronavirus outbreak. We're the same and, hopefully, these tips can help you develop healthy ways of working from the comfort of your home.

Create comfortable home-working conditions

 

Before you begin working from home, take some time to review your surroundings. Where possible, avoid working in your bedroom. You want to be doing your best to keep your working and resting areas separate. Allocate an area of your home as your dedicated working space and spend some time getting your set-up sorted, ensuring that you have everything in place for that comfortable work environment. Consider things like:

 

  • Making sure you have the tools of the trade. Stationary is easily accessible, paper on hand etc. 
  • Taking time to adjust your equipment settings. For example, ensuring your screen brightness is set to a comfortable level for your eyes. 
  • Monitoring your working conditions, for example, adjusting your room temperature to ensure that you're not feeling too hot or too cold.
  • Sitting in a comfortable and supportive chair, which provides support for your lower back. That's a big one. The sofa can be bad for posture, and your options on visiting a physical physio are limited! 
Setting up a home working environment

Check your posture

 

Your working environment is set up and ready to go, what's next?

 

It's important to pay close attention to your working position as you adjust to your new set-up. While sitting at your desk, monitor your body positioning throughout the day and make a conscious effort to correct any poor posture and sitting habits. Slouching isn't good, and you'll want to reduce the risk of developing pain or discomfort.

 

Look out for, and correct, these examples of bad posture:

 

  • Sitting in a poorly adjusted chair 
  • Slouching in your chair
  • Sitting rotated at your computer
  • Leaning forward or hunching over your keyboard 
  • Looking down at your mobile phone
  • Angling your head up, if your screen is too high
  • Using your shoulder and your ear to support a phone, to free up your hands – if you frequently use a phone for work, try using a headset instead. Using a wireless headset can also give you more ability to get up and move around during phone calls. 

Source: www.nhs.uk

 

Tip: Frequent stretching can help improve your posture and loosen stiff muscles. Try some exercises to strengthen your back and chest, like planks, bridges and chest stretches. Our friends at Nuffield Health have been chatting with their personal trainers, creating fitness plans for those at home.

Working from home with a good chair and posture

Stretching tips from a pro

 

England Rugby's Dylan Hartley knows quite a bit about exercises that improve muscle comfort. Watch the 1-minute video below and discover the little routine he uses to prepare his body each day.

Keep active

 

If you're used to working in an office environment, you may find that while working from home, you're walking shorter distances and having fewer reasons to get up and move around. This is because you're attending conference calls instead of walking to meeting rooms and you're probably set up a lot closer to the kitchen and toilet.

 

Structuring your routine can help you stay active while working from home. Identify the opportunities where you can introduce exercise in your day. Get regular breaks from sitting at your workspace to stretch and move around, and look to build these into your working day. Some of our suggestions would be:

 

  • Starting your day with an exercise routine before you begin working, such as doing some muscle-strengthening activities.
  • Getting up from your workspace every 30 minutes to stretch and move around. For example, taking a short walk each time you make a refreshment, or walking around during phone calls.
  • Venturing outside during your lunch break. Fresh air is great; you could go for a walk or do some gardening if possible.

 

We've got you covered if you're looking for tips on how to stay healthy and keep active during lockdown.

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