With the good news that the government is soon to be outlining its roadmap out of the current lockdown, it certainly gave me a huge lift in my mood. I can’t think of any greater feeling than of coming out of this winter hibernation that we have all endured.
While over the coming months some of the things that we take for granted will become reality once again, one thing that looks like it may be here for a while is the working from home scenario for many office workers.
But never fear. I have compiled a little roadmap of my own to help you all stay fighting fit to live your best work home life possible.
So sit back, pour yourself a tea and learn the secrets of working from home heaven.
As comfy as a bed or a sofa may be for relaxing, they are certainly not suitable for quality home working. If this was the case then your regular place of work would resemble somewhere like IKEA, and not the professional workplace that we’re all used to.
If you’re lucky enough to have an ‘office’ at home then great. If not, then the next best thing is the dining room, or kitchen table.
Have a sturdy chair that you can sit upright in, and get in close to the table.
Sitting At Your Desk Correctly
1. Support your back – Adjust your chair so that your lower back is properly supported. Your knees should be slightly lower than your hips
2. Feet on the floor – This is pretty self explanatory. Use a foot rest if you need to. Do not sit cross-legged, this is not a coffee morning!
3. Have your keyboard directly in front of you when typing – When not typing, rest your wrists on the table, or your elbows on the chair’s elbow rests. This will reduce huge amounts of pressure that will accumulate around the neck, shoulders and upper back regions throughout your day.
4. Avoid wearing bifocals – They promote neck tilting which can also lead to neck, shoulders and upper back pain. I know they can save time but the two seconds of time that they save versus the prolonged periods back pain does not make this a worthwhile venture. Besides, what can you really do with the two seconds that you have just saved yourself?!
5. Have all necessary objects close and within reach – Frequently stretching for things can be detrimental, and subconsciously get you out of this lovely posture we’ve now discovered!
6. Telephone headset – At the risk of making you look like you’re performing your new hit single at Wembley stadium, they can be very useful if you take a lot of calls and you find yourself holding your phone to your ear for long periods. Even worse, cradling it between your ear and your shoulder…you know who you are!
Time Breaks V’s Task Breaks
Many of you who know me will have heard (or are just remembering) me expressing the virtues of taking a time break versus taking a task break.
Put simply, if your muscles have 30 minutes of energy in their tanks, but your task takes 40 minutes, you are working for 10 minutes in the danger zone!
It may not sound like much, but if done repeatedly, it can lead to injury.
A good habit to get in to is to stop what you are doing after 30 minutes, regardless of where you are in your task. Get up from your seat. You don’t even have to leave your desk area (although I advise you do, you’re working from home, who will know?!).
After 2 minutes get back to it and carry on. Your muscles and joints will more than thank you for it.
This is why in gyms, people will do 3 sets of 10 rather than one big set of 30. The rest that you gain by splitting it up allows your muscles to recover, and then do another set safely.
The office may not be a gym, but the same biological rules still apply to your joints and muscles, so take your 2 minute rest after half an hours work, you’ve earned it!
So there you have it. This is my advice for good, successful and pain free working from home. However, if the worst were to happen, then rest assured you are not alone. I will still be here for you in the COVID secure clinic to attend to your needs and get you back up and running as quickly as possible. For more information please visit www.helptohealthchiropractic.co.uk/update