By Physiotherapist, Vanessa Boon
While working at the office has its challenges, Working from Home (WFH) does not come without challenges either. We have found that most of us do not have a proper desk setup, we do not get out of the house as much and our step count is pretty poor. While this is stressful for our mental health, it also puts a lot of stress on your physical structures such as your spine. Here are our tips on how to reduce the stress on your back and reduce your risk of an injury!
As difficult as it is to find time to move throughout the day, especially now that we are all working from home, we need to make time to do it. A few easy ways to add in movement in your day would be to:
- Stand up every 30 minutes
- Walk and talk (instead of sitting down for calls)
- Add an extra few minutes onto your lunch break and go for a walk outside
- Do a few squats/lunges/pushups/planks between meetings
2) Try to create the optimal screen height
Though we may not be able to get it 100% perfect, we can try to make smart and realistic changes. Make sure the top of your computer screen is at eye level, this can be done by putting thick sturdy books under your monitor to elevate it. If you use a laptop, it makes it a little more difficult, but you can use a separate/Bluetooth keyboard.
3) “Ergonomic Chair”
Quite a few of us are lucky enough to have ergonomic chairs at work but not at home. These relatively expensive chairs were designed to support the natural curves of your spine and allow for maximal comfort. Most of us do not have these chairs at home but with a simple trick, we can try to mimic the support. Firstly, sit all the way in, roll a small towel, place it behind your lower back and lean on the back rest. Give that a try and see how it feels!
4) Desk stretches
We have filmed a series of stretches that you can perform at your desk, which you can view below:
Ideally, you should make the time to get up and move around during the day, but of course, we understand that not everyone has the time to. These stretches were created for maximal time efficiency while also targeting the muscles that get the tightest while we are hunched over when working. Do each 2 sets of 30 seconds.