Working from home can be very different to the normal office environment that we are used to. With that, also comes the lack of equipment or the different types of equipment that you may have at home rather than your office space. This includes a proper desk and a supportive chair – both of which are essential in posture and back support during a long working day. Here are some tips on how to set up your WFM office according to Dr Lisa Gadd, founder of Living Health Group.
- Chair set up – Investing in a good quality supportive chair is highly recommended to help support your low back. When sitting in your chair aim to have your bum back in your chair, feel flat on the ground and aim for a 90 hip angle when sitting, so adjust the height of your chair accordingly.
- Screen height – when looking at your screen we want to have our head straight and looking at the top ⅓ of the screen. A great way to adjust your screen height, especially if working from a laptop is to use some books to prop up your screen to the relevant height.
- Keyboard set up – a great way to prevent neck and upper back niggles is to ensure your forearms are resting on your desk, your wrists are straight and relaxed, also keeping your shoulders back, down and relaxed. I highly recommend investing in a wireless keyboard if working from a laptop to ensure appropriate screen height and to protect your wrists, neck and shoulders from getting tight and achy.
- Mouse set up – using a proper mouse for your home set up, keep your elbow tucked into your ribs with your wrist resting on your desk. Aiming to pivot your wrist from the elbow, this takes tension out of your upper traps and neck that can end up tight, and can lead to headaches.
- Take regular breaks – aim to set a timer every hour to help you get up from your desk to help get you moving, do a lap of the house, run up and down the stairs, to get you moving, plus will also prevent any niggles in your low back or neck. Adding in a daily stretching routine of low back, glutes, hip flexors and pecs will assist in keeping niggles at bay.