Many Australian workers have found themselves working from home of late to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. Here are some useful tips to help improve your level of comfort, reduce pain & tension, increase productivity, & increase your awareness of office ergonomics.
• Try to build a permanent work-space or have an area of your home from which you can work. This will allow you to distinguish between work-time & leisure time, allowing you to 'switch-off' at the end of your working day.
• Gain access to good office equipment & a set-up that finds a balance between comfort, efficiency, & productivity. Start with a comfortable, adjustable chair. Useful guidelines recommended by WorkSafe Victoria can be found at www.bit.ly/3eHzuGo
• Don't sit for too long! A handy recommendation is the 40-15-5 rule. This suggests sitting for 40 mins, standing for 15 mins, & moving/walking for 5 mins. You need regular breaks from prolonged static postures but also the repetitive mouse movements & typing tasks.
• Make your posture task-related! For example, be seated for document-writing, stand with your laptop on the kitchen bench whilst checking emails, stand or walk around whilst making phone-calls.
• Set reminders on your computer, on alarm on your phone, or even a post-it note to move, move, move! Movement promotes better circulation & mental alertness.
• Make time to exercise! Try to get out & exercise daily. We all benefit from stretching & daily cardio work. Quite simply, moving your body is the best therapy for tense muscles, & to mobilise/lubricate stiff, restricted joints.
• Be kind to yourself! Most people are experiencing increased levels of stress & have heightened anxiety under the current restrictions. If you are feeling isolated working from home, speak to your supervisor to discuss ways to reduce your stress-levels & to give you tools to decrease any anxiety.
• If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort, contact your Osteopath who can provide you with hands-on treatment for pain-relief, give specific ergonomic advice, & prescribe exercises to prevent the pain & discomfort from returning.