"Posture is the key to avoiding long-term pack and neck pain."
Taskers.com’s home and interiors expert, Diane Cootes, has shared her hacks on how to set up your home to avoid back pain and RSI, as posture-related issues rise with the number of remote workers.
According to a recent TUC study, there are 373,000 more employees working from home than 10 years ago – a 27 per cent increase. While the number of home workers surges, so does the number of people suffering with posture-based injuries, according to data from The British Chiropractic Association.
An increase in those working remotely and on-the-go means that their places of work are not designed for long periods of laptop-based work, including coworking spaces, home and coffee shops. However, there are things that can be done to improve your on-the-go and home office environment.
It’s all in the angles
Posture is the key to avoiding long-term pack and neck pain. Wrists and hands should be in line with your forearms, don’t rest your wrists at an upward height. Keeping your computer on a desk, with room to rest your arms and wrist will stop joints being under stress.
Your head should be level and facing forward, not off to one side, with your eyes looking slightly downward, at a point between the middle and top of your monitor. Shoulders should be relaxed, not hunched up, with your upper arms hanging naturally at your sides. This means using a chair that matches the height of the table, not hunched over a coffee table or on a stool taller than your table.
Make a drink and move
Getting absorbed in work is easy to do, and not moving until you meet a looming deadline is common but taking regular breaks and standing up from your seated position is a great way to improve your posture and reduce the chance of injury. Getting a glass of water or putting the kettle on at regular intervals not only keeps you hydrated, it releases the pressure on muscles and joints.
The correct lighting is vital to keeping your eyes in top shape and avoiding migraines. Getting the right balance is essential, with desk lighting being preferable to ceiling fixtures to avoid reflections on your screen. Obviously, you can’t ask the coffee shop or coworking space to adjust their lighting, but you can make sure your home office is suitably lit, and natural light from windows isn’t glaring.
Improvise with accessories
If you are using odd shaped furniture, use a cushion to raise your sitting position or create a make shift footrest using an empty box. Your knees should be slightly below your hip level, and feet flat on the floor or a footrest.
Keeping your furniture dynamic enough to be moved round can have real benefits. Often our bodies don’t respond well to fixed positions, so investing in a home office that can switch around could help those aches and pains.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you could invest in a standing desk. Praised for the posture benefits, switching between a standing and sitting desk is a great way to ease pressure on joints and muscles. Although they’re not for everyone.
The remote working rise is here to stay, with 89% of employees considering flexible working to be a key motivator to their productivity, therefore it’s important to make sure you don’t injure yourself in the process. If you are currently working from home or plan to in the future, incorporate the hacks into your home and avoid the doctor’s surgery.
To find out about Taskers.com’s range of home office furniture and for further recommendations on how to style your home working space, visit https://www.taskers.com/office. To read more about the home-office ergonomic hacks, visit the blog https://www.taskers.com/blog/6-ways-to-improve-productivity-when-working-from-home.