Home work-stations are becoming a hot topic in 2020. With an increase in the number of people working from home, a good work-station is more important than ever. Due to the rapid change in working environments, work related musculoskeletal complaints are on the rise. We are finding many of our patients from Barwon Heads, Ocean Grove, Greater Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula are being encouraged to work from home more than ever.
Here at 13th Beach Health Services, unfortunately we are continuing to see an increasing trend of injuries relating to poor at home work-stations. That’s why our ergonomic wiz Phil Nash has written this short article to give you some helpful hints and advice. So…. Sit up straight, adjust those monitors, and let’s dive in and see how some simple strategies can help you reduce your risk of developing these complaints!
Poor desk set-up, what’s the fuss about?
You may think working from home sounds like the dream. Roll out of bed, into the Ugg boots, grab a coffee, and be sitting at the computer in minutes. However, recent events have unfortunately shown otherwise. Poor working environment, inadequate ergonomic desk set-ups, lack of breaks, and increase in sedentary behaviours are just some contributing factors.
Prolonged poor posture and desk set up can result in stress and strain in various areas of the body, increasing the risk of developing work-related complaints. Pain and tightness associated with the neck, shoulders, upper back, and arms are the most common areas that undergo increased strain often resulting in musculoskeletal complaints. Lately we are finding many patients are reporting pain and discomfort in these areas and often it has led to associated symptoms like headaches and painful neck movements.
How do I reduce my chances of these complaints?
Some simple strategies to consider at your home set up to ensure you’re reducing your risk of
developing common desk related complaints:-
Photo Source: Veritas Health
Comfortable chair with supportive back rest to allow for an upright relaxed posture
Relaxed upper limb/arm with adequate support
Keyboard placed 10-20cm from the front edge of the desk
Eye level in line with the upper 1/3 of the monitor/screen
Monitor/screen roughly one arm’s length away
Feet resting flat on the ground
Home workstation location
Ensure a quiet area- away from distractions
Comfortable ventilation and temperature within working space
If you think you will be spending a long period of time working from home you may consider
investing in some of the following:
Ergonomic sit/stand desk
External mouse and keyboard
GET UP AND MOVE!
Unlike the normal office setup, most individuals have noticed they are spending more time sitting while working from home. Less time is spent getting up to the printer, making a coffee, talking to colleagues or moving around the office. This lack of movement increases the stress and strain on common areas placing individuals at an increased risk of developing musculoskeletal complaints.
So…. Get up and move! Set yourself a timer or write on a sticky note. Every 30 mins schedule a movement break. By introducing regular breaks, it reduces the stress and strain on areas of the body reducing the likelihood of developing musculoskeletal complaints. If you have noticed aches and pains since working from home try adjusting your home set up with some of those simple strategies.