If you are one to the many people working from home right now you might have notice some new aches and pains caused from ergonomic issues. The typical home environment is not set up for work, and over time can create postural problems, tendinitis, and stress injuries. These tips can help you work from home with less risk of increased pain.
If you have the space available, it’s helpful to place your computer at a dedicated work space instead of using a couch or a bed. Sitting in front of a computer at a desk is ideal, and should remain free of food and other distractions. Set aside time to eat as part of a separate break to get you away from the workspace.
Using speaker phone and voice texting options during phone calls will also help you prevent awkward neck postures and reduce overuse of the thumbs and hands.
Follow these basic guidelines to maintain proper postural alignment while sitting in front of the computer. An adjustable chair and the use of pillows or other props can help you manage the positioning.
It is important to take breaks from sitting at the computer and give your body a stretch. Try to schedule stretch breaks during the day. Some common muscles groups that will get tight from sitting for long periods include you hip flexors (front of the thigh), lower back, shoulders and chest.
Research suggests that a break every 30 minutes is the ideal schedule for health benefits. These don’t have to be long breaks, but give enough time to change your body position, stretch your muscles and rest your eyes.
The 20/20/20 rule is a way to prevent eye strain when looking at a screen all day. It suggests that every 20 minutes give your eyes a break. This is done by looking away from the screen at a distance of 20 feet away. Look away for a minimum of 20 seconds.
Positioning the monitor at or just below eye level will reduce excessive flexion or extension of the neck. Likewise, if you have double monitors or other work material you need to see keep them close to the monitors position as well.
Be sure to also make sure there is adequate lighting to see the monitor and avoid excessive screen glare.
As with most ailments and orthopedic injuries it is important to listen to your body. Common workspace injuries include elbow, shoulder and wrist tendonitis, lower back strains, neck pain, and headaches. In addition, arthritis pain is often made work with less movement so it is important for those with arthritis to keep their joints moving throughout the day.
If you are having increased pain try making some adjustments to improve the ergonomics of your work space. After that, if pain has still not subsided it’s best to see your doctor. Contact the Heekin clinic today for an appointment with an orthopedic expert.