Working from home is more common now than ever before. Since the beginning of the pandemic, many individuals have found themselves having to transform areas of their homes into temporary work stations. When changing our workspace from an office desk to kitchen table, or monitor and keyboard to a laptop, we compromise our ergonomics—our efficiency in a work environment.
In the clinic, there has been an increase in physiotherapy clients seeking treatment for low back and neck pain. For some of these individuals, their pain can be attributed to their home workspace set-up, and moving less throughout their day. Short, frequent movement breaks combined with proper ergonomics can help prevent low back and neck pain related to one’s work environment. Some tips for setting up an ergonomic space would be:
- Feet fully supported, resting on floor or a foot stool if needed
- Hips, knees and elbows should be at 90 bent
- Back fully supported by back rest and use of lumbar support to promote natural curve of spine
- Head upright and over shoulders, with eyes able to look straight ahead of slightly downwards
- Wrist in neutral position, and not bent up or down
See the infographic below for these tips to make your workspace more ergonomic!
However, if you are experiencing neck and back pain while working from home, physiotherapy is here to help! Our physiotherapists will conduct an in-depth assessment and create a treatment plan, help with education on your set-up, and offer a home exercise program specific to your needs.
Source: National Institute of Health, Computer Workspace Ergonomics: Self- Assessment Checklist.
-Hilary Cotnam, PT