• Avoid slouching over your chair or phone all day long. This can lead to back pain as well as muscle strain. Sit up comfortably with your feet on the ground at hip-width apart, making sure that you aren't leaning too far forward or backward in your seat. Your screen should be right in front of you, not higher or lower than your eyes. If you're using a laptop, make sure it's at eye level or slightly below so you aren't straining your neck looking down all day long (use a laptop stand to adjust the level if needed). If you're using a desktop computer, adjust your monitor height and distance from the screen to make sure it's at eye level.
• Take regular breaks to stretch and move around! This is the most important advice we can give! At least every hour take some time to change your position and posture in your chair with feet firmly planted on the floor then lean forward until you feel a good dose of tension in your back muscles. Hold for 30 seconds before returning back into an upright position. Then stand up out of your chair and do a few squats to get the blood flowing. When you're ready to sit back down, be sure to take your time and adjust your position so that you're still sitting comfortably.
• Make sure your desk is well-lit by using table lamps or brighter overhead lights instead of just overhead fluorescent lighting. This can help reduce eye strain over time as well as make your space inviting.
Choose your chair well. It should be comfortable and appropriate for the tasks you're completing. Using a dining chair for long periods may not provide much lumbar support or adjust to your body's needs as well as other options do - try an ergonomic mesh back task chair with multiple adjustments so that you can get in-and-out of your seat easily without having to pull hard on levers every time.
When possible, walk around while you talk on the phone. If you have a desk phone, place it on speaker and pace as you talk. This can prevent neck strain from cradling the phone against your shoulder all day long, which is an easy way to cause muscle tension or pain.
Standing desks can be a good option for those who want to move around a bit more during the day. If you don't have one, you can purchase an adjustable height desk or use a countertop in your kitchen as a makeshift standing desk. Just make sure that when you are standing, your feet are hip-width apart and your arms are at shoulder height - this will help reduce tension in the neck and shoulders.
By following these simple tips, you can avoid many of the common issues people experience while working from home. And by having a well organised, ergonomic home office space, you'll be more productive overall!
If you're finding working from home a pain in the back, one of our Brisbane physiotherapists would love to help! Give our Tarragindi physio clinic a call on 07 3706 3407 or jump on to our Bookings Page to find a time soon.