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Is WFH a pain in the neck?

Jan 12, 2022

By Dr Peta Antonello, osteopath

 

There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has flipped our world upside down. We have realised just how precious life is and all of the things we previously took for granted. But it has also shown us that we don’t have to be stuck in the rut of the 9-5 and weekly commute. 

 

With transition back into the workplace we have also found that there has been a rise in the amount of people now splitting their time between work in the office and working from home. This also means that we Osteopaths and other Allied Health Professionals are seeing individuals with ‘postural’ complaints. 

 

Below, I am going to outline a few Desk Ergonomic practices that could see you spending less time in the treatment room and more time doing the things you love. 

 

1 . DO NOT sit at your kitchen table

This was okay for the first month of lockdown but it’s not sustainable long term. Why? 

  • Because a dining chair is too firm and not adjustable 
  • There is no support for your lower or upper body
  • You need to have your own “zone”

 

2. Take regular breaks
  • We are all guilty of getting carried away with our work but it is important to make time for a break. You’ll thank yourself later and so will your boss as you will be more productive long term. 

 

3. DO NOT use a laptop unless you have all the accessories to make it ergonomic 
  • Elevate your computer so your eyes hit the top third of the screen 
  • Purchase an external keyboard 
  • Get yourself a wireless mouse 
  • You can even plug your screen into a larger monitor

 

 
4. Buy a desk chair but don’t be fooled by the term ergonomic, they may say it, doesn’t mean it is…

     The following features you should look for when on the hunt for a new desk chair:

  • Adjustable seat height 
  • Adjustable chair tilt 
  • Adjustable back height (should sit at the level of the middle of your shoulder blades)
  • Seat slide 
  • 5 wheels 
  • Arms are personal and also dependant on your desk, it is important that if you don’t have armrests that your forearms can rest comfortably on your desk 
  • My personal favourite is the anatome richmond, https://backcare.com.au/anatome-richmond If this isn’t the right price for you I would advise you to take note of the features and search for a similar product 

 

5. To sit to stand or not to sit to stand 

This is up to personal preference but you need to train yourself to do so, I would advise you to heed the above advice before drastically changing your whole desk set up just so you can sit to stand 

  • If you consider your desk to be well set up and are having issues with the lower half of your body it wouldn’t hurt to try. But I won’t provide you with tips here as it is a fickle business and a personalised assessment would be best to determine suitability. 

 

I hope this blog has been helpful and gets you on your way to a more comfortable working arrangement.The following advice is general only and may not be suitable for you. If you would like further information please contact [email protected] or book an appointment.