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Is Working From Home a Pain In The Neck?

Sitting Posture

Working from home and home-schooling can be a real pain in the neck, right? We mean literally, a pain in the neck! Trying to do your own work from home while you keep an eye on the kids home-school screens can keep you sitting, slouching and screen bound for most of the day. Here’s some Tips to help with that…

As well as long periods sitting, add some stress and fatigue for Uni or HSC students to that recipe and it’s no wonder we’re seeing more and more of you with neck, shoulder and even arm pain and headaches from long periods sitting at screens for the last few months.

Despite your best efforts, it’s hard to set up your home to function as an ergonomically correct workplace for the whole family. Here’s a few hacks you can use to help make things less painful

  1. Take regular breaks. Every hour schedule 5 minutes to get up and move around. Walk a lap of the backyard, go and check the mail, have a snack or a drink meeting in the kitchen.
  2. If you find Tip 1 difficult to stick to, yes, there’s an App for that!! Have a look at Apps or Browser Plug-Ins like Stretchly or EyeCare for reminders to move or exercise your eyes.
  3. Go the big lift on your screen. Laptops and tablets are great for commuting and taking to school or Uni, but they’re far from ideal to use as a full-time workstation. To save your neck, make sure your screen is up level with your eyes. This can take some creativity at home, or you can buy laptop stands to get them up off the table and in front of your face. They need to be combined with a keyboard and mouse
  4. Speaking of keyboard and mouse, let’s keep them in easy reach. Here’s a quick test; sit up straight with your shoulders gently back, and your elbows bent 90 degrees. Can you reach your mouse or keyboard without moving your elbow? You should be able to. Using the mouse and keyboard at arm’s length with a straight elbow is not ideal.
  5. Now let’s check your seat height. Are your elbows bent more than a right angle? Are your knees higher than your hips? Answer “Yes” to these two questions and you need to lift your chair higher. Aim for a seat height so your hands are level with or slightly lower than your elbows and your knees are level with or lower than your hips. For a lot of us that means we need to have our feet off the floor on a footrest.

We hope these tips help make working and studying at home a little more comfortable. If you’d like more details about your work station Safe Work Australia has a handy guide available here.

If you’re looking for a quick exercise break, check out these two quick routines from our Physio Erin Roberts to help loosen up your upper back and neck

If you are struggling with posture related pain from working at home, we’re open for just this sort of problem now and would love to help. Feel free to give us a call or book online to grab a spot and get some relief

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