Harris & Ross Physiotherapy Discuss Working From Home Safely
It’s a strange time at the minute and normal life has been but on hold. Millions of us across the country, including the team here at Sports Tours International, are now using somewhere at home as their new office. We caught up with one of Manchester’s leading physiotherapy teams, Harris & Ross Physiotherapy, to discuss working from home safely, and ensure that you’re looking after your body and your posture whilst working. Their founder Jeff Ross, details more in this blog.
Working from home
So – you’ve suddenly been told to work from home, and quite frankly your kitchen table or lounge aren’t really up to the job!
Your office has got ergonomically designed desks and chairs, break out areas, stand up desks and all of the IT in all the right places. But your home? Well home is home – it’s designed for chilling out; not to be your office.
This has an impact on both our physical and mental wellbeing. How do we switch from our safe space at home to instantaneous work mode? How do we ensure that we look after our backs and necks when we’re working from the kitchen table?
Don’t worry – we’re here to help. So, first and foremost, let’s make this fun. The best offices I’ve been into in Manchester have a variety of work spaces. They have ‘normal’ desks, standing desks, breakout areas, sofas and kitchens. In fact these modern spaces are starting to look a lot more like our homes!
The key to so much of this, more than anything else though, is movement. That’s right, in some respects don’t worry too much about where you’re sitting or what you’re sitting on (although a hard chair is definitely preferably to the couch!!) just make sure you move.
If you are sitting, it still makes sense to follow some basic good sense such as:
Arms and legs: ensure elbows are level with the keyboard at 90 degrees.
Feet: ensure your feet are flat on the floor with your knees at 90 degrees. If you cannot place both feet flat on the floor use a footrest, or a pillow if you don’t have a footrest.
Head and neck: your eyes should be level with the top of your screen. The screen should be directly in front of you, at an arm’s length away, when you are sat at your desk.
Keyboard: your keyboard should be positioned towards the front of your desk to avoid overreaching, and your mouse should be a similar distance away at the side of your keyboard. Remember the letter ‘B’ should be in line with your belly button.
Other items: items such as pens, mobile phone and notepads should be placed within and easy reach.
But my advice would be – don’t sit for too long and certainly get up and move every 30 mins.
No standing desk at home? No problem! Get the ironing board out, no not to do the ironing (you’re meant to be working, remember?). Pop your laptop on the ironing board and hey presto you have a standing desk. Alternatively you can use your kitchen work top or island.
Oh and did I say move? You can’t get enough of this. Seriously. Set your computer or phone to beep at you every 30 mins. This will remind you to get up and take a short walk around the room or house. Grab a glass of water to stay hydrated or stick your head outside to catch some fresh air. Maybe even have a quick stretch.
Whatever you do just don’t get stuck sitting down in one place for the whole day – you’ll end up tired and sore and at the end of the day, and you’ll have been less productive than your colleagues who have continued to move throughout the day. You’ll feel drained and tired, and start to hate this working from home gig. But, if you keep moving, just like you would in one of these fancy new offices; it will keep you fresh and feeling better physically and mentally. This way, you are sure to be way more productive.
Keep moving, stay safe and, if you have any questions at all about how to look after yourself while working from home, or how to deal with any niggles, then please get in touch with us at Harris & Ross