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How to survive working from home

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working from home

In these unprecedented times many people are finding themselves working from home for an indefinite period of time.

While we are all trying to do our bit to stay safe and protect the vulnerable in our community, we must also create spaces at home that support our health and wellbeing.

Here are some simple tips:

Routine

Set yourself a routine, much like you would if you were still going to work everyday. Wake up at the same time each morning, eat meals regularly and set aside time to exercise to help maintain your physical and mental wellbeing.

Set up a productive space

If you have a separate dedicated study in your home then that is obviously the best place to set up your workstation. Try to avoid working on your bed or the couch, as they do not provide sufficient spinal support and working in a separate area allows you to mentally separate work from relaxation at the end of the day.

We know many people will be using the kitchen table, so it’s important to get the ergonomics right. Use a supportive chair with a lumbar/ low back support, but if you don’t have access to one, simply use a small pillow or rolled up towel (use some tape or a rubber band to hold it in place). Sit up straight all the way back on the chair, with feet either flat on the floor or supported by a footrest, shoulders relaxed and make sure that your hips are slightly higher than your knees. Arms should be tucked into your side, with elbows at 90-110 degrees when typing and wrists straight when using a mouse. Place your keyboard and arm no more than a forearms distance away from you while your computer screen should be a full arms distance away. The top of your screen should be at eye level. If you are using a laptop you can use books or boxes to achieve this height and then use a separate Bluetooth/USB connected mouse and keyboard. If you use two computer screens, place them next to each other facing in on a 45-degree angle.

If there is an opportunity to be at a standing desk, this will be most beneficial. If standing, maintain an upright relaxed posture and ensure you’re wearing comfortable and supportive footwear.

Take breaks

While it’s easy to get lost on the hours of work, it’s important to remember to give both your mind and body a much-needed break. Every 30 minutes get up and do a little stretch or something quick like 10 squats or star jumps. During your longer breaks, try to go out for a bit of a walk around the block or your backyard to get some fresh air and vitamin D (remember to observe physical distancing rules).

The “Straighten Up” app is also a great tool to help get you moving and improving your posture. The app, developed by the Australian Chiropractors Association, features a three-minute stretching program designed to help improve your spinal health, posture and overall wellbeing. Download the app free from the App Store or Google Play or visit straightenup.org.au for further information.

Stay Connected

While working from home during this period it can feel a little isolation. Colleagues and friends you would normally see everday are only a phone call away, so stay connected with them by having virtual video meetings to simply check in.

Technology breaks

At the end of your day, try to take a break form technology and screens by going for a walk/ exercising outside, spending time with those in your home, cooking a meal or taking up a new hobby.

Talk to one of our Chiropractors you have any questions about your work posture and ergonomics. Stay well!

Dr Nicole Hudson

Principal Chiropractor | Connect Chiropractic

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