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How to combat 'tech neck' now you're working from home

We've all been working from home for weeks now, but have you got your work space set up yet? Bupa have said that 63% of us are reporting pain in our back, necks, hips, knees and wrists since working from home. But don't you worry- our resident body expert, Paula is on hand to help you make sure your desk posture isn't leaving you aching at the end of the day!

Let’s take a look at your posture – with a 4-step method of checking your work station.

Take a seat, and read through the following steps:

  1.  Are your feet flat on the floor? You should, at minimum, feel both feet securely on the floor. Avoid crossing your legs or having insufficient space to move your legs about! That being said, the use of a wobble board or even a couple of cushions can be useful to occasionally press your feet into and roll your ankle around. This is a great idea if you have any circulation problems, sit for long periods, or suffer from cramps at night time.
  2. What angle are your hips at? Look down at your thigh. It should be either horizontal or the knee should be lower than your hip joint. If it is not – you must either raise your seat height or use a cushion to sit on to achieve this angle. Sitting with your thighs at 90 degrees or less to your body can encourage sciatic pain, lower back problems, and a really flat bum! This also applies to your driving position.
  3. Look at the top of your computer monitor. Now you have adjusted your seat position, are your eyes inline with the monitor? The eyes should ideally be inline with the top half of the monitor. Any lower will exacerbate neck pain, eye strain or headaches. To raise your monitor, there are many raisers on the market for purchase, but simply piling some spare books up to achieve the correct height will do the trick.
  4. Finally, what are your shoulders doing now? Reaching for your keyboard and mouse, do you need to lean forward or are they on a comfortable level for you? If you are stuck with a laptop, this can be tricky. We highly recommend getting a separate keyboard and mouse that will attach via wire or Bluetooth into your laptop, so they can be close to you. This is vital to prevent slumped shoulders, and injuries and pain in the fingers, wrists and elbows such as carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive strain injuries.

There are hundreds of ergonomically designed chairs on the market however, as with beds, it is hard to suggest one that will suit you as an individual – we all have different bodies.
Stand up desks can also help, but using steps 3 and 4 are as important. The ideal scenario is to have a choice of stations, so that you are not limited to one position for 8 hours a day.

Can you:

  • Take just 10 minutes today to set up your work station.
  • Take just 3 minutes a day to stretch.
  • Take 10 minutes a day to go for a walk.

It really is a small amount of time that will make a big bit of difference!

 

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