Updated: Jun 2
For the past couple of months, the UK government has told us to stay at home which means a lot of us have been working away from the office and spending a lot of time watching Netflix (Tiger King anyone?). Although it seems that lockdown has encouraged people to take up daily physical activities, it is evident that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our daily routines with people being off work or working from home. But which impact did this change of routine have had on our body?
Our body is designed to move. Therefore it is easy to understand that too much time spent in the same position over a prolonged period, for example crunching numbers over spreadsheets for hours, is likely to have a negative impact on our body structures such as muscles and joints. So, what can we easily do to limit the chances of this happening.
Below I have put together a few tips for those of you who may find themselves spending too much time sitting in front of their computer or tablets when working from home as lockdown is easing off.
Try to have a “decent” workstation set up - Not everyone is able to have a dedicated office space at home therefore, when it comes to chair and desk, people often find that working at their dining table is the closest to their office set up. You may find that sitting on a cushion on the dining chair gives you a little bit more padding and makes it a bit more comfortable. Worst set up possible? I would say stay away from the sofa / coffee table duo.
Create your own standing-up desk - You can easily create a stand up desk by putting your laptop on top of a few books or a crate on your kitchen worktop or ironing board. This is the DIY option but you can find stand-up pop-up desks online at an affordable price.
Alternate between sitting and standing up work - Having the option to do some work sitting or standing up throughout the day seems to be an effective way of limiting the chances of overloading certain parts of your body such as the neck / shoulders or low back.
Take regular breaks from your computer - It may sound obvious but we all have been guilty of being in front of our screens for way too long at least once (or more?). So, it is important to get up and move about. But how often and for how long? Well, it depends on several factors but my advice to patients is always “little and often” if possible, ranging from one to five minutes away from the computer every 30 to 60 minutes. Most Fitness trackers and smartphones now have the feature built in or apps available to remind you when it’s time to get up and move. The key point is to break down the routine of being in front of the computer for too long.
These few tips are not only for people working from home and can be of course applied at the office.
If you have any question or would like to book a consultation, you can get in touch through the website or call on 07523 861252.