Thriving while working from home.
In the time of office and community shutdowns, we are spending more time in our homes than ever before. We are working at our home desks or kitchen counters, areas we normally reserve for some short time online shopping or browsing through emails. With the quick switch to home life and increased time away from our more ergonomically designed work spaces, we may begin to notice areas of our body are starting to feel different than they did in the past. Follow along for some tips to avoid increasing pain or stiffness when working from home.
- Move frequently! One of the biggest contributing factors to increased pain and stiffness after or during work is a lack of variety of movement Defy Therapy & Wellness throughout the day. If we find we are constantly sitting with one leg under us, hunched over our computer for hours, by the time the day ends everything is going to be stiff and achy. At the office we normally get up and move fairly frequently, we get up to say hi to a coworker, get water, get a snack, go to the washroom. These micro-breaks are important in keeping our blood moving and avoiding a culmination of pain later on.
- Set your home desk up as ergonomically as possible. While changing positions helps prevent onset of stiffness, setting up your desk to fit you will also help ward off postural issues leading to pain.
- Raise your laptop up on books to keep it eye level when you’re sitting, utilize a standalone key pad to keep arms at rest while laptop is elevated
- Use pillows to help support your lower back if your chair doesn’t have good lumbar support
- Use books to place under your feet if they don’t easily touch the ground or use pillows to sit on if your knees are too high
- Use counters and books to create a standing desk to decrease the amount of sitting
- Squeeze your exercise in throughout the day vs all at the end. If you find yourself finishing a long day and feeling stiff but also exhausted. Try incorporating exercises throughout your day. Every 30 mins- 1 hour when you would normally take a water or bathroom break, add in a minute of squats, lunges, crunches, table push ups, or any body weight activity you would normally put into an exercise routine. This will help increase your blood flow and also wake you up if you were starting to feel a little sleepy! This also saves you from being inactive throughout the day only to cram all the exercise into a small period of time later in the day.
Moving around, changing locations, and ergonomic set up are all ways to help us avoid increased strain on our bodies while working from home. Want other information or knowledge on any of these areas? Reach out to us at Defy and have us professionally set up your work space or have us create an exercise program you can utilize throughout your day or after your day to best suit your needs.
Written by Dr. Tara Becker, DPT, CEAS-I Defy Therapy & Wellness