Whether you always work from the comfort of your own home or are new to the party, we can all do with a few reminders:
Keep up your normal exercise routine:
One of the key causes for musculoskeletal injury is underloading or overloading our soft tissues (muscles, ligaments and tendons). This is caused by a dramatic change in what we do with our bodies, whether we stop exercising, start something new or dramatically increase what we were already doing, such as running.
With the closure of many gyms, there will be an increase in people out and about running and walking. We would recommend not increasing your total distance covered in a week by more than 10% as this has been shown to lead to injuries.
Where possible, try and continue your normal routine - wake up in the morning, exercise and then start work. The UP at Home platform has a great variety of workouts you can complete in the comfort of your living room with little to no equipment and you can choose the length of your session to fit around work commitments.
Optimise your work space setup:
Where possible, consider bringing home your computer monitor from work. These screens are generally a lot higher than a laptop screen and therefore don’t cause you to strain your neck looking down all day. If this isn’t possible, consider propping your laptop up on some books, etc. but make sure you can still comfortably rest your elbows on the table/desk.
Avoid working from the couch or bed. A dining chair or other firm chair is best. If you are used to having a chair with an arch support, try rolling up a towel to place behind your low back while you are sitting.
Whether or not you normally use a standing desk at work, consider trying to incorporate some standing into your work day at home. Try setting your computer up on the kitchen bench for example. If your body is not used to standing for long periods, we would recommend aiming for one hour of standing and one hour of sitting, alternating throughout the day.
On a typical day, most people are in and out of meetings, getting up to the printer, going to chat to a colleague, etc. When you are working from home, the need to get up out of your chair and do these things is often eliminated. It is important to try and change positions regularly, whether that be changing between standing and sitting, simply getting up to get a glass of water or completing a 2 minute ‘at your desk’ stretching/mobility session from the UP at Home platform. If you find hours have passed before you have moved from your chair, consider putting a post it note on your screen reminding you to move or even setting yourself an alarm every hour.
Getting some fresh air and walking is also a great option for your lunch break!
Physiotherapist, Universal Practice