As the days turn into weeks during the UK lockdown, at Blue Rock we’re getting accustomed to working from home.
Adapting to a new routine has meant trying to create a home office, whether that’s in the spare room, lounge or kitchen. While having a specific “space” for work can help with sticking to a routine, how many of us are sitting on unsuitable chairs with a makeshift desk setup?
We thought we’d take a look at what you can do to correct bad posture and muscle tension over this period, avoiding bigger problems further down the line.
Emulate your work desk
When you set up your home working space, it’s best to try to replicate your desk at work as closely as possible. This typically would include a monitor with a separate mouse and keyboard on a desk or a table with a chair that enables you to sit up straight without slouching. Of course, this isn’t possible for everyone and there are different adjustments you can make if you have more limited options.
Adjust your screen height
If you can’t get hold of a monitor, try not to slouch over your keyboard – this in itself is one of the main causes of bad posture. Instead, find a way to elevate your laptop to eye level so you can look at it head-on without having to lower your neck. There’s nothing to say you can’t prop your laptop or monitor up with a few books or a box to get it to the right level.
Use a separate mouse and keyboard
By attaching a separate mouse and keyboard when using a laptop, this will help you to keep your arms relaxed by your side instead of stretching upwards and outwards to reach your keyboard. When using these, make sure to keep them close so you don’t need to continually extend your arms and ensure to keep your wrists straight and relaxed.
Create lumbar support
If you don’t want to fork out on a work chair quite yet, you can implement some simple lumbar support solutions in the meantime. One of your options is to buy a specially designed back support cushion online which can then be attached to any chair that you’re using. Alternatively, you can simply use a standard cushion or roll up a blanket to support you when sitting for extended periods of time.
Take regular breaks
While it can be easy to forget, taking regular breaks is important not only for your mental health but also for your physical wellbeing. It is suggested that you try to move around every half an hour, even if it’s just a quick stretch. Then, every hour have a short walk around – grab a coffee and maybe have a quick jog up and down the stairs.
With the absence of our daily commute, making the effort to exercise daily has become increasingly important. Try to make use of your once-daily outdoor activity with a walk, run or cycle in a quiet area and consider taking part in free YouTube home workouts. Even if you’re not a fitness fanatic, you should try to be active for at least 30 minutes every day to maintain your physical and mental health over lockdown.
Don’t forget about your mental health
Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re struggling. Lean on family or friends and help each other. There are dedicated support services available. The NHS website lists a range of helplines you can reach out to if you’re suffering from stress, anxiety or depression. https://www.nhs.uk
Look after yourself
The most important thing to remember in all of this is to take care of yourself and do what works for you.