Hopefuly in this article you will find fair few practical tips on how to look after your body when working remotely and why this even matters so much.

As we all know working remotely has now become a norm for loads of people and we believe that it will continue to be a trend even when pandemic will be a thing from the past. It has been observed and must be said that this form of work unintentionally caused injuries and trips to the physio for many of us.

While some workers have invested in their work remotely setups, there are loads of people who suffers from working using their laptops while sitting on the sofa, without using a desk or even a table, there are many who apparently work on a tablet in their bed !

Our bodies don’t like certain things, sitting at the desk in a traditional office is already far from perfect but in most cases the chairs, desk heights and other aspects around the employee have been optimised as much as possible. Without looking at healthy elements or even tools to work, we accelerate the risk of injury to our bodies. Here is the list of the most observed poor work tools can create:

  • carpal tunnel symptoms in the wrists and hands
  • golfer’s elbow (which is more likely to occur from typing than teeing off)
  • neck and back pain created by low screen heights
  • sciatica from slouching in unsupportive chairs
  • aggravation of the knee, hip and back arthritis due to lack of movement and reduced time spent on walking
  • shoulder impingement, headaches, jaw pain and muscle spasms from looking down at low desks and screens
  • problems with eyes caused by bad lighting and wrong size and distance of the screens we are working on
  • obesity caused by reduced mobility

I’m sure there is many more to be named here however like in this scenario there is a cure or even few simple tips which are created to reduce the impact of these injuries to your body.

First and foremost, make a designated space to work remotely. This will not only avoid the need to constantly pack up and unpack your work tools which can lead to a rushed setup and help you to stay more organised. If you want a freedom to work from every place you should consider getting nice, light tablet, an external keyboard and mouse as well as a desk stand for it. If you work from home, find a dedicated space and invest in a desk as well as the chair which will support your back. For many, the investment in external monitor is a good call as this will help to raise the screen to your eye level which should be about 20 inches or 51 centimetres away. Remember that your desk should be at the same height as your elbows, providing you with a 90 degree angle. If it is set to high, you will hike your shoulders up to your ears which will lead to the neck and shoulder pain. If you set it too low, you will slouch down to reach your keyboard and mouse and put a pressure on your spinal discs which will lead to a “Hunchback from Notre Dame” posture.

It may sounds not important but do not forget to put your foot down. Feet should be flat on the floor and your back pushing against the support of your chairs. If the feet don’t touch with the floor, try adjusting the seat height or get a small step to provide a support for your foot. Set of wireless headphones on the other hand will provide you the luxury of having both hands free when you talk or listening to any content.

We really should be using these adjustable, ergonomic chairs with lumbar support cushion but if you don’t have a chair like this and for whatever reason you are not able to purchase one, get some back cushion, it will help in the meantime. You want to keep your lower back supported when you work, maintaining the natural inward curve at the base of your spine. This will work as your back’s suspension, it is most shock absorbent position and maintaining it reduces the load on your lower back. You can get lumbar support cushions at your local physio or in the internet.

Lastly, do not forget to walk, yes stand and walk, it is so important to take frequent standing and walking breaks whether you are working from your home or anywhere else. You should spend at least 45 minutes to an hour during the day. If this isn’t possible, get yourself a treadmill. This will keep you maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Walking will provides your back and joints much needed movement and will give you an opportunity to clear your mind as well as provide that extra break for your eyes which must be tired at tracing the screen all day at the same time.

When your work gets busy, hours can go by before you every realise that your body has been kept in a very poor position and that you have not moved all day. You have that body for life and it is important to keep it in best possible shape to avoid having any long term issues.

I was wondering what sort of tips you could provide to another readers? Would you mind sharing them in the comments section below?

All the best, Lucas


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