Given that hybrid working is becoming the norm with stints of working remotely or from home (whether in or out of lockdown), it is important that we have a good set-up. Maintaining good posture and working habits to help prevent work-related discomfort and fatigue is key to working as efficiently and effectively as possible.
If you have a full desk setup and access to an adjustable chair, review how to set up a safe home workstation.
If you are having to make do with the equipment you have then this clip may be useful to help prevent pain and discomfort.
Given many styles are an integrated unit, they cannot be easily adjusted to suit individual needs and can create poor working postures as a result. Therefore, where possible:
Use a full-sized keyboard and mouse when using laptops for extended periods
Raise the laptop so the screen is at eye level and an appropriate distance away from your body, to prevent excessive neck movement.
Use a ‘docking station’ and full-sized keyboard and screen where possible. A laptop ‘riser’ is a good option if a permanent docking station is not available.
Avoid using your laptop on your lap. This encourages abnormal postures and the heat generated by the laptop is a burn hazard.
Other things you can do to help your home setup
Use books or a box to raise your laptop and/or any monitor you may be using.
Always use a hard surface underneath a laptop to avoid it from overheating and allow airflow to the fans or vents.
If you feel you need additional lumbar support then consider using a rolled up towel or cushion behind your back.
If you need to be sitting a little bit higher to use a desk or table then sit on additional cushions or pillows. The firmer these are the better for this use. Aim to be sitting with your elbows just above table/desk height.
If your feet do not reach the ground so that the bend in your knees is approximately a right angle, use a solid box (or something similar) to act as a footstool/footrest.
Good working habits
Good working habits are equally as important as correct workstation set-up. Therefore it’s important to:
- Vary your working posture frequently during the day. Our bodies are designed to move and maintaining any posture, even ‘correct’ ones for any length of time, can cause discomfort
- Take regular ‘micro pauses’– remove your hands from your keyboard for 30 seconds every 5 minutes. Allow hands and arms to rest by your side, or do simple stretches. Tip: Leaning back increases blood flow to the arms by 25 percent
- Take frequent short breaks– get up and move away from your workstation every 30 minutes
- Don’t cradle telephone handsets between ear and shoulder while continuing to work. If you spend a large amount of your working day on the phone it is advisable to use a headset
- Plan your work to give task variety, as much as possible. Avoid extended periods of keyboard activity. Alternate keyboard activities with other tasks such as reading /filing.
- It’s important to rest your eyes frequently by looking up from your screenand focussing on something in the distance for a few seconds
- Keeping well hydrated during the day. This is important in maintaining mental alertness and ridding muscles of harmful toxins. Water is always your best option.
- Get regular gentle aerobic activity– go for a walk at lunchtime
Remember, listen to your body – pay immediate attention to any pain, discomfort or tension you are feeling – discuss with your manager and take steps to relieve it.
Covid-19 and Best Doctors
While Best Doctors can’t directly treat symptoms linked to COVID-19, it can provide virtual support to people looking for guidance and clarity on a health condition but who may not want to travel to clinics or hospitals in the current climate.
Looking after your mental health during COVID-19
It’s a tense time for most of us. COVID-19 is scary, and it’s rapidly changing the way we work, socialise, shop and live. We know many people are feeling anxious, stressed, worried and scared. It’s time to work out how we’re going to look after our own wellbeing and the wellbeing of our family.