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Working from home- be injury free

Category: Vissco

Dining room tables, Beds, Floors around India have quickly become the new work spaces for most office workers in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though working from home might have once been viewed as a treat, you are most likely finding this rapid shift very challenging for a multitude of reasons

With the current situation as it stands, most of us have been forced into isolation and a temporary Work From Home (WFH) protocol has been enacted. We have been sent away from the office, into our homes

Since we are now confined to our homes, we need to make sure we set ourselves up properly if we want to avoid triggering old injuries or creating new ones. Many people will be tempted to hunch over their laptops, slouch in the beds or work from their sofas, which may be comfortable initially, but may pose a problem in the long-run. If we are going to be in one place for so long, we may as well make it comfortable

So has your back and/or neck starting to give you grief? Here are a few tips related to your home setup that might help you to alleviate or prevent this musculoskeletal pain

[1] HAPPY ARMS- SIT PROPERLY: Most of us are guilty of this. The side slumping and the slouching.Get a proper chair. Invest in your body and it will pay off

Ensure the chair you have chosen is high enough (or adjustable) so that your knees are at 90 degrees. If the chair is too high or low, this may encourage you to sit with your legs crossed and/or your back slumped. You may have to hitch up your shoulders or forearms to type. Therefore, Sit in the back of your chair, with your feet flat on the floor and your shoulders should be relaxed with your elbows by your sides and forearms parallel to the floor and resting on the desk

[2] SCREEN TIME- ELEVATE YOUR SCREEN TO EYE HEIGHT: Avoid rounding your shoulders and neck too much by keeping your screen at eye level. Position your screen so that it is roughly an arm’s length away and directly in front of you. Your eyes should be level with the top (or just below the top) of your screen. People will often use laptops at home – If you are using a laptop, there are nifty little laptop stands which are totally worth investing in or a few books to achieve the appropriate screen height and to purchase a separate keyboard and mouse for “happy arms”

Even the smallest changes in the angles of your head can have a big influence on the muscles in your neck and back

[2.a] AVOID REPETITIVE ROTATION: If you have multiple screens try and stack them on top of each other, or move them both more centrally. If you have more than two screens, make sure you arrange the screens in order of frequent use

[3] SIT BACK- TRY USING A LUMBAR SUPPORT: Some of us are lucky enough to have lumbar supports built into the chair. If not, they are very affordable online and are totally worth it. The Lumbar support reduces the amount of lumbar flexion (rounding your lower back), which in turn reduces the amount of thoracic flexion (rounding of the upper back and neck)

If you do not have anything better and would prefer not to upgrade to a supportive office chair, a lumbar support cushion or a small rolled up towel/cushion can be helpful to support your lower back. Try to remember to sit back into the chair so that your back is supported and take postural breaks 1-2 times every hour

[4] SITTING VS. STANDING- GET UP AND MOVE AROUND: Which is better? Neither. Movement is. Both sitting and standing for long periods is problematic and so you should focus on regularly alternating between the two. When we sit down, we have bent knees, closed hips, disengaged core and glutes, plus a rounding of the back which sounds pretty miserable

Just standing up and walking a few yards will help move some fresh blood around and engage some muscles otherwise not being used. Alternate between sitting and standing at least once every hour, especially given that your dining chair probably would not pass the ergonomic test. So charge your phone at the opposite side of the room, or have regular tea and water breaks. A mid-afternoon dance around the ‘home office’ will also work wonders

Given that you are probably no longer walking to catch public transport, or grabbing that morning coffee, or rushing between meetings, you have probably become a lot more sedentary .You may now need to set reminders to take regular breaks for both your physical health and musculoskeletal health, particularly as working from home also means we can end up working longer days

[5] ASK FOR A SIT/STAND DESK: It is not actually the sitting specifically that causes the pain, as people with standing desks will also complain of pain. Instead, it is the static posture of doing just one or the other. Our bodies are designed to be flexible, strong and agile. So it’s no wonder that after sitting down for 8+ hours per day, our body begins to winge and moan

TRY SOME EASY DESK STRETCHES AND EXERCISES

Keep it simple! Here are some great desk stretch ideas:

1. Gently rotate your shoulders in circles

          

2. Reach up over your head and lean side to side

         

3. Gently stretch your neck from side to side (think ear to shoulder)

         

4. Reach behind your chair to stretch your chest 

        

 

Despite the challenges of working from home during these times, you can now make sure you set your working posture properly, if you want to avoid triggering old injuries or creating new ones and thus decrease any associated aches and pains

Vissco’s Posture Aid, Lumbo Set,Active Cool Refreezable Eye pack will help you beat the pain when working from home under these strenuous conditions.

Checkout the Links:

https://www.vissco.com/index.php/activecool-cooleyes.html

https://www.vissco.com/index.php/eye-mask.html

https://www.vissco.com/index.php/posture-aid.html

Curated Link for Reference:

https://www.artofliving.org/in-en/lifestyle/success/smart-tips-for-working-from-home

https://www.artofliving.org/in-en/yoga/health-and-wellness/yoga-back-pain

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