02 Sep Working from home? Check out Ergonomics 101
Raise the screen, lower your chair, use a keyboard rest, sit on a medicine ball, wait! Don’t sit on a medicine ball! …. Sound familiar?
The nature of ergonomics is a complex one!
A world where evidence changes rapidly and every Tom Dick and Harry (me) has an opinion on what works. So when everything is ‘googlable’, what is the correct advice to follow?
Well let’s take a step back from it all and go back to the fundamentals of what we’re trying to achieve with ergonomics. Ergonomics can be defined as the study of people’s efficiency in their work environment, so essentially we’re trying to ensure each individual can work as effectively as possible.
In a time when many of us are working from home, it is becoming more common seeing patients through Melbourne Hand Rehab who are finding they are becoming increasingly sore following increased working from home hours, where more often than not, the set up is not ideal. So here are some basic fundamental principles to assist you with your set up.
Remember, ergonomic principles are not black and white. It is different for everyone. However a general rule of thumb is, if its comfortable for you, then that’s a good thing!
Learn the Neutral wrist
Too often people are focussed on getting the height of the screen correct (also very important), however it is crucial not to compromise the angle of your wrist. Your wrist should be as straight as possible with typing. If you are working on a laptop, this may require acquiring a wireless keyboard and/or mouse. Most importantly, change the height of your desk or chair so that your wrists are straight when resting on the keyboard.
Stop your slouching!
We’re all guilty of it. The work day presses on and slowly you find yourself sliding further forward in that chair until you’re borderline horizontal. Find yourself a chair that is comfortable, supportive and can be adjusted to suit the height of your desk in order to keep your wrists straight. Oh and put that medicine ball back in the garage where it belongs. There’s nothing medical about it. Zero support!
Take a frequent stand up break
If you’ve got a sit to stand desk, great! However not all of us have such a luxury. Remember to take a standing break for a few minutes every hour. Get out for a walk on that lunch break if you can. A personal favourite tip of mine is to drink water throughout the day in a small glass. This is great for two things. Hydration, obviously, however it will also lead you to needing to get up regularly, walk to the kitchen and fill the glass back up. This small tip can make a big difference!
For more tips or workplace advice, book in with one of our friendly therapists!
By Harrison Vercoe
If you are experiencing hand, wrist pain or shoulder pain don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to help you.
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