Ergonomics At Home During COVID

Published June 23rd, 2020 by Dr. Daner

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic that is affecting so many aspects of life and activity in this country, more and more people are working from home. Whether their place of business is closed, or if they are being safe by staying home and not going into their physical place of work, people are working in spaces not usually used for this purpose. I recently have had a patient tell me that she is “tired of working on her laptop in bed”, or another tell me how they cannot find a good kitchen chair to use at their kitchen counter. It is always important to maintain the best posture possible, no matter the situation. That does not change during a pandemic. It can be a challenge setting up an ergonomically friendly work station at home. If we can just follow a few simple guidelines, we can give ourselves the best chance to maintain good posture and spinal health during these crazy times. 

Tips for Your Workspace

  • The first thing we want to do is create/find a dedicated workspace that is not the couch or bed. A counter with ample space, a desk, a table, these are all good examples of a work area. As far as the chair goes, you want a chair with a height that you can have your knees bent to 90 degrees and feet flat on the floor. Raise or lower your chair based on this. Your keyboard and mouse should be at elbow height. 

  • The level of your monitor is very important for neck posture; to avoid the dreaded “text neck” (spoken about in previous blogs). The top of your monitor should be slightly above eye level so that you do not have to look down at your monitor. This is the want to look down as little as possible. This gives the neck a more neutral posture rather than the constant downward pressure placed upon it while looking at a computer or cell phone. Also, your monitor should be about arm’s length away. 

  • One last tip...every hour or so, get up and stretch for 5 minutes. Hold your head back and try and pinch your shoulder blades together for 20 seconds. This alleviates pressure on the upper back and neck while getting you out of the chair to stretch your low back. 

Since many of us cannot go to our workplaces and to our normal ergonomic setups, it is important to do the best we can at home. This is not going to last forever, and soon enough it will all be back to “normal”. Make sure in addition to having the best posture you can, get your spine checked by your chiropractor. Things are crazy, but we can always give ourselves the best chance we can by staying healthy, and that starts with the spine! To further promote spinal health, click here to contact us and schedule a chiropractic appointment.

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