Hello. My name is Annie Malone from Athletico Physical Therapy. Today we're going to talk through some tips while you work from home. You may have found yourself working from home over the past several months and are possibly even staying in a fully remote position as many businesses have transitioned over to this structure. While office spaces are typically more ergonomic friendly compared to working from your kitchen counter, dining room table or even couch based on your current setup.
You might be noticing some new aches and pains that come with this remote lifestyle. Because of that, it's extremely important to ensure your workspace is set up for success. Today, we're going to be looking at a few long term tips that will support better work from home experience for both your mind and body. The first tip is directly linked to posture.
Often when we're in the same position for prolonged periods of time, especially when sitting and working on a computer which can put great strain on the neck lower back and hips. To help with this, you want to position yourself so that there are numerous 90 degree angle from head to toe to support better posture. Starting with the head we want to have it directly above our body while avoiding leaning forward, which will ultimately cause your spine to round out of it.
Next, make sure that your eyes are level with the top of your monitor or computer screen, which should be about 18 to 24 inches away. You may have to adjust the height of your chair or desk to accomplish this. You want to have a chair at your workstation that is adjustable and has the ability to roll and swivel when your chair is able to move with you.
It will result in putting less stress on your spine and your body throughout the day. Moving downward. Keep your elbows close to your body. This is where another 90 degree angle comes into play. As you'll want to keep your arms parallel to the floor. Have your wrist straight and your fingers relaxed. Keep your upper back straight with your shoulders relaxed and make sure that the backrest of your chair is supporting the natural curve in your low back.
Your hips should be back as far as possible in the chair. And finally getting to our feet. They should be flat on the floor. Feel free to adjust the height of your chair to achieve this or even use a footstool as needed. There should also be a 90 degree angle behind your knees.
Now that you've got your posture down to help you feel better physically. It's also important to take care of your mental wellbeing during the workday as well. Taking breaks is an important part of your day and should be incorporated to allow you to step away from the task at hand. This could include stretching, going for a walk, doing a ten minute meditation or giving a friend or family member a phone call while the duration and frequency of break to vary from person to person.
Most studies suggest that a five minute break every 30 minutes or a 15 minute break every 90 minutes can significantly help boost long term productivity. If you can't quite step away for a break, at the very least, try and follow the 20, 20, 20 rule. Which means you should be looking at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. This will help give your eyes a break and reduce eyestrain in addition to brain breaks.
Remember to take stretching breaks as well. As we talked about before, when sitting in the same position for a prolonged period of time, our bodies become strained and our posture starts to weaken. Even a few simple stretches throughout the day can help. Here are a few examples to try. This is a great one for the muscles in your neck.
Use your arm to gently bend your head to the side and you can use your opposite arm to grasp the chair to stabilize. Hold this for 30 seconds and repeat two times on each side.
For the form extenders. Straighten your elbow and hold your arm in front of you. With your opposite hand, you'll push your palm toward your forearm as you feel a stretch along the top of your forearm for the flexors in your forearm. You'll go the opposite direction, pulling the palm of your hand away Keep your elbows straight and arm out in front of you.
Hold each of these for 30 seconds and perform two times on each arm. And there you have it. Practicing these tips to keep aches and pains at bay will help you while you're working from home on behalf of Athletico physical therapy. Thank you. And take care.