Here at the Oakville Chiropractic Centre, we treat patients for so many different reasons. With the new shift in todays workplace, people are working from home but forgetting to place importance on the way and position we are setup in front of our computers.
When Covid-19 became a household name, no one could imagine the shift that was about to take place. Suddenly, our norm became homeschooling hosted in the living room, telecommuting from the kitchen and a fresh cup of coffee from that new bistro “Nescafé”. Many of our patients started noticing neck or backaches from long hours in the dining room chairs, headaches from computer use, and started asking questions on how they could best adapt their new workspace. Here is a list of our top tips to help get you comfortable in an ergonomic position to best suit your body.
- Mark your territory! When possible, create a dedicated workspace. This means investing in a proper chair, use a desk or table of suitable height, ensure adequate lighting, and commit to doing longer stretches of work from there and not on the go (i.e. couch, bed, etc.) This will make the following tips easier to apply and follow.
- Pick your seat! It is important to pick a chair that you find comfortable to sit in for longer stretches. It should also be supportive for your lumbar spine (lower back) and accommodate the natural lordotic curve. It should be tall enough to allow for relaxed (and not hiked) shoulders when reaching for the keyboard, yet not too tall that your legs are dangling off the floor. It should be adjusted to the individual’s height and table. If necessary, a small stool or foot raise can be used to keep feet flat and supported.
- Work your angles! Your elbows, hips and knees should all follow the same angle range of 90°-100°. This allows for comfort and reduces unnecessary tension.
- Get in line! Your wrists should form a straight line from your forearms to the keyboard/mouse. Ideally your keyboard should sit lower than your table but higher than your knees. If you are using a laptop or tablet, consider getting a wireless keyboard to help maximize ergonomic positioning. Your eyeline should allow to keep your neck in a neutral position without the need to move your head to look up or down to read your screen. The distance between your eyes and the screen should be between 50-100 cm. Also, Make sure your screen is away from overt lighting to avoid glare and cause eyestrain.
- Take a break! Even after you have assessed your workspace and made the necessary arrangements, it is not healthy to stay in the same sustained posture for any length of time exceeding 45 minutes to an hour—so take a break! Make sure you get up, get moving and allow a rest for your body from well, resting. Changing your position allows for relief from the tension that can build up after staying seated. Take a walk, take a drink, take a break!
If you have applied these techniques to your workspace and are still suffering from headaches, neck, or back pain—it may be a great time to get a Chiropractic assessment done. At the Oakville Chiropractic Centre, we do an in-depth health history, postural evaluation, and make suggestions for your health and wellness going forward. Please feel free to contact us at 905-845-2291 with any questions you may have!
Dr. Tiffany Huggins