Many workplaces over the past couple months have transitioned to working from home. This typically means long hours spent behind a laptop or computer.
Although it might seem like a nice idea to sit on the couch as you work, this is typically not ideal. A common complaint with working from home is increased back, neck, wrist/hand pain. Adjusting your workstation can help to reduce these aches and pains.
Whether you have a home office with a desk and office chair, or are working from your kitchen table, it is important to make sure your chair height, monitor height, and spinal position are in an ideal alignment. Below are a few important things to consider when setting up your workstation.
- Spinal Alignment:
- Ear, shoulder, elbows, and hip should be in a line while sitting
- If you imagine a string that sits in front of your spine and comes out the top of your head, your spine should be parallel with the string. Muscles should be relaxed in this position. Think “long and loose.”
- At a height where shoulders can be relaxed by your side, and forearms are perpendicular to the floor as they rest on your desk/table
- Hips should be at about a 90 degree angle with feet flat on the floor
- Hips/bottom should be as far back in the chair as possible
- Bend of your knee should not touch the back of the chair
- Keep positioned at height where elbows are approximately 90 deg angle
- Wrists should be in a neutral position
- Position at eye level to avoid having to look up or down for long periods of time
- Monitor should be about 20 inches from your eyes
- Spinal Alignment:
While setting up your workstation you might have to get creative. Use a box or text book to adjust the height of your monitor, place your feet on a stool or book if your feet do not touch the floor, or put a cushion on your chair if you are too tall for the chair you have available to you. By maintaining good spinal alignment throughout your work day and maintaining a long and loose position (muscles relaxed), this will help to minimize the aches and pains throughout your body
while working from home.
Neil King Physical Therapy