By Dr. Matthew Alch (Chiropractor)
If you are working from home, chances are you spend your time sitting still in front of a computer screen for hours on end. Although this may be how you get your work done, such habits may not be healthy and sustainable for your body in the long run. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, ‘sedentary lifestyles increase all causes of mortality, even doubling the risk for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity’.
As such, it is important that you take the right steps to care for your postural and musculoskeletal health, even while working from home. For those already experiencing musculoskeletal pain in certain areas of their body, below are some tips to make your at-home set up as ergonomic as possible.
Ergonomic Set Up Tips for Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal pains an individual may experience. It can be especially common with individuals working from home, as a result of poor posture and unnecessary stress placed on the back.
To assist with back pain while working from home, here are a few ergonomic set up tips below.
Sit at 90 degree angles
Always sit at 90 degree angles and invest in equipment which will help with this. Your back and your legs should be positioned at a 90 degree angle when sitting so that your back is supported as well as it can be. Likewise, your knees should also be positioned at a 90 degree angle with your feet flat on the ground. Investing in a foot stand may help with this, as well as an ergonomic office chair.
It is important to not remain in one position for too long when working from home. Take breaks to move around and get moving. Rather than sitting for a few hours straight, it is more beneficial to break up your work time and change positions to loosen up your body. A standing desk may be able to help with this.
Ergonomic Set Up Tips for Foot Pain
If you are experiencing foot pain while working from home, you may require external treatments to address your pain. It is recommended to visit a professional health practitioner such as a chiropractor for a diagnosis on your musculoskeletal concern and your pain. A few ergonomic set up tips for foot pain are included down below.
Orthotics are a prescribed medical device from a healthcare provider and are inserted into shoes to help with positioning and support. They are made with memory foam to provide comfort to users and encourage proper foot alignment to minimize pain.
Apply heat or ice therapy
Heat therapy or ice therapy may help with foot pain depending on the type and level of pain. Both heat or ice therapy can be applied at home, however should be done under the instructions of a healthcare practitioner who understands your musculoskeletal concerns and circumstances.
While working from home, it is important that you make an effort to take care of your musculoskeletal health to prevent any long term chronic concerns. Investing in your at-home set up with the ergonomic tips listed above is a good place to start. Be sure to contact a health practitioner for more advice on taking care of your musculoskeletal health with an ergonomic work-from-home set up.
About the Author: Dr. Matthew Alch
Dr. Matthew Alch (Chiropractor) has been practicing chiropractic at Sydney Spinal Care since late 2002. Matthew graduated from Macquarie University with a Bachelor of Chiropractic Science and a Masters of Chiropractic. Matthew’s extensive experience and knowledge combine with his honest and caring nature to serve his patients’ healthcare needs in the best way possible. He is a member of the Australian Chiropractors Association.