Thursday 16 April 2020
Maintaining a healthy posture while working from home is an essential part of our well-being during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown.
At the beginning of 2020 we had absolutely no idea that many of us would be thrust into working from home. Throw into the mix a little homeschooling, childcare 24/7, limited time outdoors, lack of social interaction, financial worries and a shortage of toilet paper and it’s fair to say that this year has given us plenty of challenges.
Working from home has lots of benefits – there’s no commuting time, no sitting in traffic, no car park charges, no one taking your food from the office fridge and the opportunity to organise your day around your personal energy levels. If you want to take a lunchtime walk instead of having to wait for the post-6pm gym class, that’s your choice.
While many people need only a laptop and a good internet connection in order to carry out their job, it also makes it very easy to designate the dining table or sofa as your new workspace.
But your spine won’t thank you for this in the long run!
Here are some of our top tips to maintain spinal health, improve posture and reduce the risk of back pain:
- Take regular screen breaks, just as you would in your office job. Get up and walk around the house, go out in the garden for 5 minutes, do a short online meditation (try the Calm app) or dance around to your favourite tune.
- Ensure your chair, desk and screen are correctly positioned. Local chiropractor and ergonomic expert Grant Henderson shares his tips here: https://www.activechiropracticjersey.co.uk/blog/safesetupofyourdesktopathome
- Drink lots of water and stay hydrated. Set a timer if you’re prone to forgetting to eat or drink.
- Get outside! At the time of writing this article, islanders are allowed to leave their homes for up to two hours a day for exercise and obtaining essential supplies. Make the most of the fresh air and our beautiful countryside and beaches by going for walks and cycle rides, or even a sea swim if you’re brave enough!
- Maintain a good exercise plan. While you may not be able to attend your usual gym, yoga, dance or Pilates class, many freelance instructors and gyms have set up virtual classes for you to do in the comfort of your own home. You don’t need a lot of space, nor any specific equipment to work from home effectively. Aim to keep doing the same amount of exercise per week as you were used to before lockdown.
- Try working on your laptop in a standing position. Standing is better for your body than sitting all day long. Here are more of Grant Henderson’s tips for setting up a standing office workstation: https://www.activechiropracticjersey.co.uk/blog/2020/3/30/work-standing-up-at-home-mix-it-up
- If you have young children studying at home for the foreseeable future, here are some guidelines: https://www.activechiropracticjersey.co.uk/blog/childrenstudyingfromhome
Stretching is an important part of any exercise routine as it helps prevent injury and helps to maintain joint mobility. Stretching becomes even more important when you’re spending a lot of your time at a desk or at home (and not doing those 10,000 steps a day!).
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy have put together a short list of essential stretches and exercises that are easy to build into your working day. https://www.csp.org.uk/system/files/do_you_sit_at_your_desk_exercise_sheets_a4.pdf
Move More at Home
Over the past few weeks we’ve been busy collating even more exercise and health resources for islanders at home. Click the button below to find out more:
EXERCISE AT HOME