Coronavirus could be a real pain in the neck
Our therapists at AHS share some office set-up tips, as well as a few simple stretches to help protect your musculoskeletal health from 9-5.
Due to the current public health conditions, many of us have transitioned from a traditional office work space to a work-from-hope set-up. Although it’s tempting to send emails and join conference calls from the comfort of your bed or sofa, this short-term comfort could land you in the doctor’s office when this era of self-quarantine is over. Neck and back injuries are some of the most common “desk job” related issues that could be prevented by setting up your home office in an ergonomically friendly way and regularly stretching.
Work Station Ergonomics
- Lift your laptop/monitor– Your screen should be at a height that you can look straight ahead at it, not looking sideways or down. If your desktop monitor is adjustable, this is an easy fix. For laptops, a laptop tray, a stack of books, or a box can achieve the same effect.
- Add an external keyboard– The built-in keyboard on laptops are extremely convenient, but they’re not ergonomically friendly for full-time use. Instead, opt for a flat keyboard that places your wrists in a straight position. Alternatively, a split design keyboard is the most ideal, as it forces you to open your shoulders and puts your arms and wrists in a more neutral position when typing.
- Adjust chair height– If your chair is adjustable, move the chair up or down so that your feet are flat on the floor and your knees are aligned with your hips at a 90 degree angle. If the height of your work table requires you to raise the height of your chair, use a small footstool or a sturdy stack of books to place your knees in the correct position.
- Start standing or sitting tall, and place your left hand behind your back
- While facing forward, use your right hand to tilt your head toward your right shoulder
- Hold for 15-20 seconds
- Repeat on the opposite side. Perform 3 times on each side
- Raise your arms in front of you at about shoulder height
- Place right hand on top of left hand
- Drop chin toward your chest
- Reach straight foward so that you’re rounding your upper back. Think about pulling your shoulder blades apart
- Hold for 6-10 seconds. Repeat 2-4 times
Shoulder Blade Squeeze
- Sit or stand tall with your arms at your sides
- Keep your shoulders relaxed and down, not shrugged
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together
- Hold for 6-10 seconds. Repeat 8-10 times.
- Stand in an open doorway. Raise each arm up to your side, bent at 90 degree angles and your palms foward. Rest your palms on the door frame
- Slowly step forward with one foot. Without leaning foward, shift more weight onto the front foot for a deeper stretch
- Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times.