People are working from home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and having the right setup in a home office is crucial to prevent injury.
According to occupational therapists Kelly Evans and Kristin Peters of Creative Therapy Consultants, there are a few small changes that can be made to optimize posture.
Chair height is key, according to Evans. If it’s too short for the surface you are working at, your wrists will be strained, and that can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
Instead, Evans said, use towels to raise yourself up in the seat to bring your wrists to a neutral position and place a pillow behind your back for lumbar support to ward off a back injury.
However, Evans said the most important thing to do is preventing neck injury. If you’re looking down at your monitor, raise it up with a box or with old books.
“The top line of text on the screen should be in line with eyes,” said Evans.
The monitor should be an arm’s length distance away and use an external keyboard.
If conducting data entry, Evans recommends creating a board with cardboard or cutting into an old box to prevent neck strain from constantly looking down.
Taking short breaks once an hour will improve productivity, Evans said. As a reminder, you can set alarms on a smartwatch or a timer, drink lots of water to force bathroom breaks and keep your lunch and any snacks away from the workspace.
“When you are at the computer, you are forward-flexed, so you need to try to open up to keep that upward posture ,” said Peters.
The occupational therapists also recommend reaching out to employers to borrow equipment from the office to create the ideal workspace that will prevent any injury.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.