Many of us are now working from home and making the best of it. Not everyone has dedicated office space but it’s important to create a comfortable and functional work area. Some tips: if sitting at a desk or table, be sure to use your PC or laptop at a height and angle that is comfortable and doesn’t hurt your wrists or lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Take time to flex your wrists, hands and fingers. On the same note, be kind to your neck and shoulders by placing your PC at a comfortable height, and try not to hunch over your keyboard. This sounds basic, but it’s pretty common to catch yourself hunched over your PC. After a while, your back and neck will ache!
Next (this might sound very simple but it’s key), find a chair that is comfortable for long term use. You could order an office chair on line, and hopefully it’ll work out. But, not everyone can afford or obtain a new office chair, so try to find something at home that is comfy for extended periods of time. You’ll find that kitchen chairs such as Windsor chairs or ladder back chairs are generally OK for a little while but will lead to achy backs, hips and knees if used too long. Upholstered chairs such as wing chairs or club chairs often turn out to provide comfortable seating for laptop or tablet use. I even know a couple of folks using their lawn chairs because they’re comfortable and forgiving. Not the best look indoors, but if it works for now, it works! While sitting in a lounge chair with your laptop or tablet, the proper height and positioning is crucial. Avoid neck strain by using your device at a comfortable height. Lap desks and laptop stands are affordable accessories that can make a big difference in terms of comfort, but even a toss pillow or a book will work.
Standing while working is beneficial and provides a really good break from sitting. Find a spot like a tall chest of drawers or a bar height counter top, and try working there. Standing on hardwood or carpet is usually easier on the back and knees than standing on tile, so a gel mat or a soft area rug can be very helpful on tile floors. Good lighting is important to minimize eye strain and minimize fatigue. Finally, take time to move, stretch, walk, and take deep breaths. At minimum, a five or ten minute break every hour is refreshing and can keep you from feeling weary. It’s a good thing physically and mentally! And as the weather gets nicer, time outside for a walk or a jog feels awesome. The time saved with no commute can be spent on exercise and fun activities. Looking on the bright side – here’s to health and healing.