Many Australians currently find themselves working from home in order to help protect themselves and those in their community, but that doesn’t mean we have to let our spinal health and overall wellbeing lapse.
In these difficult times, it is important to remember to put your health first and to keep your life and daily habits as normal, healthy and productive as possible. If you are one of the lucky Australians who are able to work from home, try following these simple tips to help make working from home, work for you.
Set up a productive space
Like you would in your office, make sure your workspace at home is optimised for productivity. If you can, set up a dedicated home office with a top-notch ergonomic chair, and only if feasible, try and arrange for an adjustable sit/stand desk.
Ensuring the technology you use is also ergonomically sound can be great in supporting your spinal health. For instance, use a separate mouse and keyboard so your laptop can be lifted to eye level with help of a few props. A kitchen table is a good alternative to a desk, just make sure to replace one of the table chairs with a supportive work chair.
Worried about not being productive while out of the office? If the sight of unfinished housework is making you feel uncomfortable, remove it from within your eyeline so you can continue to focus on your work. It might be a good idea if there are other people in your home to set dedicated ‘do not disturb’ times so you can solely commit to tasks and continue to be productive from home.
While it is easy to get lost in the hours of work, it’s important to remember to give both our minds and bodies a much-needed break. Every 30 minutes or so get up and do a little stretch or something quick and active like 10 squats or star-jumps. As long as you’re moving!
Every hour, take a five minute break by going for a walk around the block or making a hot drink, anything to get you up, moving and away from your screen. Complete the three-minute stretching program on the Straighten Up app during this time as well. The program is designed to improve your spinal health, posture and overall wellbeing, and is a great tool to help you move during long periods at home.
Just as you would have a normal routine if you were going into work daily, try and keep a routine when working from home. Aim to wake up at a consistent time every day, eat meals regularly and stick to an exercise regime to help maintain control of unhealthy habits that may arise from the comfort of working from home.
While working from home can feel a little isolating, friends and colleagues are usually only a phone call away. Utilise technology to stay connected with people by having virtual video meetings, or even just checking in with your work colleagues and having a casual chat. Talking to people who are working from home as well can help you feel like you’re not alone in this.
Chances are you’re using your computer and phone a fair bit during working hours so at the end of the day, try and have a little technology detox. Maybe unwind with a book, cook a meal or enjoy a relaxing cuppa with no tech in sight.
If you can, try and go for a 30-minute brisk walk using the Just Start Walking app, which tracks your walks and lets you set reminders so you never miss a day.
Your local ACA chiropractor can also provide you with advice and assistance on how to implement positive spinal health habits while working from home. To find you local chiropractor visit findachiro.org.au and for more tips on working from home visit workingfromhome.org.au