Working from Home #WFH

Jun 2020

I write this blog for everyone that is working from home, including those of us who usually have very active jobs. Most of us are working from home – to some degree, forced to get more in touch with technology more so now than ever!

Boris Johnson announced lockdown measures on 23rdMarch 2020. I remember it so well it was just after Mother’s Day and two days before my sisters birthday. Some of you had already chosen to stay at home, avoiding unnecessary visits, especially if someone in your home was shielding. So many companies were frantically trying to get everyone set up to work from home. I can only imagine how hard the IT teams have been working the whole way through lockdown. 

As WFH became the new normal, people and patients, old and new started to reach out to me about old and new complaints, that they felt had been triggered by ‘working out from home’. The more I listened, the more I realized that this was coming from the ill – fitting dining room table and chair that had now become a permanent work – station! Some people told me that they were sitting at their desks for longer than they would do normally – was that you? Is that still you? Additionally, some people were also home schooling at the same table and chair, reaching over their youngsters as they tried to take up the position of teacher.  

Naturally, my curiosities rose about the incidences of these complaints so I started to look at trends of the complaints. I reached out and asked people to send me pictures of themselves at their work – stations. It was great! It gave me a brilliant insight into the various different work – stations that had been put together by people who had to adapt their home to accommodate an office. 

The start of 2020 has seen me visit New York City on two occasions for personal reasons but through everything I recognised the need to hold the

As a Physiotherapist, I started to consider what the bigger picture encompassed for people working from home; the psychological component to ‘never leaving the office’ or juggling your child’s education with your own work! Is that even possible? 

As a physio, it is my job to think about all the things you haven’t quite thought about that might be the main driver to the presentation of your symptoms within a situation. 

Here are the common themes that I became increasingly aware of: 

  1. Your chair height relative to the table height is too low (or vice versa), for the use of computer work. 

Essentially you end up either looking up (neck extension) or looking down (neck flexion) for prolonged periods of the day. Consider adjusting your screen so that it is eye level. I really like using these two options, one of which is portable:
  • Your computer is either too far away or too close to you. 

As a result your default posture is poor and you have no idea!

  • You find yourself perching on the edge of your dining room chair.

Your chair isn’t comfortable and perching seems to be the best position that you can find. If you aren’t perching, you keep moving around on your chair, trying to find a comfortable position.

Why not consider using a chair cushion, like this Alternatively or in addition, a lumbar support can also be useful

  • Whilst you use the computer for most of your work, you are also taking calls on your mobile phone as well as answering emails, out of office hours, when you should be taking a break 

Have you considered using a headset

or a mount for your mobile phone?

  • You are not taking regular, scheduled breaks during your day. 

Your whole body needs movement – the muscles, the joints and the nervous system. Allowing yourself to become all engulfed in your work will inevitably reduce your productivity but it also means that the blood supply around your body is limited to the posture that you have acquired at your desk!

Are you working out from home? 

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