Scores of my patients, as well as millions more are now working from home. Teachers, students, attorneys, those in the financial services and many others are trying their best to remain productive in make-shift home workstations.
Even though an entire book could be written about setting up home, workstations, here are three recommendations that many of my work-from-home patients have found helpful. I would make much different recommendations in the traditional workplace setting, but we are in a novel time right now and we must successfully adapt to new circumstances at this time.
The majority of the people I know are using a laptop at home so with this in mind consider the following:
Pick your best spot at home.
- If you do not have a regular desk at home, working at a kitchen table is generally much better than sitting on a couch with your laptop on your lap.
Adjust your home workstation for better seated posture.
- Use or make a seat wedge to help you maintain a better posture. My favorite by far is the Kabooti. Some of my patients also like the Bamboo seat wedge. You can partially fold a sleeping pillow to form a wedge too.
- The kitchen table is often too low for the laptop screen, so place large books, such as coffee table size books or reams of copy paper under the laptop to raise it up in a stable way so that you do not have to raise your hands up or lower your head down uncomfortably. If you have a wireless keyboard, then you can raise the screen up higher and place the keyboard on the tabletop for better posture.
Make your home workplace a sit and stand station.
- Actually, every seated workstation, even this make-shift one is a form of a sit/stand station. All you need to do is simply stand up every 20 minutes or so and do a simple routine like this:
- Stand up and move your legs up and down like you are walking in place.
- Look at an object that is more than 20 feet away for about 20 seconds.
- Gently shake your hands, wrists and elbows while you are gently rolling your shoulders upward and
back down for a few seconds.
- Take a slow deep breath in to improve your posture, smile then slowly exhale.
- Sit down refreshed, in a good posture and you are ready to get back to work.
Consider structuring the timing of your home workday to be similar to your typical workday. Remember, individual circumstances vary so apply these suggestions to your own situation. This is not a replacement for treatment or consultation. If you have specific questions, please contact your health care provider. Don’t hesitate to contact me, as well if you would like some additional information.
Scott Donkin, DC, DACBOH