Are you sitting comfortably? Then I will begin….. for those of you who really have no idea what I am talking about I will tell you later, but today it is a letter to help you with working at home.
Most of you are in self isolation or with immediate family/flatmates and I am sure you know the basics of ergonomics which is surely good plain common sense, but maybe I can add some new working tips…
Sit to Stand Desks
These have long been the ‘go to’ choice of ergonomists. The real secret is to alter your posture throughout the day. Using furniture that fits this idea, or on an added riser or stack of books that elevate your desk top or laptop, is the key. Try this for 20-30 minutes at a time.
Standing brings the benefit of clearer thinking, improved breathing control and digestion. It just makes sense!
Many are on the market at reasonable prices:-
Ikea has a range from £115-£195
Wayfair.co.uk sells one for £83.99 by Symple Stuff
A good working chair should:-
* be able to swivel, rise up and down.
have an adjustable seat that can slide forwards and backwards to take into account the length of your thighs
adjustable arms to fit your height. Arms can block your chair from easing under the table/desk, forcing you to lean forwards to use your keyboard.
search around for a good second hand chair, at www,co.uk.
the alternative is a Swiss Ball. Our recommended stockists are Performance HealthUK at www.performancehealth.co.uk, or Sissel, at www.sisseluk.com.
Try a Swiss Ball
Fun, inexpensive (£35 or less from most good outlets, including a pump), collapsible and definitely ergonomic, it is a great asset for all the family whether at work or play. If you have the fidget gene then one of these is definitely for you! Seated on one, you are constantly readjusting your centre of balance, even with minute movements.
Excellent for core work outs and work ins.
Now you are working at home think about a collapsible photographic backdrop which may be preferable to one of your kitchen when taking a conference call. Many curtain and blind companies sell these – try www.bdbackgrounds.com, for as little as £50. You could also purchase a green screen from Amazon for as little as £20, which works very well for video conferencing. Or you can try a bookshelf, which seems to be very popular with online media!
If you are only using a laptop I would strongly suggest you buy a separate keyboard to use with it. This way you can use the screen part of the laptop (on risers/ books) at eye height and the separate keyboard on your table. This way you are mimicking a desktop computer at a fraction of the price. Ergonomic keyboards are also available. Try Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 (UK Layout) on Amazon, approx. £40.
And of course, the most important of all are the work breaks. These were stipulated by the EU long ago when Europe was having a RSI crisis. For every 30 minutes, take 2 – 5 minutes off to stretch, work out on that Swiss Ball or just go to your balcony or garden or front door step and do some deep breathing.