Have you started to go back into the office lately? If you’ve managed to dodge the latest bout of flu/RSV/COVID then you are probably heading into the office a few more days each week. The challenging thing here is having a good ergonomic setup both at home and in the office.
A few tricks can make this transition easier…
My number one tip is to take a few minutes at the start of your work day to make sure your desk is where you left it. Maybe your office has downsized and now has a shared desk set up, or maybe the kids raided the home office during school holidays. Either way, your chair, desk and monitor are liable to being moved around the place whilst you’re not there.
A 90 second check would involve the following:
- Adjust your chair height to make sure your elbows are just above the desk level. Tuck your chair right underneath your desk and then adjust the backrest into a comfortable and supportive position.
- Next, bring your mouse and keyboard nice and close (if you have a laptop, I highly recommend a separate keyboard).
- And lastly, adjust the monitor so that it is at eye level, the top ⅓ of the monitor should hit your eye level without your neck having to tilt. If you have a laptop, this is where an external keyboard & mouse is helpful, and you can pop your laptop on a stand to bring it up to eye level.
Another consideration is ensuring you have the right equipment, most workplaces have an allocation for ergonomic equipment. The basics required are a good chair with a long backrest, a separate monitor, a laptop stand, and an wireless keyboard and mouse. The great thing here is the keyboard/mouse and laptop stand are easily transportable between home and the office if need be.
Last but of course not least, is movement! A physios favourite topic.
At home you need to make sure you are taking regular breaks, because your meetings are all in the same spot (your chair!) you actually move LESS at home.
In the office, utilise your commute for an extra 5 minute walk by getting off the bus one stop early. Or catch up with your colleagues again by scheduling walking meetings and outside coffees.
Remember that we are always here to help if you are having any issues with discomfort when working. A physio assessment can point you in the right direction.