100-ish tips for working from home – Part 1

standing desk tips for working from home

Part 1. Seating (or standing) position

  1. Try to create a home office area with an office desk and chair to reduce non-work distractions
  2. Use an office chair with padded back and seat to avoid low back pain and hamstring problems rather than, say, a kitchen chair (unless you’ve got a super comfy one!)
  3. When choosing an office chair, make sure your the seat is short enough to allow your butt to touch the back of the seat (so your low back is supported by the chair back)
  4. To avoid RSI, neck / shoulder pain and headaches, standing desks can really improve the ergonomics of your work station facilitating ideal posture for your wrists / shoulders and neck (elbows at right angles, shoulders hanging comfortably not being pushed up, and eyes looking ahead at your screen)
  5. If you can’t get a standing desk, consider investing in a separate screen / hard drive / keyboard so that you’re not constantly looking down at a laptop screen
  6. If you’ve got a standing desk, prevent varicose vein formation by shifting your weight from leg to leg or heel to ball of your foot (apparently like Beefeaters on sentry duty!)
  7. When standing for long periods, don’t slouch with a swayback posture, or on one leg / hip as you’ll eventually trigger postural strains in your lumbopelvic ligaments. Engage your core muscles by drawing your bellybutton back towards your spine
  8. If you can’t fit an office chair into your set up an air-filled wedge cushion can improve your low back posture on a kitchen chair
  9. For real space saving an exercise ball that you can deflate at the end of the day (and inflate at the start of the day for a mini upper body workout) can help gently condition your postural muscles
  10. To avoid lumbar disc strains from the banana-shaped slouch after hours in a kitchen chair, place a cushion or rolled up towel behind the small of your back to gently remind you to sit up
  11. Avoid core muscle fatigue and aches with an exercise ball cushion to keep your postural muscles lightly engaged
  12. To reduce chronic low back pain, be a fidget – change position regularly
  13. Check that your chair and desk are at the right height – your knees and hips should be at, or slightly more than, a 90 degree angle
  14. To avoid neck pain and headache, learn to touch type if you constantly look down at your fingers
  15. Learning to touch type can reduce elbow and wrist strains and tendonitis
  16. Use voice dictation software if you have a lot of typing to help reduce other forms of RSI such de Quervain’s tenosynovitis
  17. A new keyboard with flatter (and easier to press keys) can help to reduce finger and wrist strains
  18. Alternative keyboards such as a Dvorak keyboard can help to eliminate wrist and arm strains such as and golfers tennis elbow

If you’ve already got low back pain, neck strain, headache, or RSI we’ll be publishing exercises and activities to help in the coming weeks. Keep checking in. In the meantime, our osteopaths, physiotherapists, massage therapist, acupuncturist and Pilates therapist are all on hand to help!

Please call to discuss whether we can help you 020 7735 6813.


Part 2. Daily routine