The pandemic has radically changed the course of our lives. Although remote work may seem like a dream before, it has become a reality for many. Most thought it was a temporary thing, creating an “office” from scratch. Several months later, however, your remote work setup seems it’s here to stay.
Unfortunately, most people still work with the same setups they started with. And most probably have headaches, neck pain, and back pain because they didn’t realize how a well-planned setup can affect posture and musculoskeletal wellness.
According to chiropractors, at-home work setups should be more user-friendly and productive. It all starts with ensuring the arrangement is efficient, functional, and ergonomic so you can endure all those Zoom meetings.
Here’s why you should care about ergonomics and a few chiropractor tips for an ergonomic workstation.
What is Ergonomics, and Why Does it Matter?
Ergonomics refers to creating a safe working environment that also increases productivity. It allows you to work with minimal stress, ensuring productivity, safety, and happiness while working long hours.
Repetitive motion, poor posture, and staying in one spot for eight hours or more can lead to temporary pain, long-term damage, and musculoskeletal strain. These, in turn, can lead to fatigue, discomfort, shallow breathing, back pain, headaches, and jaw pain. These can also turn into severe musculoskeletal disorders over time. Making minor adjustments to your setup and position can make all the difference.
Chiropractor Tips for An Ergonomic Office Setup
Your home may not be set up to be the best place to perform your tasks. But you can definitely do something about it. Here are some chiropractor tips on how to set up an optimal workspace at home.
Be mindful of your computer placement.
A computer is a must-have for any modern office, and optimizing its placement is vital in setting up an ergonomic workspace. Computer components that must be positioned where you can easily and comfortably operate them include the keyboard, monitor, and mouse.
Based on chiropractor recommendations, you should place your monitor straight in front of your face, at least an arm’s length away. Your eye line should be slightly above your monitor, and ensure the area is well lit.
Your keyboard and mouse should be within easy reach on the same surface. Ensure your wrists are straight and at the same level as your elbow while operating the mouse and keyboard.
Choose the right desk height.
Because you will likely spend most of your time at your desk while working at home, chiropractors recommend finding the right height for your desk, which can make a big difference. You might hunch over your desk if your desk is too low. On the other hand, you might constantly look up and lift your elbows if your desk is too high.
Your desk should be at elbow level and parallel with the ground. The ideal height for most people is between 28 to 30 inches above the floor. You should also take your time to find the right height for you. It is a small investment that will yield significant results.
Choose the right chair.
You can’t appreciate the wonders of an ergonomic chair unless you try one. According to chiropractors, at-home workspaces should have one.
Your chair should allow your feet to rest flat on the ground while keeping your thighs parallel to the ground. The armrests shouldn’t squeeze your legs together and provide enough space to sit comfortably.
It would be best to have a firm seat to support your spine. Finding the right balance between firmness and comfort is crucial. Try as many chairs as you like until you find the one that suits you best.
Optimize your dining table.
The dining table is one of the most used workspaces for people who can’t have a dedicated work desk. Here are some steps to optimize this space and prevent injury:
Sit straight and don’t hunch over.
Sit with your hips touching the back of your chair.
Raise your iPad, laptop, or other work devices on a box or a stack of books.
Use a separate keyboard that you can place at elbow height.
Sit up straight.
Slouching compresses the spine and puts extra pressure on the vertebrae. This posture can lead to back pain over time. Here’s a chiropractor’s advice: keep your spine straight and high, and sit in a way that distributes your weight evenly on each side. It would help if you kept your chair close enough to your desk so you won’t have to reach and lean constantly. Add lumbar support to your chair if necessary.
Relax your shoulders.
Whether your chair has armrests or not, make sure your position allows you to relax your shoulders and rest your elbows near your body. Try adding support such as pillows to your neck and shoulders if you feel pain after using your computer.
Keep your head afloat.
It may seem silly, but imagining your head as a balloon or ball perfectly balanced on your neck and torso can help lighten your body’s load.
Work-from-home setups are now becoming a norm for many people. However, most people don’t realize they need to set up their spaces ergonomically to allow them to work more comfortably and safely from musculoskeletal problems.
Some chiropractor tips that can make your workspace ergonomic is to choose a chair and table that will allow you to keep your elbows level with your hands and parallel to the ground. You should also set up your computer where your monitor sits just below your eye level and your keyboard and mouse just close enough to your body to keep your wrist in a neutral position. You should also sit straight, relax your shoulders, and float your head.
Live pain-free with Advanced Chiropractors Group.
For those working at home, chiropractor visits can help. Our partner chiropractors in Largo, CO, can help give you more tips to help you create the most ergonomic setup possible. They can also relieve the pain from working in a poorly set up workspace. Call us, and lead a healthier and pain-free life today.