With so many of us now working from home due to coronavirus (COVID-19) it can be challenging setting up the work space from home.

The times are a changing, quite rapidly, at the moment, leading to so many of us now working from home when we never have before.

Due to limited space or no home office those of us working from home can often be set up on dining tables and kitchen benches. But how do I create a healthy and ergonomic work space from home?

With these three easy steps you’ll find it much easier to transition to a comfortable and productive working from home space.

The desk set up:

Most people working from home will be working on an laptop, however, laptops were never originally designed to be a permanent working station, but for temporary use until you got to work and plugged them into a docking station.  So the ergonomics of a laptop were not really designed for long term use. Therefore you need to make some adjustments to use them as your main work station at home:

Plug in an external keyboard and mouse and have your laptop propped up at eye level

Ideally, it is best to plug in an external keyboard and mouse to your laptop to enable you to prop your laptop up to eye level height. Kmart have a great cheap Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard and Mouse for $20 found here and Officeworks have an even cheaper Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo for $17.98 found here. These can be attached to your laptop via one USB port, so that you can place the laptop screen at eye level (by propping it up on a box or stand) and the keyboard and mouse should be at elbow height.

Adjust the height of your chair

The height of you chair should be so that your feet are on the ground and your knee just above 90 degrees.   The base of the seat should be so that you can sit your bottom all the way to the back of the seat and the back rest of the chair should support your mid back up to your shoulders.

Get up often

It doesn’t matter how good your home set up is, if you sit without moving for too long, you will get a sore back/neck/ mid back.  Make sure you set an alarm on your phone you remind you to get out of your seat every 30 min to change positions and get some blood flowing through your legs, back and shoulders.

You can stretch your mid back with one of our favourite rotation stretches, but even if you don’t do this, changing positions every 30 minutes will make a difference.

Have healthy snacks available

When you’re at home, it is far too easy to go to the fridge or pantry and grab that extra packet of chips or block of chocolate. It’s best to be prepared for these times and have some healthy options available!  The night before or that morning, prepare some healthy snacks  to be ready for you when you go to the fridge.  Some great options are:

  • Carrot sticks and celery sticks with hummus
  • Carrot sticks and celery sticks with Greek yogurt with a teaspoon of flaxseed oil (Low-carb snack with protein and omega-3 fatty acids)
  • Apple slices with almond butter
  • Greek yoghurt with fruit
  • Rice cakes topped with hummus, sauerkraut and pepitas
  • Rice cakes topped with peanut butter and banana – add some cacao nibs if you’d like a chocolatey hit
  • Hand full of mixed nuts like cashews, almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts, pepitas etc.
  • 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries, cut up apple and cottage cheese (Again, low-carb with some protein)

This is a great start in getting you used to a healthy way of working from home!

Want to know more?

If you would like more information or have any questions about dementia and exercise at MD Health please comment below! Or if you’re a new client and would like to book for a FREE full body assessment with one of our Physiotherapists or Exercise Physiologists, call us on 9857 0644 (Kew East), 9842 6696 (Doncaster East) or email us at admin@mdhealth.com.au

Author: Michael Dermansky

Michael has now been working in physiotherapy for over 20 years, since graduating from Melbourne University in 1998 and is even more passionate about getting the best outcomes for clients than he was then. Michael is always studying and looking for new and innovative ways to improve the service at MD Health, including and not limited to the ideas from the fitness industry and great customer service companies. In his spare moments, he loves spending time with his two children, Sebastian and Alexander and hopefully taking them skiing more and more often.

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