3 tips for setting up your home workspace for optimal posture
Working remotely has many benefits – you can fit work around your personal life, save money and time from commuting to the office, and feel much more motivated!
However, it’s important to ensure your home office keeps you healthy and productive. While you might be able to ask your QHSE Manager to check that your office workspace is optimised for good posture, this is a lot harder when you work remotely.
Four out of five adults experience back pain at some point in their lives. This means good posture can make the difference between a productive day’s work and a day spent at the GP’s surgery.
Here are our top tips for ensuring your home workspace keeps your posture healthy and your spine aligned!
1. Invest in a good chair
When the pandemic started, and we had to work from home, many of us had to work on creaky office chairs and squidgy sofas, which didn’t do much for our postures!
A decent office chair with adjustable height, armrest, and lumbar support help keep your spine in a neutral position and mean less bending your head down to look at your monitor. An ergonomic or gaming chair may be an expensive investment, but if you want to avoid back pain, it’s well worth it.
Alternatively, a seat cushion or lumbar cushion on your existing chair can help prevent bad posture and relieve pain.
It’s worth speaking to your employer to see if they pay for WFH equipment like office chairs. While it’s not a legal requirement for them to do so, some are happy to cover the cost, or provide an allowance.
2. Keep your feet on the floor
Crossing your legs while working from home might be tempting, but keeping your feet firmly planted on the floor is best for posture. This keeps your pelvis balanced and helps maintain an arch in your lower back. It also promotes blood circulation and means less chance of numbness or cramping!
If your legs can’t comfortably reach the floor, invest in a footrest or cushion.
3. Position your monitor at eye level
Have you heard of tech neck? This is when people experience neck pain when they bend their heads to look at their smartphones. The same thing can happen if you have to look up or down to look at your computer monitor.
Aim to position the top of your screen at eye level – if you have a laptop, use a riser or stand. If you have two monitors, switch the position of your second screen once a month. This means you’re not swivelling in one direction all the time!
And finally, don’t forget to stretch! Getting up for at least five minutes every hour doesn’t just give you a break from your screen, but makes you more mindful of your posture and even help improve it over time.