Magdalen Health and Wellbeing

Setting up a home office

March 15, 2022

Tips to achieving a healthy home office set up An estimated 34% of workers have not returned to their office since the first lock down. Using laptop on the kitchen table is a very common set up that we are seeing in clinic causing patients pain. By making minor changes you can make working from home a lot more manageable
Setting up a home office

  • Ideally, have your home office set up in a separate room to your everyday life i.e. a study or a spare bedroom, this way once that door is closed, that time is outside your working day and you should leave anything you want to do for the next day.
  • Have clear boundaries, do not be tempted to take work to bed or to the sofa, there should be clear separation between work and relaxing spaces. This is essential for sanity and productivity.
  • If your only option is to have your home office in a multi-use area, give yourself a work area or drawer, at the end of the day you can place all of your work-related things in a particular area, ideally out of sight or in a draw.
  • At the start of each working day make sure you get out of your pyjamas and into your work clothes, this will help you get out of the ‘home’ mindset and into the ‘work’ mindset.
  • Try to keep your normal working routine, ensure you give yourself breaks and a lunchbreak as you would if you were in the office.
  • Why not try having a walk or a small yoga session in the time it would normally take you to commute to work. This will help your stress levels, give you some well needed vitamin d and encourages the feel-good hormones to be released, setting you up for the day.
  • Avoid changing your working hours, if you normally do 9-5 with an hour lunch break try to stick to that, avoid logging in earlier and out later as this disrupts your normal work routine and you will become exhausted a lot quicker.

How can I make my home office space as ergonomic as possible?

Ergonomics encourages maximum comfort, efficiency and safety.

  • Choose a space in your home that offers as much privacy as possible, with the most natural light, and adequate access to power and internet.
  • Make sure you are sitting upright on a chair with back support, with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Your elbows should be at 90 degrees and in reach of your keyboard. If possible, use an adjustable chair so that you can ensure the correct height and tilt to fit your desk. Imagine you have velcro stuck on the inside of your upper arm and stick that to your sides, try to do everything at your desk from there.
  • If you are using a laptop, prop it up in some books or boxes so that the top of the screen is at eye level. Buy another keyboard and mouse to use at desk level to keep your posture correct.
  • If you are suffering persistent pain then please come in and let us help sooner rather than later. Osteopathy and massage can be very effective for this type of problem. Early treatment can reduce the risk of long term problems such as RSI repetitive strain injury and CRPS complex regional pain syndrome which are much more difficult to fix.

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