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Shepherds Health

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Shepherds Health

Call now 01371 700 466

Working from home? Part 1

By Admin
Friday, February 5, 2021

Health and guidance advise on working from home

Working from home? Part 1

During the first lockdown almost 50% of employed people in the U.K. worked from home.

It is likely we will see this shift to remote working remain for a considerable amount of time if not indefinitely as some Companies have found many benefits. These include an increase in productivity and performance, a reduction in absenteeism, retention of employees and overall profitability!

All in all it is important that we adapt and ensure we are ergonomically setup at home in order to stay fit and healthy, both physically and mentally, in order to deal with this likely long term change.

At Shepherds Health we have seen many patients with upper back, lower back, shoulder and chest pain from poor home ergonomic setups and lockdown habits which have crept in as the pandemic lingers.

From a Physiotherapy perspective there is much we can offer in terms of guidance and advice on keeping active and well. Over the coming weeks we will provide you with a step by step guide to help you build a healthier homeworking environment.

Step 1: Workstation Ergonomic Setup

This is where you need to take a step back and look at your workspace at home.

We are hoping you’ve dedicated a space rather than opting for the sofa, a laptop and an episode of The Crown playing in the background. As I am sure you are aware, this would not be the best working ergonomic setup to avoid ill health!

It is important to find a quiet space with as few distractions as possible (which can be difficult if you have a makeshift school running in the adjacent room). Try to close a door between you and any potential interruptions and pick up a pair of noise cancelling headphones – much more affordable these days!

In your quiet space make sure you have everything you need; chargers, printer, paper, any stationary you require etc. Setting this up will save time in the long run and allow you to focus on your work and avoid the stresses of searching the house for a biro that works.

Finally, think about the setup of your chair, desk and computer specifically (Ergonomics). If you’re staring at a bar stool at an island, it’s time to consider some changes.

Ask yourself the following questions…
  •  Is your chair at a height so you can rest your arms and wrists on the desk parallel with the floor?
  • Are you able to rest your feet on the floor comfortably, if not can you use a cushion or block so you can rest your feet comfortably? Avoid crossing your legs, certainly for long periods of time.
  • Is the top of the monitor level with your eyes and an arm length away?
  • Is your keyboard setback enough to rest your forearms on the desk, are your elbows bent at 90 degrees?
  • Is the mouse in a similar position ie not too far away so that your elbow moves away from your body.
  • Is the screens brightness set to a level for comfortable use or is the window creating glare? Can you adjust the settings or shut the blind?
  • Is there anything you use frequently such as the phone or scanner? Make sure it is in reach, so you don’t have to move awkwardly to use it. Could you use a headset for making calls?
  • Have you talked to your employer regarding your home setup? Is there any help they can provide through equipment or advice (although they are not necessarily obliged to offer this)? Have you looked into if you’re eligible for Tax Relief for working from home?

Workstation advice from Shepherds' Health

If you need any advice on setting up your home working environment we would be delighted to help you. Contact Shepherds Health for an initial chat today!


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