Many of you have found yourself with a new work location over the last few weeks. Your commute is much shorter, you have some new coworkers, and the "appropriate dress attire" became much more... casual. That's right! As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, your new office is likely your home (i.e. WFH). Have you started to feel the aches and pains yet?
One thing that you may not have taken into consideration, however, is setting up your new workspace appropriately. You may not have the same desk that you did at your office, nor the same computer monitor setup. So, while you are living the WFH lifestyle, how can you setup your workspace so you are both efficient with your time and avoiding aches and pains?
Common Mistakes When Working From Home
A lot has been going on in the last few weeks. As your employer (and health officials) recommended you relocate your workplace to home, a lot of adjustments had to be made. With the kids home from school, your spouse or roommate also working from home, questions like, “Where will I set up?” probably came to mind.
While some are fortunate enough to have a home office, others are trying to make do. These are some of the most common mistakes people make when working from home.
Staying stationary for too long As you are reading this blog post, think back to the last time you got up from wherever you are (I.e. the couch, your desk, etc.). Has it been over an hour? Staying stationary for too long can have a number of implications including blood clots.
The couch is not the best desk Albeit comfortable, your couch is not the best option for your 8-hour workday. There are a few problems with setting up on the couch. First and foremost, it does not provide the best support for your back. It is hard to have proper sitting posture when your couch is not necessarily firm. Second, many of us like to have our legs outstretched in front of us (I.e. on the coffee table) when working on the couch. Not only is this bad for your back, but your knees and hips, too! You may start to notice pain in these areas!
Laptops aren’t ideal Although many of us don’t have an option right now, laptops over an extended period of time aren’t ideal. Think about your computer at your office. It typically has a detached keyboard and mouse, along with a monitor that sits in front of you at eye-level. Laptops are meant to be confined. With a smaller keyboard and mouse, as well as an attached screen, you may find yourself slouching more to get your work done via laptop.
How to Set Up Properly for Working From Home If you find yourself looking for some solutions to make your WFH environment better, here are some easy solutions.
Keep moving! This is not only important for your physical health, but your mental health, too! Set a timer on your phone to get up and move throughout your day. It doesn’t have to take long! Take a few laps around the house or go up and down your stairs a few times before settling in for your next task. Lunch break? Take a walk down your street (while maintaining social distancing).
Set up an ergonomic workstation Not sure what this means? Check out this video from our Physical Therapist, Melissa, as she covers what an ergonomic workstation looks like – from home!
Some Additional Tips During This Difficult Time We all are struggling in some way right now! While our main focus is to keep your injury free during this time, here are a few additional tips to keep you motivated and healthy during this time.
Maintain a regular schedule While you may find yourself sleeping in a bit longer and with some additional time in the morning not having to get in your business casual attire, it’s important to maintain a regular schedule. We will go back to our normal routines at some point and the easiest way to jump back in? Never having stopped! Try to stay as close to your normal routine as possible so when things have settled, it’s easy to get back in the swing of it.
Schedule virtual meetings While you may be enjoying your new WFH coworkers (I.e. our family, roommates, or pets), schedule virtual meetings with your true coworkers, friends, and other family members that don’t live with you. Staying connected and checking in is key! While you may have a lot of interaction with others at home, others may not. Reach out to someone in your phone or on your social media accounts today to see how they are holding up. A phone call or FaceTime could make their day.
Find ways to workout Your favorite gym may be closed, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop! Find a new way to workout (without causing pain or injury!). Local fitness studios (including our partners at 9Round Fitness & GritCycle (and us)) are offering FREE online classes during this time. Been wanting to try Pilates? Now’s your chance! Wanted to complete a 30-day challenge? You’ve got the time! Keep your body moving and keep working towards building a healthier version of you.
Keep in mind - your work from home situation is short-term. You will be back in the office, hopefully, soon. Do yourself and your body the favor of taking the time to make adjustments to your current setup to avoid the aches and pains of an improper setup.
While we all adjust to this new way of living, at least for the time being, the Envision Sport team would love to be a resource. We are available to answer any questions you may have regarding your workspace setup, or even an injury you may have suffered while at home. Don't hesitate to reach out! Let's get through this - TOGETHER!