The Osteopathic Clinic’s Top Tips for Working from home during COVID-19
Keep in mind the best posture is a moving posture!
Please note: Some postures may be problematic for some people at a particular point in time. Posture does matter, but read on for a further explanation of postural nuance.
Scientific studies have recently been finding that there is no “standard” posture that we should all maintain. Given the different demands of our daily lives, tasks we regularly perform and differing muscular activity requirements of various postures, there is not one particular posture that is the agreed gold standard.
Shifting postures is more important than maintaining one specific posture. The issue with certain postural positions is not that we go into those positions, but that we never get OUT of those positions.
The hunched over sitting posture we tend to think of as “bad” is actually fine for our bodies. It is only when we spend way too much time hunched over and straining our neck in comparison to upright and extended that we run into problems. To keep our body happy, we want to be alternating between the two as regularly as possible and spending equal amount of time in each.
In the literature, there doesn’t seem to be any particular posture that reliably associates with pain. For example, there is no solid relationship between sitting and developing back pain in the literature but this might be an issue for some people with existing back pain, hence why moving and changing posture regularly is important.
Keeping all that in mind, here are some tips on setting up your work station:
- Choose a comfortable chair that has a solid back support
- If a back support is not available, roll up a towel and put it between your chair and you lower back curve to help support it
- Try and keep your screen at eye level where your head not need to look down and your keyboard and mouse within reach that you do not need to strain for
- Use old text books, phone books, boxes or anything else you have access to in order to help with this set up
- The most important part of setting up your work station is committing to MOVING regularly and changing your station set up regularly, for example sit to stand desk
So, your work station is set up, what are some further hacks to help with keeping your productivity high?
- Use the Pomodoro method by utilising a tomato timer for productivity, 25 minutes counting down for work only, followed by 5 or 10 minute break where you can check phone, move, change posture and leave the work station. This timer can be found at- https://tomato-timer.com/
- Get sunlight in the eyes between 8-10am, this helps regulate circadian rhythm but can also help with cortisol level regulation, helping you feel a bit more alert without reaching for more coffee
- Go for a walk pre lunch break around the block. This activity will increase insulin sensitivity before eating and give you a mental reset by getting out of the house
- Leave your desk or work station to eat lunch, why not take it with you on your walk and eat it outside?
- Wrap up your work at normal office time, try and stay as close to your regular routine as you can
- Limit screen exposure 2 hours before sleep to help make sure melatonin production isn’t affecting by blue light from the screens. High quality sleep is the number 1 activity that can boost immune function, so doing everything in our power to maximise this is key
- Have a plan, use a diary or calendar app to block a section of your day and what they’re dedicated to
We hope these ideas help and as always please shout out if The Osteopathic Clinic Altona can be of any further help to you during this time.
Stay safe guys!