for sitting comfortably at your desk are pretty easy to find, so I am not going
to focus too much on that in this blog. However, one thing I will say is that
you are aiming for a sitting position whereby everything is at right angles,
your ankles, your knees, your hips, your elbows - see the Health and Safety
Executive website for more information here (https://www.hse.gov.uk/msd/dse/).
Today, I would like to focus on the unique situation we continue to be in and
how you can adapt whatever work setup you have to get yourself
best way to ensure day long comfort, wherever you are working, is to move
regularly. Firstly, I encourage everyone to take their allocated breaks, to
ensure that you get away from your screen, move your body and refuel.
Additionally, I implore you to move a few times an hour, be that a trip to the
bathroom, a visit to the kitchen to make a drink, or a walk to the window to
ponder a workplace conundrum, or simply enjoy the view for a minute or two. If
you have a deadline and time does not permit, simply stand up and sit back down
every twenty minutes. Ideally, if you are constantly using DSE, you should aim
to have a break from staring at your PC for five minutes every hour.
work, most of us are blessed with a desk and chair, or a hot desk, that can be
tweaked to our individual needs. For those of you who are new to working from
home, you most likely do not have the luxury of a purpose built home office and
therefore have had to make do with what you had at home, such as a dining
table. Here are a few ideas to try if you are feeling uncomfortable:
·Your desk is likely a fixed height, but
adjustable if you add something to the base of the legs, such as building
blocks or even books (please ensure they are identical in size/length to ensure
that you don’t have a wobbly desk). Or, you could also raise the table top with
large books, a chopping board, magazines, yoga blocks, unopened reams of peer,
basically anything that you can place on your table to raise it slightly.
Ideally, your arms should rest on the working surface with your elbows bent at
90 degrees, easily reaching the keyboard and mouse.
·Standing desks are becoming more
popular in the workplace and are great for alternating position, depending on
your needs. This is achievable at home, by resting your device on a shelf, the
kitchen work surface, a cupboard, or even a chest of drawers, depending on
their height. A comfortable standing position can be achieved with your device
at a good height for what you need to do, i.e. I would recommend a different
height for typing and reading. Ideally, the top of the screen should be level
with your eyes when you are reading and if you are typing/using the mouse,
again, your elbows should ideally be at 90 degrees.
·Seat: You only need a foot rest if your
feet do not comfortably touch the ground whilst sat in your chair. If you do
need one, look around the house to see what you have, things that might work
are a box/shoe box, reams of paper or magazines, as long as they are stable.
The chair height can be raised by sitting on a cushion, or a folded up towel or
blanket. You could even use some yoga blocks, although they are likely a little
too firm for long term sitting. If you need a lumbar support, this can be
achieved by rolling up a towel or blanket and positioning it in the lower curve
of your back, just above your pelvis. We are all different, so experiment to
find the perfect fit. I would suggest this anyway if you are considering buying
a lumbar support cushion, as it will give you a good idea of whether it is
useful to you and what size and shape would be beneficial.
·Good head placement. Remember to try
and maintain a good head position however you are working, especially if you
are prone to neck discomfort. Your head is very heavy, and so rather than angle
your neck to read, type, or text etc, raise up your device to a good level for
your arms and eyes. If using a laptop, this is achieved with a separate screen,
high enough that the top of the screen is level with your eyes. This can easily
be achieved at home by placing the screen stand on to a pile of books. If a
separate screen isn’t an option, ensure that the screen is angled sufficiently
that you aren’t having to spend all day hanging your head down. This may
require a separate keyboard and mouse.
to do if you don’t have a desk ?
of us don’t live in a castle, so room options are limited and furniture may
well dictate where you work from. Your bedroom is fine, but I would dissuade
you from working from your bed as you will likely tell yourself it is only for
a few minutes, but you will probably be there for longer. Beds were not
designed to be sat on for long periods and they do not offer you enough support
to maintain a comfortable position. If you must, try to limit the time and
activity you work from bed, i.e. short term and whilst watching something using
pillows for support. I would also dissuade you from working from the bathroom,
water and electricity don’t mix! Working from the sofa is possible but not
ideal, as most sofas do not offer enough support and you are likely to end up
slouching in an awkward position, so focussed on your work that you do not
notice the building discomfort. If you have a firm sofa or arm chair, it may be
an option, but use cushions to support yourself. The arms of an armchair might
come in handy for resting a tray or chopping board on, to fashion a makeshift
desk top that is a suitable height for typing.
to utilise anything that your workplace have offered, i.e. a DSE assessment, a
chair, a screen etc to be sent home. But most importantly, and this is
applicable if you are currently working from home, as well as when you return
to the office, make the time to be comfortable every day. It takes two minutes
to quickly scan your sitting position and make the necessary adjustments, and
it will really make a difference to your ongoing comfort.
you have any queries, or if we can be of any help, please remember that we are
available via the telephone or video consultation.
Training/Activity ideas for working at home Unless you are able to leave home you are probably much less active than you are usually. In an average day at work you walk there and back go out for a walk at lunchtime. You may change rooms/buildings as well as any sports or activities. Non of this happens during home working. It is very easy to spend your whole time sitting and forget to do other things. If you include some activity in your plans it will help your concentration as well as keeping your energy levels high it will lift your mood.
To prevent yourself being overcome with worry, it is important to structure your time so life still has a routine. Why not write some lists of things you might try: books to read, box sets to watch, exercise you like to do, Games to playRecipes to tryNew skillsfriends who you don’t normally have time to talk to
Activities Download an interval app. It lets you set the time and number of reps. The free ver…
Axial Spondyloarthritis -NASS talkGlynis gave a presentation on osteopathic treatment of Axial Spondyloarthritis (Axial SpA ,AxSpA) (including Ankylosing Spondylitis AS ) to a mixed group of practitioners on the evening of 17th September. It was hosted by The National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS) www.nass.co.uk in the Freeman Hospital,Newcastle, as part of a refresher of Axial Spondyloarthritis Axial SpA. In this blog aimed at colleagues she describes how the evening event went.
Why revise your skills in this area of diagnosis ?There is an 8 and a half year gap between onset of symptoms and diagnosis for people who have Axial SpA . We have the luxury of time and maybe able to use our clinical reasoning to reduce this delay.Interested ? The eveningThis was a first for me speaking to a multi disciplinary group of practitioners. I was very nervous as the time got nearer to the event. Jill from NASS kept smiling at me and even laughed when I made a joke about leaving with my Spe…
Revision/Training/Activity ideas This blog was written by Glynis one of the osteopaths here at Eyre Place in Edinburgh.
When you are revising everyday in the run up to exams you will have a timetable of subjects.Unless you revise away from home in a library or at school or college you are probably much less active than you are usually. In an average day at school you walk there and back and change classes as well as any sports or activities. Non of this happens during revision. It is very easy to spend your whole time revising and forget to do other things. If you include some activity in your plans it will help your concentration as well as keeping your energy levels high. HIIT High intensity interval training is perfect when you are short of time.Download an interval app. It lets you set the time and number of reps. The free version of 12 minute athlete is good.12 Minute Athlete by 12 Minute Athlete Aim for 4-5 minutes of high intensity activity with short reps 30-40 seconds and repeat…