Working from home since Covid? Maybe it’s time you have to go back into the office… oh yeah… Ted… the guy who sits next to you… Ted likes… hard boiled eggs. NO. I WILL NOT GO BACK INTO THAT OFFICE! I get it, it’s way easier to answer emails in your underwear than in dress clothes (I will argue that until the cows come home). Since people have been working remotely from their office jobs and staying at home. We as clinicians, have seen an uptick in low back and neck pain. Most of the office workers were used to their ergonomically set up work stations. Now they’re sitting on the couch as How I Met Your Mother is playing in the background at 10:30 at night on a Thursday… Oh wait. that’s what I’m doing. Just like you I’m sitting on a comfy couch with a laptop on my lap getting some work done. Luckily for me I’m only going to be here for a short while then heading to bed.
Since so many people are working from home and building their own offices, I’ve had a lot of questions on how their office should be set up. Standing desks seem to be the rage with people, but maybe you’re not sure if it’s right for you. Well let me tell you. The problem isn’t sitting all day, and the solution isn’t standing all day. The problem is NOT MOVING ENOUGH. We are built for movement. We as the human race are the best generalists in the world. We can swim, but not very fast. We can climb, but not very well. We can fight, but try fighting a lion. This doesn’t mean that you need to be running on a treadmill while responding to an email. This just simply means that you should be changing positions frequently. This can mean changing from standing, sitting, one foot up, lunging, cross legged, other side cross legged, walking, etc. When people go from sitting all day to immediately standing all day they get pain in their ankles or hamstrings because their body isn’t used to the change.
Ergonomics should look like this. You should be able to sit up straight with a computer screen at head level. Your elbows at 90 degrees should rest gently onto a desk where you can type and use a mouse. Most companies will pay for a sit to stand desk where the desk will rise up to standing level or lower to a sitting level. If you can get all of these ergonomical changes, you can simply add a little movement while typing your emails. Another fantastic option is a kneeling chair. I use one of these at my office and it is by far my favorite chair. If you haven’t checked one out I definitely suggest looking into it. So in the end we all need to add a little MOVEMENT to our lives. This helps keep us healthy so we can participate in the things we like to do.