With more more of us than ever working from home, it's safe to saw that more of us than ever are struggling with ergonomically related pains in our bodies.
After all, unlike our ergonomically set up offices in the work place (most which comply to set industry standards) many of us working from home are having to make do with the lounge furniture around the home, from dining tables turning into make shift desks and lounges serving as comfy chairs. It is clear to see why we are experiencing regular pains associated solely with working from home.
Whilst I do think workplaces will soon be rolling out set ergonomic standards for working from home, for now there is a fair bit we can do to make working from home a bit gentler on our bodies.
1. Set up your work station ergonomically
Prioritise time to set up your home work station (both your own and your kids if they are learning from home) and optimise it so it works for your health not against it. This takes just a small investment of time and can save hours of excruciating pain from repetitive poor posture habits.
This short video (it's only 5 minutes) is really clear about how to do it and the benefits from such a small investment of time are priceless
2. Stretch hourly or every 2 hours
Set your phone alarm for every hour or two during work days, forcing you to get up and move around. Adopt some simple stretches such as these to relieve back and neck pain. Practice these stretches daily, at least every couple of hours and try and get the kids to do them too. Not only does it make you move, increasing bloody supply to your brain to help you actually be more productive but creating a habit of these stretches prevents overuse and hyperextension.
3. Invest in proper furniture
When Covid hit many companies released a budget to set up your home office. Allocating some of it to ergonomically designed desks and chairs can be really beneficial, helping your productivity and pain in your body.
I recently invested in a electric desk and I couldn't recommend it more. Not only has my productivity dramatically increased, but I have found I actually enjoy been in my office much more.
4. Go Green
Offices can be stuffy, not only because of the massive amount of electromagnetic radiation being emitted by computers, screens (I have 3 screens) wifi routers but also because of the amount of toxins produced from things like printers etc.
A great way to attempt to counteract this is to include lots of plants in your home office as filters. What's more having lots of plants around helps reduce stress due to the fractals of nature (TOP TIP look at a plant for 3 minutes if you need to release stress fast)
Great filtering plants to reduce electrical and chemical toxins in the office include
- Cactus (one of the best to absorb radiation)
- Fiddle leafs
- Aloe vera
- Spider plants
- Mother in laws's tongue or Snake plant (a NASA study found it actually filtered Formaldehyde which is commonly found in cleaning products.
- Devil's Ivy
- Peace Lily -
- Boston Fern (help filter chemicals that cause internal and external irritation)
- Weeping fig
5.Invest in a HEPA filter
High Efficiency Particulate Air filters are becoming more popular and for good reason. Our air is becoming more and more polluted, not only with chemicals from our clothes, beauty products and cleaning products but also office supplies such as printer fluids.
HEPA filters not only remove 99.97% of germs and viruses in the air but they remove allergens such as pollen, dust, plastics, reducing triggers for allergies including asthma .
I personally have several Dyson filters, the Dyson Pure Cool me, which I use in my office and our bedroom and cool the more pricey Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Purifier which I use in the kids room. I love them all, and they are brilliant if you live in the city like I do or in times like now when COVID seems to be lurking everywhere.
So whilst sitting all day in an office, any office is anything but healthy, a few simple tweaks can make a world of difference, not only to your health, but your productivity.
What I love even more is that if we can increase our awareness around keeping our work environment healthy, we can empower our kids to do it too. #rolemodel