If you’re like many people, the circumstances of 2020 forced you to work out of your home. Whether this change is permanent or temporary, it’s unlikely that you had an ideal home office set-up. You may have thought the change would only be for a few weeks and then you’d be back in the office. But as the weeks turned to months, and the months turned to a year, now many offices are now considering going remote permanently. So, let’s talk about some tips to make working from home as comfortable as possible, for however long you need to do so.

The Ideal Desk Set-Up

There has been some controversy about the “perfect” position to be in while typing or working at a desk. While there is nuance, based on each unique individual’s height and proportions, listed below are a couple of general recommendations that work well for most individuals:

  • The 90-90-90 position
    • In this posture, the goal is to maintain a 90 degree bend at your hips, knees, and elbows, with your feet flat on the floor (you could potentially make the argument that your ankles are thus at 90 degrees as well).
    • This is generally considered to be a range of motion that will put the least stress on each of the joints listed, while you are positioned as such for an extended period of time.
  • Wrists “straight”
    • Again, an argument could be made for a slight bias in wrist position, but for a general recommendation, you want to ensure that your wrists are straight and not bent up or down.
  • Top of screen at eye level
    • You want the top of your computer screen to be at or just slightly below your eye level so that you are moving your eyes downward as you read and type, rather than having to look up. This practice will put decreased stress on your eyes.

Get Up and Move

One of perhaps the simplest WFH injury prevention tips, but also potentially the most valuable, is to just stand up and move around often throughout the day. It doesn’t have to be much movement during each interval, but the intervals should be frequent. Here are some tips to help you do so:

  • Set a timer for every 30 minutes to remind you to stand up and walk, even if it’s just a walk to the kitchen or bathroom
  • Consider purchasing a standing desk or modifying your desk set-up so that you can stand while you work.
  • Keep yourself accountable with a work buddy that you check in with throughout the day to make sure that you are both getting up and moving frequently.

Bottom Line

No one could have predicted that we would all still be working from home nearly a year after the pandemic began, but here we are. However, one thing that we as people have shown time and time again through the years is resiliency. We can overcome anything. So, use these tips, find your motivation, and keep pushing forward. You don’t want to be sidelined by a preventable injury when the solutions are out there!

If you need some help with your own desk set-up or anything else in the physical therapy or wellness arena, shoot me a message: ben@richardsonpt.com

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post or anywhere on richardsonpt.com is no substitute for an evaluation by a licensed healthcare provider. Always consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise or diet plan.