The self-Isolation workstation revelation that’s sweeping the nation!
Amidst the chaos and uncertainty that fills our days at the moment, we do have some certainties that we can hold onto and look towards for comfort. Grass will grow, night turns into day, Bruce McAvaney will mention Winx or Cyril Rioli in every AFL game he has commentated since 2012, kids will grasp new technology far easier than anyone over the age of 30 and we will all manage to find ways to keep ourselves occupied even when we thought we couldn’t.
The inevitable self isolation that we all face at the moment will present many challenges and for each individual those challenges will be vastly different. With that being said, something that many people will struggle with over the coming weeks and months is being able to work from home. Working from home will likely be a mainstay over the next month(s) and doing it right will help you be more productive but also help to prevent pain.
Working in an unfamiliar or different environment can be a figurative and literal pain in the neck/butt(whatever other body part) so it is important to do your best to make your home workstation as good as possible. Below are a list of tips and tricks which may assist you in self-isolating in style.
Change Position Regularly
The best posture is the one that is always changing. Sitting in the same position for a long period can increase the likelihood of neck, back, shoulder pain as well as headaches. Throughout the day explore different sitting/standing positions, get up and have a stretch or a walk.
Elevate your screen
In an ideal world, the top of your screen would be just below eye-level. This allows a neutral neck position and limits straining. Given that most of us use laptops, this becomes difficult. So raising the screen for reading tasks and then lowering for typing can help to remedy that (and help with tip 1). Alternatively, propping your laptop up on books or a stand and utilizing a seperate mouse and keyboard can be very helpful. For more information about workstation set up, please click here.
Create a permanent work station
Creating a place of consistency can help to prevent work and home life blending together. Utilising the study, kitchen table, bench, desk or garage even as a permanent work-zone will allow you to set it up in the best possible way to allow for comfortable work; whilst also providing an area of productivity. I have provided a simple example of an ‘ideal’ workstation setup above.
DO NOT work from bed or the couch
Working from these areas will not only be unproductive but they will likely lead towards persistent poor posture and cause pain throughout the day.
Aside from the physical challenges that can arise as a result of working from home, self-isolation can also negatively impact mental health as we feel ‘cut-off’ from the world and the people we care about. Working will assist in keeping some semblance of normalcy in your world; but it is important to look after yourself as well.
Get outside take breaks
Spending all day working from home and all day living at home will get old very quickly! Get outside on your ‘breaks’, go for a walk, a run, a home exercise program, play with the kids or the dog and then back to work. Use your breaks for more than social media and Netflix.
Check in with co-workers
Whether it’s a slack channel, a phone call, a teleconference or an email, keep in touch with your workmates. It will help you stay on task as well as feel connected to the people you spend your days with when you aren’t staying home.
Keep up with daily routines
When we are not leaving the house we can fall into the trap of sleeping in and being lazy. Commit to your regular work hours, wake up, shower, shave, eat breakfast GET CHANGED (nobody is at their most productive in their pjs), do your normal exercise and try to maintain that routine as your self-isolation persists.
Whatever it is that makes you happy, find a way to reward yourself after a hard day’s work. Play with the kids, have a chocolate, head off for a run, have a bath but keep enjoying life. It will make a big difference.
Self-isolation is less than ideal and clearly not how most of us enjoy spending our days. However, in reality it could be far far worse. I have full faith in the Pakenham Osteopathy community that we will get through this challenge with flying colours and be ready for a laugh and an outdoor adventure on the other side.
If you have any concerns throughout this process, if you have any questions or would like some advice with regards to workstation setup or home exercise; please do not hesitate to contact us at Pakenham Osteopathy. We are always happy to help!