Spinal health awareness when working from home

EXPERTS: Dr Mykel Densley, chiropractor, from Glenbrook Chiropractic Centre and remedial massage therapist, Kerry Masteron can help you keep your posture and spine health in check while working from home. Photo: Supplied
EXPERTS: Dr Mykel Densley, chiropractor, from Glenbrook Chiropractic Centre and remedial massage therapist, Kerry Masteron can help you keep your posture and spine health in check while working from home. Photo: Supplied

In these unprecedented times, many of Glenbrook Chiropractic Centre's patients and members of the Blue Mountains community in general may find themselves working from home for an indefinite period of time.

While everyone is trying to do their part to stay safe and protect the vulnerable in the community, they also must create spaces at home to support their own health and wellbeing.

"We at Glenbrook Chiropractic Centre are here to help.," Dr Mykel Densley said.

"If you need some guidance on how to make working from home, work for you, here are some simple tips you can start using today."

Routine

Set yourself a routine, much like you would if you were still going to work every day.

Wake up at the same time every morning, eat meals regularly and set aside time to exercise to help maintain your physical and mental wellbeing.

Set up a productive space

If you have a separate study in your home then look no further, but for many a work set up will usually be on the kitchen table. Try to avoid working on your bed or on the couch so you can separate work from relaxation at the end of the day.

Get the ergonomics right in your workspace by bringing an ergonomic/supportive chair to the table and sitting with your feet either flat on the floor or supported by a footrest. Arms should be relaxed by your side (wrist straight when using mouse and elbows at 90-110 degrees when typing), with your posture relaxed and tall.

If there is an opportunity to be at a standing desk, even better, as this will be helpful for most people. If standing, maintain an upright relaxed posture and use a footrest. Your eyes should be looking straight ahead at your screen and if you're working off a laptop, you can do this by having a separate mouse and keyboard and elevating your screen, to help keep your posture straight.

Take breaks

While it's easy to get lost in the hours of work, it's important to remember to give both your mind and body a much-needed break. Every 30 minutes or so, get up and do a little stretch or something quick and active like 10 squats or star-jumps. The Straighten Up app is also a great tool to help get you moving and improving your posture.

The app, developed by the Australian Chiropractors Association, features a three-minute stretching program designed to help improve spinal health, posture and overall wellbeing. Download it free from the App Store or Google Play.

Stay connected

While you are lucky enough to work from home during this period, it can feel a little isolating. Colleagues and friends you would normally see every day are only a phone call away so stay connected with them by having virtual video meetings, or a casual chat to simply check in with them.

Technology breaks

At the end of your day, try to take a break from technology and screens by going for a walk outside, spending time with those in your home, cooking a meal or taking up a new hobby.

For further advice or help implementing good spinal health habits while at home, phone Glenbrook Chiropractic Centre on 4739 8358. "We hope you are staying safe during this time," Dr Densley said. For more information about the Working From Home campaign, visit workingfromhome.org.au.

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