Working from home and hybrid roles are now the norm – but is your home office safe? We spoke to celebrity Osteopath, Anisha Joshi, to find out how to avoid pain and injury when working from home.
THE PROBLEM: It happens so often, but too many people still don’t understand the importance of creating the right home / work environment. Case in point, I had a patient who came into the clinic with recurrent headaches, neck pain and lower back pain. Working from home, she was using her work laptop on any surface she could find – including a small dining table – for 6/7 hours a day! She would also take her lunch at her ‘work desk’ with just a 30 minute walk in the evening. With all of her meetings now online (which involved her looking straight forward at the screen intently for the most part of her working day) it was no surprise that she had developed worsening neck and upper back pain. Believe me, I deal with this type of injury often. To avoid having issues due to your work setup here are a few of my top tips that you can action right away…
THE SOLUTION: 10 tips to avoid pain and injury when working from home
1. Try to use a decent desk chair, that has arm rests, a back support and goes up and down.
2. Make sure your knees are not higher than your hips, they should be level or even a tiny bit higher than your knees to reduce pressure.
3. Bring your screen closer towards you, this encourages you to sit at the back of your chair and with better posture. 4. Do not cross your legs under your desk.
5. Do some gentle neck stretches at your desk every hour. Neck pain has become more prevalent in my patients because when they have meetings on zoom they literally don’t have to move their head anymore.
6. Use a GLASS of water and NOT a bottle. Using a glass will encourage you to get up to refill it and therefore keep you moving.
7. Try to set an alarm every hour to walk around your living spaces 3 times slowly. Even if it’s a tiny space it will help keep your spine, joints and muscles from ceasing up.
8. If you have no option but to sit on a sofa or bed in order to work then use cushions/pillows to stack up your laptop to as close to eye level as possible.
9. Try and go for a walk outside after work or twice a day. People underestimate just how much they walk around the office compared to when they’re at home.
10. Stress can contribute to feeling muscle tension in your body. Try to implement mindfulness into your morning routine or journaling before bed.
Anisha Joshi is an award winning celebrity Osteopath qualified from the British College of Osteopathic Medicine in London. Anisha has over 13 years experience providing bespoke osteopathic treatment from her clinics in London and Hertfordshire. As one of the very few female BAME Osteopaths in the UK, Anisha is passionate about educating adults and children on osteopathy and preventative care to avoid pain or injury later in life. Her holistic and educational approach has led to her treating celebrities such as musicians Professor Green, Lilly Allen and Rita Ora.