• Dr. Stefano Bozzo

Working From Home Without The Pain

As we adjust to our new normal, many more of us are working from home, and often without a proper work station. Working from the couch, bed or dining room table can put a lot more stress on our necks and backs. Even if you have a proper work station, poor sitting habits can leave you feeling sore. Here are a few things to keep in mind when working from home.


Classic Ergonomic Advice - How To Sit

  • Avoid slouching - using a pillow as a back support and scooching your hips to the back of the seat can help

  • Keep your feet are flat on the ground - place a stool or book under your feet if they don’t reach

  • Your thighs should be parallel with the ground

  • Keep your keyboard is close to you 

  • Drop your arms to your sides and keep elbows bent 90 degrees

  • Adjust your display so the top is at eye level - raise your display on books if needed

While this is good advice, it is difficult to do this for a whole day. Holding any position will eventually cause stiffness and tension!


THERE IS NO "BEST" WAY TO SIT


Movement Is Key

One of the best pieces of ergonomic advice I give my patients is to get up and move often. Changing your body position is a simple way to avoid stiffness and tension. So while working at a desk is ideal, if you like to work on the couch, go ahead but only for a short time.



CHANGE POSITIONS EVERY 20-30 MINUTES


"Micro-breaks"

These short 30 second breaks can go a long way in reducing the stiffness that can build-up through the day. Two simple micro-breaks are the standing overhead arm reach, and the standing Brugger exercise.


Standing Overhead Reach

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.

  • Gently raise your arms overhead.

  • Take a deep breath in through your nose, and hold the breath.

  • Reach your arms up to the ceiling as high as possible without letting your breath go.

  • Then let the breath go as you drop your arms

Repetitions: 2–3


Brugger Exercise

  • Stand with your feet slightly further apart than your hips.

  • Turn your feet out slightly.

  • Tuck your chin in slightly, as if nodding ‘yes’.

  • Breathe in through your nose.

  • Then exhale slowly while at the same time: Turning your palms out, with fingers extended and raising your breastbone towards your chin slightly

Repetitions: 2–3




Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies (2002) 6(3), 154-155

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Cambridge, ON, N1S 2M8

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© 2020 by Dr. Stefano Bozzo.