The changes we have experienced over the last few months have been some of the most challenging in our lifetimes. As a community we were rocked by the bushfires of summer 2019/2020 and now the impacts of coronavirus has meant we’ve had to adapt the way we interact socially and for many occupationally.
Many of you have needed to work from home or have kept kids home from school to comply with social distancing recommendations. While you may be managing physically with these changes for now, the more weeks we spend in modified working postures can have an undesirable impact on our muscles and joints.
- Have you developed neck stiffness, discomfort or pain?
- What about your lower back?
- Are you prone to developing stiffness and pain in these areas?
Even if you’re not, I’d like to share with you some proactive tips to ensure you are keeping your musculoskeletal system happy ☺
When we spend too long in any one position, our ligaments and muscles can strain from being stretched in different directions. Over time and repeated poor postures can mean these tissues lose the ability to recoil to their natural resting state.
Many of us are making do with working from home now by using our dining tables or working from the couch of the floor! Temporarily this might be ok (for half an hour at a time) but spending all day here from days and weeks on end isn’t going to end well. You’ll notice that most of those natural curves of our spine are in opposite or excessive postures.
Some of you may already be changing your usual sitting position because of discomfort and using the kitchen island bench or an ironing board as a make-shift standing workstation. But beware of some ergonomic nightmares here too!
Some simple investments that will go a long way: USB/Bluetooth keyboard, mouse and/or monitor.
Other things around the house which might come in handy: shoeboxes/plastic containers and textbooks.
Talking on the phone: Use hands-free or headphones. Stand or pace during phone calls rather than continuing to sit.
One thing I am extremely proud of is to call this area home. We rallied together from the devastating impact of the bushfires and I know I wouldn’t want to be living anywhere else in the country let alone the world during this pandemic. We will come out the other side stronger and more resilient than ever. In the meantime – stay safe, stay at home if you’re vulnerable & don’t need essential services.
If you need some extra tips to set up your home work station, or you’re experiencing some stiffness and pain, we are here to help! Give us a call on 02 5926 3806 to get the right advice from your local allied health team.