10 Top tips when working at home during the COVID-19 outbreak
In recent days, and in light of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, workers across the globe are embracing new ways of working.
Moving from ergonomically created workspaces at the office, workers are setting up make shift desks in their living rooms, bedrooms or at their kitchen worktops, all while trying to maintain productivity levels, avoid distractions and keep fit and healthy, both physically and mentally.
Jonathan Shrewsbury, Group Director Business Development for Medical Imaging Partnership and a highly experienced physiotherapist, shares his top tips on working from home to avoid any unnecessary strains or physical discomfort away from the office.
It might sound like an obvious statement but try to avoid working from your bed/on the settee or in the armchair. If you do, you will adopt a very unnatural posture and find yourself with musculoskeletal aches and pains really quickly.
Instead try to sit at a kitchen or dining room table as it will be a similar height to a work desk. It may help to roll up a towel or put a cushion in your back to aid lumbar support. If you find your feet dangling a little bit on an unadjustable chair, put your feet on a cushion for more support.
If you don’t have a desktop PC then try to position your laptop straight in front of you to avoid twisting and straining your neck.
If talking with colleagues on conference calls, try to put your telephone on speaker so you are not holding your phone up to your ear for too long, which would strain your neck and shoulder muscles.
Make sure you are sitting with as much natural daylight as possible to avoid your eyes straining. Try to place the screen at right angles to the window when possible to avoid screen glare.
Take regular 30 second stretching breaks every 15-20 minutes – this is called ‘Pause Gymnastics’ or ‘Micro Relieving Movements’ – moving and stretching every 15-20 mins of working will reset your posture and release the pressure built up in the soft tissues and joints.
Keep drinking water and fluids throughout the day. This will aid your mental concentration, boost energy levels and helps blood circulation amongst many other benefits.
Be disciplined with your working schedule. Try to take your daytime breaks as per normal (tea or coffee breaks / lunchtime) and make sure you get up and walk around for at least a few minutes every hour.
Try to get some form of exercise during your day however small – take a walk around the house or flat / do some step-ups on the stairs / walk around the block (if allowed).
Finally get some really good quality sleep – the hours you sleep before midnight are extremely important to revitalising and stimulating your immune system. Don’t be tempted to stay up late because you don’t have to get up too early for work the next day.
Physical and mental health is of paramount importance, we will continue to share the expert knowledge of the healthcare professionals at Medical Imaging Partnership, Prime Health and South Manchester Diagnostics to educate and inform our patients and the wider community.
If you are experiencing discomfort through your newly adopted work routine and would like specific advice, please do not hesitate to contact us for specialist advice.