Do I need an “ergonomic chair and desk”?
The frequently asked questions below are tailored to working from home with what you have available in your home. We can set you up at home that will be suitable for the short term. If you will be working from home in a more medium to long term role and the assessment finds that you don’t have the best options, then ergonomic chairs and desks are ideal. The physiotherapist will advise you on what size, shape and positions to put the furniture and accessories in.
I am using the dining table to work from home and I’ve noticed that I am getting some neck tightness. Why?
There can be a variety of reasons why this might be happening. It could be from any of the following but not limited to: the height of the dining table, height of the chair, position of the computer or books you are using. The most common scenario here is that your chair and table heights are mismatched and we therefore shrug our shoulders or flare our elbows out to reach the top of the dining table to either write or type. This causes you to tense up more in your neck and shoulders.
The ideal height of your desk should be when your shoulders at relaxed, elbows bent at 90 degrees and your forearms rest comfortably on the tabletop. It is best to book an appointment with our Physiotherapists to fully assess your workstation.
I use a laptop when working from home or travelling. How do I use this and have good ergonomics?
There are a number of ways we can work with a laptop. As there are guidelines for various set ups, there is no “one fits all” approach. That is why an independent ergonomic assessment will detail the best options for you.
However, one example may be to alter the position of the laptop depending on what you are using your laptop for and the positions you may be in. If you use a keyboard for long periods of time with your laptop, we may recommend you use a separate keyboard. This will allow you to position the laptop monitor further in front of you so that you have a better head and neck posture whilst still working more efficiently with your forearms and hands.
Working from my living room couch is the only spot I can both get my work done and keep an eye on the kids. How can I make this work?
This is a common situation a lot of parents have found themselves in of late. The couch is not the “ideal” workstation but if it is what we have to work with then we will make it work. We can modify how you sit in the couch by utilising cushions or rolled up towels to better support your back and posture. I would advise to not stay in that position for longer than 30-45minutes at any given time. It might be feasible to have another workstation set up appropriately for you elsewhere in your home to use when you don’t need to keep an eye on the kids. This change in position will allow you to offload the muscles and joints from your couch position. There are other options available depending on what our ergonomic assessment highlights.