Working from home may seem like a dream to some, and a more daunting task to others, either way, I wanted to share some ideas on how to set yourself up for success while working from home. Here are 4 ways to help set up an ergonomic desk area that will help to keep you feeling energized instead of sore and tired when you clock out.
1: Workstation set up
The first step to a successful home office is to set up your workstation. An ergonomic desk setup can make all the difference in your overall comfort throughout the day. When it comes to desks, neither a sitting or standing desk is necessarily better, having both as an option is ideal, and you can attain both by switching up where you work throughout the day.
I recommend starting by figuring out the optimal height of your desk or chair to allow you to maintain the best posture of your back, shoulders, and neck. Whether you are standing or sitting you want the desk to be around the height of your elbows. This allows you to not overreach your arms or round your back when working on your keyboard, mouse, notepad, or drawing surface.
When it comes to your computer – all the small steps make a huge difference. First make sure your monitor or laptop screen is directly in front of you, to avoid unnecessary twisting of your head and neck then adjust your monitor so it is at eye level to help maintain proper neck and upper back posture. You do not need fancy adjustable desks to achieve this and can use cookbooks, textbooks or sturdy boxes under your laptop or monitor to help achieve this
2: Working breaks
No matter how perfect you set up your desk, sitting or standing for a full workday is not the ideal environment for our bodies. As humans, we are meant to move and we feel better when we do. When in an office environment we move more than we think – we take the stairs, get up to get a coffee, move to different meeting spaces – while working from home it can become very easy to stay stationary, so you need to build in movement.
Try to switch between a standing and sitting position every hour, take calls while walking around the room or even better outside, or set reminders every thirty minutes to take a break which could be as simple as standing up, doing five squats before your next meeting, or light stretching.
3: Office workout
In addition to movement breaks, a 10-15 minute office workout can be a helpful productivity boost. Exercise can energize you and increase your creativity. This can be individualized to what you enjoy to do like a yoga routine, kettlebell workout, natural movement circuit, or even a run or walk outside. Below is a good example of a full-body circuit you could do with only needing a band as equipment that you can keep in your desk drawer.
5 reverse lunges on each leg
10 push-ups (hands on your desk or ground)
30-second side plank on each side
4: Hydration and Nutrition
The last step is making sure you are fueling your body properly to promote optimal brain function and focus all day. A good start is to try and drink a half-gallon of water throughout the day, this may seem like a lot, but by setting goals to reach every couple of hours, it is very attainable, there are even water bottles you can buy with hourly markers to help.
In addition to water, you want to make sure you are fueling your body with healthy foods. Each person has their own unique nutritional preferences that work best for them, but in general, you should try to avoid overly processed foods or foods with added sugar replace them with more natural options. Try swapping out the potato chips and candy for nuts and apples with almond butter that have healthy fats to help you sustain your energy levels throughout the day instead of experiencing energy spikes and crashes.
These may seem like a lot of changes but pick one and see if you can stick to it for a week to help build the habit and slowly add in more as they become natural to you. Working from home is a great time to experiment with new things that you can bring back to your workplace and get your co-workers to join in.
If you have any additional questions or want us to help with your desk set up or workday plan Therapydia is offering Telehealth consultations where we can help check out your desk setup and make recommendations for a proper ergonomic desk setup to make your work goals a reality.