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August 09 Edition Cover

Health and Wellbeing - June 2020

03 Jun 2020

Five things to remember when working or studying from home

By Dr Mike Edgley, physiotherapist 

Here are some simple tips to ensure your home office set up is safe.

With many people working from home now, it’s important to take some steps to ensure that your workspace is healthy. Keep reading to see how you can make these simple changes that may keep you feeling energised, while preventing unnecessary soreness and strain.

Set up a desk

This is the one you are most likely to be familiar with. While it can be nice to sit on the couch with your feet up while you work, it’s unhealthy for your back, neck and shoulders. Ideally, your computer screen should be positioned between 50 and 70 centimetres away from your eyes (about an arm’s length) and your screen should be at eye level. Looking down puts strain on your neck and causes your shoulders to hunch. To avoid this, it is beneficial to have a separate key board and mouse if you work from a laptop, so you can raise the laptop on a stand to ensure your screen is at eye level.

Take breaks

With less distractions when working from home, it’s easier to sit for long periods of time without taking a moment to move your body and recalibrate. Try to practice the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes take a 20 second break; stand up and look about 20 metres in front of you.

Remember your eyes

Looking 20 metres ahead of you isn’t just about taking your gaze away from your emails or assignment, it’s to prevent eye strain. By remembering to look up from your screen and focus on the view outside your window, you’re allowing your eyes to relax – this technique is also proven to be good for your neck, shoulders and stress levels.

Blink regularly

Sometimes when you’re engaged with a screen, you don’t blink as often as you should. This can cause dryness, leading to irritation and headaches. Try regularly closing your eyes for 20 seconds as part of your break routine to give your eyes the attention they deserve.

Drink water

Put a big bottle of water on your desk and take note of how often you need to replenish it. Or aim to have a drink of water every time you follow the 20-20-20 rule to try and stay hydrated right throughout the day.

Need a reminder? Download the Straighten Up app which will send you regular notes to stand up, move around and take care of yourself when working from home.

docklandshealth.com.au

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