5 ways to optimise your neck and workstation at home!

Laptop

Sofa.

Ironing board.

Kitchen bench.

Washing machine.

No, this post is not a random list of household items to sit, eat or wash from.

Believe it or not, these are the makeshift workstations that our clients have been using during the pandemic. Some of them are absolutely clever (who knew an ironing board could make an innovative standing desk!) and others feel uncomfortable just reading from it.

But to be honest, it is not a huge surprise that people do not have perfect study nooks at home – after all, we are not used to working at home at this scale – plus or minus children and partners with their own agendas (hello partner who says ‘circle back’ in meetings).

We took to the streets to ask our clients

So the team at Pinnacle took to the streets (virtually) and called our clients to find out what is really going on and how we can help during this tricky time. As of last week, we have collated hundreds of notes and surveys from our clients – here are some fun fast facts from our data:

  • 76% of our clients surveyed have reported neck tightness and pain in the last week
  • 53% of our clients have been having breaks every hour
  • 82% of our clients surveyed are using a laptop only.

Subjectively, our team has also noted that overall clients are not overly comfortable with the support on their chair and ability to get comfortable for a prolonged period.

With that mind, as well as our overall concerns about our clients’ neck positions, our team have put together five tips to relieve neck tension and get you set up while working from home.

5 Easy Ways To Relieve Neck Tension And Set Up A Workstation

Set up a designated work area

Utilise a table and chair (not an ironing board). If your chair happens to be from IKEA and designed for the kitchen, use a rolled up towel or cushion to create more back support.

As well as better posture and ergonomics, the other major benefit of having a designated work zone in the house is that it’ll help to maintain your boundaries between work and home life.

All eyes ahead

It is absolutely essential that the top third of your screen is at your eye level. For the 82% of our clients using laptops, it is crucial that you prop up your laptop on some books to create this ideal position.

This creates a more neutral neck and spine position, reducing strain on the neck muscles and shoulders.

Mouse and keyboard

Laptop users really need to purchase a separate keyboard and mouse. The beauty of this is allowing your elbows to be bent at ninety degrees, which is perfect for reducing neck, shoulder and wrist pain.

Your best posture is your next posture

Every forty-five minutes stand up, take a walk or drink some water. By implementing the 45/15 work ratio principle, you will reduce your risk of neck pain and also boost your productivity.

Walk and talk

Sitting at your desk on Zoom calls for hours will impact your mood by the end of the day. If you have some headphones and it’s appropriate, take yourself outside and attend the meeting via phone. A bit of movement will make you more effective and some headphones will keep you neutral with your neck position. That’s a win-win for both you and your workplace.

Summary

As we continue to work from home over the coming weeks, it is important that we look after our neck position. Having smart breaks and setting your workstation up for success will go a long way in avoiding the need for Physiotherapy and Remedial Massage.

If you are in need of some advice, assessment or treatment please book an appointment at one of our convenient wellness centres in Melbourne.

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