North Rocks

Centennial Qi Therapies

6 Coronavirus working from home ergonomic tips

When looking at lifestyle changes, Centennial Qi Therapies chiropractors are interested in what we do during our usual day to day schedule. Many of us in NSW are working at home due to the long-standing coronavirus lockdown. Sitting in front of a computer can damage our posture and create back pain without the proper setup. Here are some simple but effective changes to assist with ensuring that your home setup seating positions are optimised for your spine:


Elbow Position

Start by sitting as close as possible to your workstation with the intention of having your upper arms parallel to your spine. Place your hands in a rested state on your keyboard. If your elbows are not at a 90-degree angle, change the height of your chair.

Thigh Position
Office workers tend to lose their lumbar lordosis(low back curve), resulting in an increased load to the thoracolumbar junction(mid-low back) and lumbosacral junction(where the low back meets the pelvis). This can be restored by pointing the knees down 10-20 degrees from a neutral sitting position. You can achieve this with adjustments to your ergonomic office chair or simply sitting at the front edge of your chair. Adjust your weight to concentrate it towards the front of the back of your thighs, achieving this will tilt the pelvis and restore your loss in low back arch.
Calf Position
The feet should be in front of your knees and planted flat to create a small obtuse angle. Tension from the knees and hips will decrease.
Low back Position
If your seat has a lumbar support, sit with your upper back and tailbone pushed up against the back rest. This will place the lumbar spine in a favourable position in which will easily weight-bear your torso.
Resting eye level
Eyes should be 50cm from the monitor with the chin tucked and tilted down 5 degrees. It is a great way to train up your deep neck flexors and stretch the base of your skull. This method can aid in tech neck derived headaches and upper neck pain.
Armrest Position Lower your armrests to the height of your table, which should be around your lower ribs. This will diminish the amount your wrist curls while holding a mouse to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and alleviate discomfort like lower back pain. In reverse, if your armrests were lifted, your shoulders are forced to shrug. The human musculoskeletal mechanics function in set groups of actions. This means elevated shoulders will also roll them forward and push your neck to the front. This might be why you have consistent neck and shoulder pain?
BONUS! Stay Active To Reduce Back Pain in the Office or at Home. Regardless of how comfortable we may be with our new ergonomic setup, the human body is designed to move! There is always a power struggle for stability VS mobility. If we stay still for long periods, our musculoskeletal structure stiffens up to stabilize, vice versa for overstretching. A brief bathroom or kitchen break every 1-2 hours will increase blood circulation to flush oxygen into our cells, making you refreshed when returning to your desk. In addition, getting up and moving around will aid your spinal fluid circulating back to the discs, which cushions many structures of your low back. Regular breaks, combined with proper ergonomic adjustments and chiropractic care, can significantly reduce back pain and improve your overall comfort.

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