Working from home? Quick tips to take care of your body

With more people working from home to help slow the spread of coronavirus, many are quickly realizing that their home workspaces are less than ideal. Working on a computer in wonky, awkward positions can lead to a variety of physical ailments, like herniated discs and other back injuries, or sore eyes and blurry vision.

“Mainly the things to look out for are the neck, arm and shoulder muscles, it is the tension you are placing on these muscles which is the danger,” a spokesperson for occupational health consultants Arbo Unie told NL Times. The location of devices used by workers is very important, she said. A keyboard placed too far away would mean stretching the arms too much when typing, which can lead to tension throughout the upper body.

Where workers place their screens is also important. Putting it in front of the window is not good for the eyes due to the difference in lighting. Likewise, people should avoid sitting with their back to the window when working on a computer, as it will make the screen less legible.

“If you have too much light on your screen it can cause your eyes to squint, which is too much work for the eyes. And again, it can cause your neck to take the wrong angle which can be hazardous for the neck muscles,” she said. Sitting to the side of the window is best, she added.

Variety in the way one sits is also vital. Arbo Unie suggests people stand or walk about every half hour. It may not be problematic to hang around on the couch or to slump while working for a while, but people must limit the time they sit that way.

The consultants also cautioned people to check their posture while working behind a device or at a home office space.