With life beginning to normalize, many professionals are leaving the comfort of their homes (and pajamas) and heading back into the office for full-time work. As we adjust to our new (old) work environments, we must keep the health and safety of our bodies in front of mind to avoid acute and overuse injuries.
Below are 5 tips to safely transition from your personal workspace back into the office environment.
#1 SETUP A COMFORTABLE SPACE
Set up your space so it is comfortable, has good lighting, and is free of hazards. Consider moving clutter and tucking away cords to prevent slipping or tripping.
Experts say correct posture at your workstation is as simple as 90-90-90. When sitting in a chair this is the angle between your straight back and thighs, the angle between your thighs and lower legs, and finally the angle between your lower legs and feet flat against the floor.
Adapt your workspace by adjusting the height of your screen and/or chair so that you can maintain proper posture. If available, opt-in for a workstation that is adjustable so you can alternate sitting and standing throughout the day.
#2 DRINK WATER
Staying hydrated is super important, even if you are not mindfully exercising or breaking a sweat. Keep a bottle of water close to your workstation and have a goal for your day’s intake. As well as other symptoms, when dehydrated you may experience headaches, irritability, and reduced cognitive function.
Drink plenty of water, your health (and ability to perform) need it!
#3 KEEP MOVING
When lost in “the zone” of working and accomplishing deadlines, it can be easy to forget to move. Make a habit of taking breaks to get up and walk, even if it is just for a few minutes at a time. Active minutes do add up throughout the day and you are less likely to become sore from sitting in the same position too long.
If possible, take a break outside in the fresh air, a change of scenery can recharge your batteries and help you focus on your next task.
While active exercise routines are important before or after work, stretching is vital during the workday! Stretching increases range of motion and improves posture. It can also reduce back pain and muscle soreness that may be caused by sitting in a chair most of the day. Incorporate daily stretching into your schedule, it is good for you, and it feels great too!
#5 TAKE BREAKS AWAY FROM THE SCREEN
Some jobs require you to spend more time on a laptop or tablet. Eye strain can be caused by excessive screen use, so taking regular breaks is important to give your eyes a break. Every 20 minutes, look at an object at least 20 feet away for a full 20 seconds. Screen time can also affect your sleep quality.
The National Sleep Foundation advises that you turn off all electronic devices (like your cellphone, tablet, computer, and tv) at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
For more information regarding SportsCare Physical Therapy and Armworks Hand Therapy treatment and services, please do not hesitate to contact one of our offices. To schedule an evaluation, all locations can be reached by phone, or you can request an appointment online.