In precedent times of the pandemic, where our homes have become our offices (work from home) and online-schooling has become new normal, it has come with its own pros and cons. In one way the commuting time, the dressing time etc has cut down but at the same time the screen time has increased, the physical activity has reduced, the working hours have become erratic. All this shift is posing potential risks for Musculoskeletal injuries.
New or worsening back, neck, leg, and shoulder pain among telecommuters, and the culprit is our Home Office or Home School. Not only the adults but kids/ teens are also facing issues of Posture/ neck-back pain /wrist pain and so on.
We all have quickly adapted to the new normal working fashion by using all the sofas, couches, books , boxes and so on to make our worstations but all this workarounds have lead to faulty postures and the impact of wrong postures is not only limited to neck pains and lower back pains but also poor breathing and eventually reduction in the lung capacity, headaches, dizziness, anger, poor eyesight, poor digestion, lack of concentration, compromised circulation in the legs causing to varicose veins, sleep disturbances and so on.
Dr Fazela Hozefa, Senior Physiotherapist at Sheikh Manaa Bin Hasher Al Maktoum Polyclinic, Dubai, have jot down a few basics that can be followed to make sure that kids/teens/adults are not injuring their bodies and at the same time it helps in increasing their productivity as well.
So here are the 5 basic rules to increase your productivity:
Out of the 8-9 that you are working in the day, 7 -8 hours goes in gluing yourself to the chair so it is important to select a chair that is not only comfortable but ergonomically designed as well. Look for WHEELS so that you can shift it easily and it will not strain your lower back. Secondly the HEIGHT-ADJUSTMENT so that when you stand in from of the chair your knees are touching the seat. That’s your correct height adjustment for your height. Next is the ADJUSTABLE-ARMREST so that your elbows are rested at 90 degrees. Look for S-Shaped curve for the back rest – so that you don’t have to put that extra pillow for the back support. Lastly the HEAD-REST to support the head.
Work station adjustment:
The basic rule is to Sit at one hand distance from the screen that you are using and making sure that the screen is at your eye level and you choose a well-lit area for your workstation. This will help not only your eyes but also save your head and neck from the wrong positioning. If there is a need for using two screens, then keep it side by side. Attach an external keyboard to the laptop. Do not forget to use a wrist pad so that the wrist stays in neutral position.
Frequent Breaks at work:
Our body is made to move so even if we sit correctly and have an absolutely well designed workstation, we will start hunching after 30-45 mins so its recommended to stand up and move around or switch to standing from sitting position after every 30-45 minutes. Initially just to remind yourself to take a break keep some que. It can be as simple as an alarm in the phone or make your own.
A great way to include some stretching exercises is to do them while at work. They might look simple but it is worth your time. Do it every hour or two just 5-6 reps and your aches and pains at the end of the day will be taken care of. Kids can be asked to do few squats or skipping or run around in the house during their break times.
Daily dose of Exercise:
As a general rule 150 mins of exercise per week is recommended, that’s the basic we can do for our bodies. Either you split it up into 30 mins/day – 5 times a week or do 3 days one hour session. The best way is have a 10-15 mins of walk after your breakfast/ lunch and dinner or have a walk and talk sessions. Make sure that the kids are getting 60 minutes of physical activity daily.
About Dr Fazela:
Fazela Hozefa is Senior Physiotherapist at Sheikh Manaa Bin Hasher Al Maktoum Polyclinic, Dubai(U.A.E.) Originally from India (Graduated in 2007), she has been working in UAE since 2010. She specializes in treating Musculo-skeletal dysfunctions, sports injuries, Tendinopathies, chronic pain and post-surgical rehabilitation. Passionate about educating and spreading awareness about right ergonomics, she offers personalized assessments and posture analysis sessions. To bring public focus on the importance of ergonomics, Fazela creates informative videos on her social media page Stretch-Align-Move by Fazela. A firm believer in holistic treatments, she is compassionate about her patients’ well-being helping them make lasting changes by incorporating suitable exercises and lifestyle changes related to their health conditions. An avid fitness buff, she loves learning new exercise modalities and in her busy schedule as a working professional and mom, she takes out time every day for yoga, Pilates, badminton, cycling and meditation.
We provide free content, as we love all things fitness and wellness. But if you like this story, feel free to buy us a coffee HERE