It has been a strange few months for many of us with the UK lockdown regulations put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus. In recent announcements made by the government it is clear that lockdown regulations are beginning to lift, and life is beginning to go back to a new normal. For shops and businesses, they will be able to open from Monday the 15th of June, and some year groups of children have already gone back to school. If your workplace has asked you to return to work, remember to continue to good wellbeing habits you developed in lockdown. Today, we’re telling you how to practice good habits for your body’s posture and overall wellbeing at work and on your commute.
Different workplaces set different challenges to people’s bodies. For example, lots of customer-facing roles such as in retail require a person to stand for many hours at a time. Having bad posture or standing funny to relieve your feet or joints can have a long-term effect of aches and pains so remember to stretch regularly, increase blood flow to your muscles and don’t lock your knee out when standing still.
For others, returning to work means returning to their office desks and this can have a huge impact on health, from heart health and higher risk of obesity to the general aches and pains in your back, neck and shoulders. It’s important to stand regularly and take a short walk every hour or so to raise your heart rate and stretch your body. Ensure your desk chair is ergonomic, rather than stylish, and practice good desk and posture habits to minimise back pain and carpal tunnel in the wrists.
Ergonomic Desk Habits
There are many considerations that determine the ergonomics of a workspace:
- An ‘S’ shaped chair
- Be seated an arm’s length away from a computer screen
- The top of the monitor should be in line with your eyesight
- Sit up straight and not slouched with your neck in a neutral position
- Avoid crossing your legs and place your feet flat on the floor to allow correct blood flow
We offer a Workstation Assessment where a physiotherapist will be able to evaluate your current desk and work place setting and advise on small changes that avoid injuries or health issues and ensure everyone is working comfortably.
How to Use Your Commute for Good
One of the biggest positives of working from home has been the extra time gained from not having to commute. It can be helpful to do something with this time so that it doesn’t feel wasted. Here are a few adjustments you can make to ensure your commute has only a positive impact on your body and wellness. Firstly, if you drive, ensure your seat and mirrors are set up correctly to avoid strain or leaning forward. Secondly, limit the use of heavy bags or bags held only on one side as this can greatly affect your posture. Using a backpack, for example, is a great way to ensure the alignment of your spine. If you walk during your commute, ensure you wear good footwear that provides ample support and suspension – avoid heeled shoes that can cause ankle and foot pain or repetitive injuries such as plantar fasciitis.
An Active Commute
According to recent research nearly 62% of the UK population is overweight and only 67% of males and 55% of females are meeting the recommended daily physical activity levels. Moving our bodies more can help us with heart health, bone, joint and muscle health and keep us supple and strong. Try making your commute more active by getting off a bus or train a stop or two early, parking sooner to walk the final distance or pop some trainers on to jog for 5 minutes during your commute to increase your heart rate and pop the body in fat burning mode. An expert physiotherapy will be able to analyse your day and help create a long term activity plan to ensure you’re getting in your exercise wherever possible!
When we are mindful of our commute and working habits, we can better take care of our body and actively prevent aches, pains and injuries. We know just how easy it is to rush to work and forget these simple tricks, but they make all the difference!
For physiotherapy that fits around your busy schedule, don’t hesitate to contact us to book an assessment or appointment. We bring all of the equipment to your home at a time that’s convenient for you!