How to set up your home office

How To Set Up Your Home Office

The transition for many people to set your home office has been sudden and rushed, and so perhaps you are one of those finding that your home-based work set up is not ideal and are looking for some simple pointers to spruce it up. We have a simple checklist on how to set up your home office below that will have you as comfortable and efficient as your work set-up back at the Office.
This blog will provide you some checklists to follow and is a follow up on our April Health and Wellness Seminar on Home Office Set-Up.

Posture Checklist

Starting from the bottom up. Follow these steps and check out your own sitting position. How many of these do you tick off?
  • Are your feet supported on the floor?
  • Are your knees at a level lower than your hips?
  • Is your weight distributed on your ischial tuberosity (mid-bum)?
  • Are you maintaining a slight lumbar curve?
  • Is your lumbar curve supported by your backrest?
  • Are your elbows at around 90 degrees?
  • Are your forearms parallel to the floor and supported by your desk?
  • Are you keeping your elbows close to your sides?
  • Is your head stacked directly over your shoulders?

Desk Set Up

Whether you are looking to make an investment in a new desk or make the most of your current desk, the following checklist will help guide you on what changes need to be made.
  • Does the top of your desk sit just slightly below the level of your elbows?
  • Does your desk have enough space for fore-arm support?
  • Is there enough leg room under your desk to stretch out your legs?
  • Are all your frequently used items within comfortable reach?

Chair Set Up

The importance of a good adjustable chair cannot be stressed enough. The following checklist can be used to assess your current chair or be used to help you choose a new one for your home office.
Lumbar Supports and Back Rests can be purchased from our Online Store or in the studio.
  • Is your chair seat adjustable?
  • Does your chair backrest include a rounded lumbar support?
  • Is the backrest and lumbar support adjustable in height?
  • Can you adjust the angle of your backrest? (Optimal = 100-120 degrees)
  • Can you adjust your seat pan? Tilt (for 100-120 degrees angle of hip) and Depth (for 2-3 fingers width clearance from front of chair and back of knee)?
  • Does your chair have armrests? Are they restrictive?
  • Does your chair have adequate and comfortable cushioning on the seat and backrest?
  • When aligning your elbow position at the desk, do your feet reach the floor?

Are You Using a Laptop?

When using a laptop for an extended period of time we recommend the use of an external keyboard and mouse to optimise forearm support and decrease strain from prolonged downward bending of the neck or elevation of the shoulders and elbows.

Keep Active Keep Moving

Even with the best posture, holding it for hours on end will eventually cause some strain. Make sure you are moving regularly. The Australian Physiotherapy Association recommends getting up every 30
minutes to do some gentle general body movements and to get up every 2 hours or a 15 minute bout of physical activity.

Pick three stretches: every half an hour, performing each for 10 seconds.

Click the video below to see examples of easy to perform stretches from your home work station.

“Your best posture is your next posture”

It’s important to still stretch and move throughout the day. No workstation set-up can be used all day without taking its toll on the body. Extended periods in similar postures can lead to fatigue or overloading parts of the body.

The Physios at AMS are experts in diagnosing, treating and managing posture related back and neck injuries. Book in now to see a Physiotherapist and so we can make sure you are performing at your best at all times!

References:

Amick, B.C., Robertson, M.M., DeRango, K., Bazzani, L., Moore, A., T., Harrist R. (2003) Effect of office ergonomics intervention on reducing musculoskeletal symptoms. Spine 15 ; 28(24): 2706-11
New ways, new rules: Physical and mental well-being when working from home. (2020). [Blog]. Retrieved from https://australian.physio/home/highlights/new-ways-new-rules-physical-and-mental-wellbeing-when-working-home
Office of Industrial Relations. (2012). Ergonomic guide to computer workstations. Queensland: Worksafe Queensland.
Robertson, M., Amick, B.C., DeRango, K., Rooney, T., Bazzani, L., Harrist, R., Moore, A. (2009). The effects of an office ergonomics training and chair intervention on worker knowledge, behaviour and musculoskeletal risk. Appl Ergon 40 (1): 124-35
Swinton, P.A., Cooper, K., Elizabeth Hancock. (2017) Workplace interventions to improve sitting posture: A systematic review. Preventative Medicine; 101: 204-212.

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