How to Create an Ideal Home Work Space

As many people are working from home these days, it is important to think about your home work space.  If your work space is not ideal, you could develop neck, shoulder, and back pain. Therefore, check out these tips below on how to create a home work space to prevent pain and injury:

  1. When sitting at your work space, your feet should be flat on the ground. You should be sitting all the way back in your chair so that your lower back is supported by the chair’s backrest and your knees should be about level with your hips.
  2. Your computer screen should be level with your eyes, and about an arm’s length away from your face.
  3. Your elbows should be supported by your chair’s armrests or on the surface in front of you, and your wrists should be straight as they are typing.
  4. While sitting at your work space, it is important to remember to keep your shoulders back and your head looking straight ahead (rather than down at a screen).
  5. You should perform 15-20 backwards shoulder rolls and/or 10 shoulder blade squeezes every 30 minutes to an hour as a reminder to keep your shoulders down as you work. If you feel your shoulders rising, it might be a good time to take a quick lap around the house to help your body relax.

If you have questions about your work space set-up or exercises you can perform to improve your posture, reach out to us to set up a physical therapy evaluation! We would love to help you set up your home office. During a telehealth video visit, we will be able to see your home work space to evaluate your set-up real time! To schedule, give us a call at 443-524-0442 or visit our website at www.hpt.machtmedicalgroup.com.  Written By: Dr. Chloe Smith
Staff Physical Therapist at Harbor Physical Therapy

Increase Computer Time and Pain Prevention

Do you sit in front of the computer most of the day? Do you get tension headaches, neck pain, and sore chest muscles?

This is a result of repetitive forward head movement that can be from typing, reading and looking down to write. Excessive forward head posture puts strain on your neck and shoulder muscles. Perform the pectoralis stretch below to decrease strain to your neck and shoulder muscles.

Stand in a doorway and place your arms about 90 degrees along the sides of the door frame. Step through the door frame until you feel a stretch across your chest. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds. Alternate your foot forward with each stretch.

Pectoralis Stretch

Written by:
Amanda Macht, D.P.T.
Owner/Physical Therapist at Harbor Physical Therapy

Foam Rolling to Improve Posture

Do you find yourself slouching all day at work? Do you experience upper back or neck pain at the end of the day?

Slouching at work causes chest muscles to tighten and places extra stress on your upper back and the muscles that you normally use to achieve good posture. Stretching and mobilizing in your upper back can help decrease these symptoms and improve postural awareness while sitting at work.  Check out these foam roll exercises.  These can be performed daily to help decrease muscle tightness and improve posture.  Always make sure to check with your physician or physical therapist to ensure these exercises are appropriate for you.

Written by: Holly Hibbard, D.P.T.

How to Achieve an Ergonomic Workstation

1. Adjust chair height so that your feet are flat on the floor.
Use footrest if you can’t achieve this.
2. Keep your wrist posture neutral.
3. Keep your monitor between 20 and 40 inches from your face.
4. Adjust monitor so that the center sits at eye level.
5. Place your keyboard so that your upper arms are perpendicular to the floor.
6. Chair is adjusted to keep body supported in an upright position.
7. Back rest is adjusted to fit the lumbar region of your spine.
8. Keep work within 16 inches of your body.

How ergonomic is our Harbor PT employee Liz?

Ergonomic Workstation
Ergonomic Workstation

Sitting Long Term and Stretching

Do you sit in front of the computer most of the day? Do you get tension headaches, neck pain, and sore chest muscles?

This is a result of repetitive forward head movement that can be from typing, reading and looking down to write. Excessive forward head posture puts strain on your neck and shoulder muscles. Perform the pectoralis stretch below to decrease strain to your neck and shoulder muscles.

Stand in a doorway and place your arms about 90 degrees along the sides of the door frame. Step through the door frame until you feel a stretch across your chest. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds. Alternate your foot forward with each stretch.

Pectoralis Stretch
Pectoralis Stretch