We’ve Got Your Back

Tuesday, 14 April, 2020

As many of us are now working from home, we have put together some useful tips on how to maintain a healthy posture.

Dr Nicola Dann, a GP, director and founder of Commercial Occupational Health Services (COHS), said: “Because many of us are working from home temporarily, there is no need for individual workstation assessments as there is no increased risk.

“However, it is important we all try to ensure we use correct posture when we are sitting at our temporary desks.”

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued the following advice to help reduce the risks associated with Display Screen Equipment (DSE):

o Walk away from your screen regularly. Aim for 5-10 minutes every hour.
o Avoid awkward, static postures by changing position regularly.
o Get up, move and stretch.
o Avoid eye fatigue by changing focus or blinking from time to time.
o Relax shoulders, support the lower back, keep your head level, wrists straight and maintain equal pressure through the feet.
o Screens should be about an arm’s length away.
o Use a headset so you can walk and talk while on the ‘phone.

Dr Dann said: “Many of us will experience back pain at some point in our lives. Stress is also a common factor. When you’re stressed, your breathing changes, which can cause tension due to muscles tightening.

“But there is lots you can do to help. The important thing to remember is to keep moving.

“Simple back exercises and stretches are available on the NHS website. Regular exercise and breaks can all help.

“If the desk or table is too high, try sitting on a cushion to raise your seat. Equally, if the table is too low, use books to raise your laptop.

“A tightly rolled-up towel can also help to support the lower back.”

Note to Editors: With thanks to experienced physiotherapist Rachael Lawrence for her advice.