Office Syndrome Happens Even When You're At Home

April 10, 2020

Watch Out For Office Syndrome While You're Working From Home!

It’s true, quarantine has proven that you don’t need to be at the office to have office syndrome. In fact, we have seen an increase in patients with this condition, as working from home is currently a requirement for most. ‘Office syndrome’ is the term that describes common discomforts that people endure from using a work station that is not correctly set up, to fit their body. The most common symptoms with office syndrome are eye strain, headache, shoulder pain, low-back pain, neck pain and stiffness, and wrist pain. Any of these sound familiar to you?


Proper ergonomics is one of the keys to avoiding the symptoms associated with office syndrome. Ergonomics is the study of proper posture while at work, it takes into account all angles and curves of the body. By giving awareness to position of ankles, knees, hips, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and the spine, it is possible to set up your workstation to best suit your body throughout the work day.


Sure, you’re working from home and want to be comfortable. Don’t be fooled by what looks comfy! First things first, get off of the couch and get out of bed. Listen up! I am going to break down the whole ergonomic set-up and give you some tips on how to feel good while working from home.


1.) Chair

Your work chair is a major point! If you don’t have an office chair, now would be the time to get one, otherwise, I recommend using a straight back chair. Make sure you are sitting with your back against the chair and feet flat on the floor. Your knees should be at a 90 degree angle and 2 inches away from the front of the chair. Shoulders should be rolled back and chin in a neutral position. It’s a common mistake to arch the low back and stick out the chest to try to sit up straighter. Don’t do this! Avoid puffing up like a bird and sticking out your chest. Just think of sitting tall, like there is a balloon pulling you upward.


2.) Monitor

Be mindful of your screen height, this will affect the angle of your neck. I recommend that the top of your screen is at eye level, if you’re able, tilt your screen 20 degrees backward. Those working with two monitors, make sure both are in front of you. It is vital to avoid any repetitive straining or turning of your neck. Watch out for raising your monitor too much, it’s not good to be looking up.


3.) Desk 

As far as your desk goes, the keyboard set-up can be tricky. Your wrists need to be relaxed, at a 20 degree angle and elbows at a 90 degree angle; you should be able to put your finger tips on your keyboard without having to raise your shoulders. An office chair will allow you to change the height to make sure your shoulders are relaxed. Be aware that your eye level will change as you change the height of your chair.


4.) Attitude

Attitude and mood affect our posture. Feeling discouraged, fatigued or annoyed may cause you to slump down in your chair and neglect any idea of posture. You’re probably familiar with the term “carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders.” Whereas fear and anxiety can actually cause you to tense your whole body, shoulders especially, and jut your head forward.


Some studies show the inverse to be true: posture affects attitude. I encourage you to sit up straighter, think about things that are peaceful and gentle, you’ll feel better. Take a deep breath and let your shoulders relax, fix your head in a neutral position and let your mind fill with oxygen. Remember, the weight of the world is not yours to carry. Notice when you need to take a break to step away from the screen. Go for a short walk or take some time to gently stretch.


5.) Chiropractic care

It’s important to understand that sometimes office syndrome doesn’t improve by simply trying to sit up straighter. Stress has spinal joints locked in a position negatively influencing the nervous system. In that case, you need chiropractic adjustments before you can start to feel better from changing your workstation and being conscious of your posture.


Wondering if chiropractic may be the solution for your “office-at-home” syndrome? We’re here to help! Call today, feel better tonight 335-0880