As we approach one year of work from home in Ireland, Goodpath’s Bill Giannokos shares tips on making the most of your work from home setup.
Today (March 12) marks a year of working from home for most Irish people due to the epidemic. Over the past 12 months we have made numerous attempts to adjust and improve the way we work remotely, including tools to help us stay productive, maintain mental health, and lead us into a new job. Watch on Netflix.
What about your work from home setup? Does your business provide the tools needed to perform your tasks comfortably? Does it cause unnecessary strain on your neck and back?
To find out more, we spoke with Bill Giannokos, CEO and co-founder of Goodpath, a health consulting firm. Gianokos, a serial entrepreneur and technology leader, is one of his co-founders. Akl Fahd, a cardiologist and scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, works for integrated health care in the United States.
He gave us some practical tips with you as we continue to work remotely in the future.
Do you think people make mistakes when setting up homes?
People are working at an unprecedented level from home because of the epidemicvs. We see people complaining of all kinds of aches and pains because the comforts of their home are not as economical as they are in the office environment.
Take something as simple as where and how people sit. While an ergonomic chair can be great, many people sit in kitchen chairs, sofas, or even beds. These options allow the body to poorly position and create challenges.
When the chairs do not fit the person well, Increases the risk of musculoskeletal pain. For example, if your chair is too low, it will slow you down and strain your back muscles. If you have very high armrests, your upper body will start to strain.
What are the most common mistakes you see?
It’s a small problem these days to say that someone looks bad, but it’s very common., SpecialWhen people create their own workspaces at home. In addition to knowing how and where people sit, we also see musculoskeletal painful limbs in the gutter:
Leaning over a laptop: Laptops do not create more hours; They must be mobile. Instead of looking straight ahead with good looks, they are constantly looking down, This can lead to neck pain, sometimes ” Technical neck“Whenever possible, People should use External monitors to maintain proper alignment
Angle computer monitors: Another common mistake is to place two computer monitors at an angle to each other. This causes one person’s neck to look to one side and the other to the screen.
Workstation Design: Our physiotherapists mainly see right-handed workers unknowingly setting up a workspace that is more suitable for a left-handed employee. If someone is constantly reaching out to pick up papers, phone, or printer, it can lead to shoulder pain or worse chest lettuce syndrome.
What do you think are the most important things to include in a good WFH setup?
Our medical team and coaches perform ergonomic assessments with musculoskeletal pain for our members. This is part of our holistic approach to treating pain in a number of ways.
One of the things that is often recommended in these reviews is an external monitor (separate from the laptop screen) so that your gaze is on your front and an external keyboard, so placing your hands and wrists should not cause the wrists. Or wrist problems such as carpal tunnel. Syndrome.
If an external monitor is not an option, one can install a laptop in several books or boxes, and then use an external keyboard and mouse.
We recommend creating workspace zones and defining primary spaces as opposed to secondary spaces. People should try to keep things that are commonly used in the main workspace, which we define as close to the hand, while bending the elbows at right angles.
Another thing to keep in mind is that factors outside of the actual workplace can affect a person’s pain. With this pandemic there is a way to increase the level of stress and increase the pressure pain. This can worsen musculoskeletal pain due to improper configuration of the WFH. The use of mind-body techniques such as progressive relaxation and yoga can help people deal with stress, anxiety and pain.
Do people need to invest a lot of time and money to set up WFH properly?
Never. A Ergonomic configuration It does not have to be expensive or time consuming. In fact, you can often use objects lying around the house.
For example, if a chair is too high and the legs are off the floor, place a small stool under the feet to balance the hips and knees. Can’t find a stool? Flip it into a small trash can or use a few old Amazon boxes.
Our medical team often recommends these simple tips: Take a few books and place them under the laptop so that the screen is at eye level, and then use an external keyboard for hand position. If you do not have a desk, use a dining room table or kitchen island instead of a sofa. Do you want to stand out? Set up a few boxes in the dresser or on a high table and use a laptop there.
What advice would you give to people on WFH at the moment?
Remember to take care of the whole people; Think about how stress, its atmosphere, and poor work at home can all cause pain.
In addition to engaging in integrated care, I can say that I try to approach the ergonomic part of our member programs and apply exactly what our medical team preaches:
- I follow a routine. I have a specific workspace and go there at the same time every day
- I am lucky to have a room for a desk and set up with a monitor at eye level
- I take a micro break and get up to walk around the office every 30-60 minutes
- Sometimes I do a few simple stretches on a zoom call
- I walk if the weather is good