We’ve been in the office on Mondays and Tuesdays and we are constantly hearing from patients about issues with their home office set up. Our goal today is to give you a couple of tips and tricks that should make it a little easier at home. Most of us weren’t exactly prepared to have to start working from home and certainly didn’t expect it to be for a prolonged period of time. We probably have a “good enough” set up to get you through a day or two, but the day in and day out is starting to wear us down a bit. Here’s a couple of easy fixes to make you more comfortable.
First, try to avoid the “sitting on the couch with the laptop on either the coffee table or lap” set up. There is nothing good about this position and it isn’t something that you can do for a long period of time. After a bit, this will cause a lot of soreness in the low back and neck and shoulders. At the very least have a moderately firm chair and some sort of desk or table.
A very inexpensive fix that will make a world of difference is to have a keyboard and mouse separate from the lap top. This will offer a lot more options in terms of positioning and will allow you to have the monitor at a more appropriate height and the keyboard closer to where it should be. You can find a keyboard and mouse combo on Amazon for as little as $15.
While it would be great to get a new desk chair (if you didn’t already have one) that’s not always feasible. So…modify one you already have. Start by folding a bath towel the long way in half and then roll it up. This makes a great low back roll that will help keep you from slouching. Also using a pillow under your bum will help to either soften a too firm kitchen chair or firm up a more cushiony chair. This can also help to add height if you’re at a kitchen table to put your arms and hands at a better height for the keyboard.
We have seen some pretty inexpensive desks at the Christmas Tree Shop and Walmart that can be a good stand in for the time being. Sometimes a kitchen table is going to be a bit too high, but for under $100 you might be able to get a desk to solve that issue. Also, use books and boxes to help raise your monitor to the height that works best for you. If the keyboard is on the desk or table, you’ll need your monitor raised up to keep your neck and shoulders in a better position.
On the upside, this will all eventually pass and we will start to get used to our new normal. Before we know it we will be back to complaining about the traffic and lack of parking in Portland J In the meantime, we are in the office Mondays and Tuesdays and will soon be adding in Wednesdays. You can also reach Dr. Cait with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay safe!
- Dr. Cait