5 Steps to Fix your Home Office Setup to Improve your Health and Productivity
It is unbelievable to think we are now entering the month of March 2021, officially one whole year of COVID-19 lockdowns and mandates.
One thing that has become frighteningly clear to me based on all the new patients I have been seeing in the last 3-4 months is that people are becoming mentally and physically (and quite likely chemically) sicker than ever before.
We are more isolated, less active, more stressed, less social, more electronically stimulated, and more chemically inundated.
The major symptomatic complaints I’m seeing are anxiety, depression, back pain and neck pain.
The main cause? Makeshift home work/school setups and poor habits.
Nobody was prepared for this. Most of us were hoping this would be over by now. But everyone has adapted. Some better than others.
This blog post is to help those who are struggling to adapt or those who are looking to improve their health and productivity despite current lockdown measures.
- Stop sitting on the couch, kitchen table, or on your bed to do work. One of the main issues we downplay is our crappy work station, especially students. This is one of the easiest fixes since all you need to do is find a dedicated work space and set it up to fit your needs. The first few weeks at a crappy workstation can go unnoticed, but after a few months this can lead to major spinal issues, posture strain, and of course pain. Here are the two main investments to make:
- Get a sturdy adjustable height desk that you can either sit or stand at. We got ours at Costco and they are inexpensive and fantastic.
- Get an ergo stool that you can sit on with your feet flat on the floor and hips stacked under your low back
- Set your desk up near natural lighting to improve mood, productivity, and hormones. A recent study done at Cornell University showed workers exposed to natural light experienced an 84% reduction in headaches, eyestrain, and headaches. A study conducted by Northwestern Medicine and the University of Illinois concluded that workers exposed to natural light sleep longer and better (at home, and not at their desks) than those who aren’t exposed to natural light. Those working next to windows receive 176 percent more white light exposure than do their ashen counterparts. That translates to 46 minutes of extra sleep!
*Consider adding some soft LED desk lighting for early and late evening hours
- Invest in some quality mobility equipment. My favorite go-to equipment that use throughout the day are my acumobility matt, level 1 acumobilty balls, and my ultimate back roller. These items help me keep my muscles, joints, and nervous system stimulated every hour that I sit or stand and keep me pain free. Here is an upper body and lower body routine that I use:
visit www.acumobility.com to purchase products.
- Invest in some plants that are hard to kill. Adding plants to your workspace has been shown by research to increase productivity and decrease stress.
- Sign up for my 1 hour webinar this month on Tuesday March 23rd at 6pm to learn about how to set up an ideal work station for optimal posture, proper screen height, how to use a laptop efficiently, how to design your perfect day to minimize pain, injury risk, and optimize recovery. Be sure to register ASAP as space is limited and you MUST register to JOIN!
Register in advance for this webinar:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
I look forward to seeing all of you later this month for our webinar!
Love and light,
Dr. Ryan J Hewitt