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Since the COVID-19 outbreak, working from home has become the new norm for many. If this applies to you, have you thought about how ergonomic your at-home office set up is?

Sitting hunched over your laptop for prolonged periods of time with poor posture can lead to issues including neck pain, headaches, lower back pain and even joint damage. Whether or not you’re already starting to feel the effects of a non-ergonomically optimal setup, it’s never too late to make a change. 

Tune in as Chiropractor from Spine and Performance, Dr Kevin Tomassini, shares everything you need to know to design an ergonomic workstation and enhance your #WFH experience. 

Sitting Posture for a Healthy Spine 

Practically all your furnishing needs for your at-home office will play a role in ensuring that you maintain a proper sitting posture.

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Dr Kevin highlights the following characteristics of good posture for a healthy spine: 

  • Sit up straight and looking forward
  • Monitor at eye level 
  • Back resting against the chair (particularly in the lower back region)
  • Both feet flat on the floor 
  • Avoid crossing the knees or ankles 
  • Forearms and thighs parallel to the floor where possible 
  • Relaxed shoulders 
  • Elbows at a 90 degree angle or creating an L-shape
  • Neutral wrists when typing 

Furnishing Your Workstation

Chair 

When sourcing for a chair, Dr Kevin suggests finding one that has lumbar support. This provides extra support to the lumbar region by keeping your spine aligned in a natural curvature and preventing the muscles from overtaxing themselves. 

When sitting on a chair with lumbar support, ensure that you're seated in far enough so your back (especially the lower back region) is leaning against the backrest. Not doing so is a common mistake that people make. 

Tip: If your chair doesn’t have lumbar spine support, you can consider investing in a lumbar support cushion or even using a rolled up towel and placing it on your lower back. 

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The height of your chair is also important in setting up an ergonomically sound workstation. Dr Kevin recommends finding a chair that can be adjusted to a height that allows both of your feet to be resting comfortably flat on the floor. 

Desk

These days, standing desks are pretty common and are a great option for when furnishing your at-home office to reduce the risk of shoulder and back pain.

Many furniture stores such as Ikea sell standing desks with levers that allow you to quickly and easily adjust the desk’s height. This way, you have the option to convert your desk and alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day and stray from an overly sedentary lifestyle. 

Laptop Stand 

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If you’ve experienced stiffness or pain in your neck and back, the chances are that your laptop’s screen is too low. 

A laptop stand is another useful piece of accessory you can consider getting for your at-home workstation. The greatest benefit of using a laptop stand is that it brings your laptop’s screen to eye level and puts your body in a more ergonomic position. 

External Keyboard 

Dr Kevin also recommends using an external keyboard. Particularly when utilising a laptop stand, an external keyboard will allow you to keep your elbows at a 90 degree angle, tucked close to your body, and with your wrists at a neutral position while typing. This posture will prevent you from hunching over your computer. 


Dealing with any back pain, slipped discs, neck pain, headaches, stress or anxiety?

Claim your special first visit promotion with Dr Kevin from Spine & Performance at just $67 (U.P $250). 


Contributor: 

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Dr Kevin Tomassini, a USA board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic with a background in fitness has been providing his chiropractic services in Singapore since 2013.

His qualifications include Doctor of Chiropractic from Parker College of Chiropractic, Masters in Social and Economic Development from ISEAD Madrid, Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness from Parker College of Chiropractic, and Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education from the University of Puerto Rico.