Working from Home and Looking after Your Health
If you work in an office (or rather did work in an office), chances are you’re either working from home right now, or you have done at some point over the past six months.
The Coronavirus pandemic has meant that millions of people across the country have been asked to work from home, but have you thought properly about your workspace? Are you awkwardly slumped at your kitchen table? Maybe slouched on your sofa with laptop slowly cooking your legs? Or worse still, have you had to fashion together a table out of an ironing board or something else equally as precarious? The likelihood is that if you’ve never really worked from home before, you might not have the right working environment, and most importantly the right equipment.
The average office worker will spend on average 1,700 hours a year in front of a computer screen. That’s almost six and a half hours every single day. When we sit in the same position for such long periods, it’s of vital importance that we are looking after our health and crucially, our posture. The two are intrinsically linked.
You may be eligible to claim tax relief
If you have been asked by your employer to work from home, you may be eligible to claim tax relief for office equipment under HMRC rules. Items such as office desks, chairs, stationary and even printer ink are some of the essential items you can claim for. To see if you are eligible, visit the HMRC website to find out more.
The importance of sitting correctly
We’ve all been guilty of poor posture at some point in our working career. The good intentions have always been there, but inevitably we find ourselves slumped or arched over our desks. This could be because your chair or desk may not be right for you, or not setup correctly.
The dangers of poor posture may be subtle but are all too real:
- Neck and back pain
- Weak core muscles
- Mood swings
- Reduction in oxygen to the brain and heart
- Poor digestion
The benefits of correct posture are transformational!
- Improved oxygen and blood flow
- Reduction of pressure on the back
- Healthy bones and joints
- Fewer headaches and eye strains
How to sit correctly
Now that we’ve outlined the importance of why we need to make sure we sit correctly and look after ourselves, we can begin to look at how we should be sitting.
Support your back
The key starting point and the most important aspect of correct posture is ensuring your back is correctly supported. A chair that supports your back and is correctly adjusted reduces the strain on your back.
Look for a chair that can adjust the height, back position and tilt. Your knees should ideally be ever so slightly lower than your hips. A footrest works wonders if your feet don’t quite sit naturally on the floor.
Adjust your chair
Your chair height should be adjusted so that the keyboard sits level with your forearms straight and level to the floor. Elbows should sit comfortably by the side of your body forming an L-shape.
Feet on the floor
Your feet should be placed flat on the floor. If they can’t, you can use a footrest to position your feet at a level that’s comfortable to you. You can see a few of our most popular footrests further down.
Position screen at eye level
A good guide is to place the screen an arm’s length away, with the top of the screen at eye level. If this isn’t possible, you can raise your monitor using a monitor stand or something similar. Positioning the screen either too high or too low can bend your neck, increasing the strain on your back.
Keep the keyboard straight
Just as important as the screen position, where you place the keyboard is equally as crucial. Place it directly in front of you so that typing is as comfortable as it can be. Remember to keep your arms bent in an L-shape and your elbows by your side.
To further reduce the strain on your wrists when typing, you can use a wrist rest, which Springfield also supply. Keep reading to see some of our favourites.
Move the mouse closer to you
Position and use the mouse as close to you as is comfortable. A mouse mat with built in wrist pad is a great way of alleviating strain on the wrists by keeping it straight.
It’s important not only for our bodies, but for our eyes that we take frequent breaks away from the screen. Go make a drink, walk around a bit to get the blood flowing again, or even just look away and focus on something in the distance to give the eyes a rest.
How can Springfield help?
At Springfield, we provide an extensive range of chairs for all budgets, and we’ve put together a list of some of the most popular, as well as a few accessories you might have previously overlooked. It’s so important to make your new workspace as comfortable as it can be.
Merlin High Back Operator Chair
Our Merlin High Back Operator Chair is a great budget seat that’s fully adjustable both in height as well as back support. Available with non-marking wheels and in a range of colours, this chair comes with a 5 year guarantee.
This Chime Mesh Operator Chair offers all the adjustability and support you could need, complete with adjustable arms. Available in a fantastic range of colours, this chair will suit any environment.
Chelsea Executive Black Leather ChairFor a more premium feel, take a look at our Chelsea Executive Black Leather chair. Providing all the back support needed, this high back chair also comes with aluminium base and arms.
Arrow Executive Chair
For those who want an extra layer of support and comfort, take a look at our Arrow Executive Chair with adjustable arms. With pump up lumbar support, fully adjustable seat and back angle, this executive chair is the ideal seat for all those hours of hard work.
Footrest with CarpetIf your feet don’t quite sit flat on the floor (like they should), you can reduce the strain on your back with a footrest. This footrest with carpet, available in Black/Silver provides a simple and elegant solution.
Mouse Mat with Integrated Gel Wrist Rest
Keyboard Wrist Rest
Monitor Stand with Drawer
If you have an existing chair that perhaps isn’t quite supporting your back as well as it could be, you can improve it with our Memory Foam Back Support.
Springfield Mesh Back Support
This great value Springfield Mesh Back Support can be easily attached to almost any chair, to provide increased support to your back, aiding posture and comfort.
Whatever your home office working requirements, we at Springfield will have the equipment to make sure you are sitting comfortably. If you can’t find what you are looking for, get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help.