Work-at-home recommendations for the health of the entire family

This year, back-to-school will be unique for many families.  With schools starting by undertaking 100% online education coupled with a work-at-home “new normal”,  we will have to reinvent how we function as a family so that everyone gets their work done and learns efficiently without driving each other crazy.

1.  Workspace tips- Have you thought about where the kids, your husband, and yourself will set up a proper workspace this year? Have you thought about work posture and workspace placement for everyone to maximize their efficiency and wellbeing? This is called ergonomics.

Ergonomic hazards include working in awkward or uncomfortable postures and using excessive force or high repetition to complete a task. Businesses and schools spend a sizeable budget on workspace ergonomics because they understand that they can improve productivity and reduce health care costs. The benefits of ergonomics are:

  • Improves productivity
  • Improves quality
  • Reduces health care costs by systematically reducing ergonomic risk factors that cause physical aches and pains
  • Improves workspace comfort

Simply put, an ergonomic workspace allows you to be both comfortable and efficient as you go about your business.

An ergonomic workspace means having a desk and adjustable chair that are set up to cause the least amount of strain on your muscles and joints. The positioning of your computer is part of this configuration. The mouse and keyboard height should allow you to bend your elbows at about 90 degrees, and the monitor’s placement should not force you to twist your neck at any angle and sit at eye level.  A convertible standup desk could allow you to work sitting or standing at different points of the day, helping to prevent neck and back pain if you spend long hours at your desk.

2.  “The workroom” – We love the idea of a designated “workroom”. This is a room that is designed and designated for working and has specific rules to help set the tone.  Explain to your kids the expectations you have when it is “work/study” time as well as the rules for completion, just like in the classroom.  Some examples are:

  • Be on time at the beginning of the day and after lunch
  • Come prepared with supplies and completed homework
  • Be kind, polite, and courteous to others working around you
  • Keep your hands and feet to yourself
  • Work hard, and always do your best
  • Raise your hand when you would like to speak, or if you need to leave the workroom for any reason

Think about using music to create a positive working ambiance and to help stimulate thoughts and productivity.   Using earplugs can be really helpful when there is more than one person in the workroom and each person can choose their own music.  Here is a YouTube video link that uses an alpha frequency embedded in the music to favorize focus and concentration.

3.  Break time – Quality family time can be planned during break times. Just like there is a recess at school and breaks at the office, your kids and yourself will need breaks throughout the day to remain alert, focus, and productive for the job at hand. Keep your break efficient for all.

  • Walk to the park, go workout out playing tennis or basketball, put on a yoga or stretching video. Console assisted workout out like Wii sport or PlayStation dance. Kids will need their workout time and you too.
  • Gardening has many benefits – it builds self-esteem, it is good for your heart, it reduces stress, it can boost vitamin D and your immune system.
  • Cooking with your kids helps teach them how to eat healthily and make informed choices about the food they eat. While many kids will still prefer to play games or watch TV, cooking as a family together – and then eating the meal prepared together – will lay the groundwork for kids to prioritize family later in life.

During the month of August, we are offering a free postural analysis at SC Vitality Center. This can be a great time to have us help you understand ergonomics.

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