Reducing Tech Stress In your Home Workspace

While there are obvious advantages to working from home (ie, sleeping in a little longer, no daily commute, more flexibility, and staying in comfy clothes), there are also a few disadvantages (poor ergonomic set ups, family distractions, and having limited space to work…just to name a few!). These limitations often result in increased ‘tech stress’ on the body and the mind, causing increased neck and shoulder pain, low back pain, eye strain/tiredness, and difficulties concentrating and/or staying on task. While you might have to get a little creative, try implementing the following life and work style suggestions as well as ergonomic recommendations to promote health and productivity within the home.

Take movement breaks. Reduce the amount of static tension that builds up in your muscles by taking many mini breaks during the day, even if only for 5-10 minutes. Some examples: walk around the neighborhood, do brief yoga poses or stretches, maybe take time to do those physical therapy exercises that your PT encouraged you do to. Doing simple things like rolling your shoulders, looking away from the computer from time to time, and standing up frequently can go a long way. Motion is lotion. Your muscles and joints (and brain) will appreciate many mini movement breaks! Check out this stretch and posture break designed for those working at a computer/desk all day.

Hydrate and Rejuvenate. This seems like a simple recommendation, but are you doing it? For many people, it’s easy to take break from one screen and simply go to another (fun fact: today the US household owns 11 connected devices, including 7 screens to view online content). Step away from all the screens. You won’t regret it. Drink a glass of water. Take 3-5 slow, deep belly breaths. Sitting at a computer often creates a short, shallow breathing pattern that comes from the neck muscles vs the abdominal diaphragm. Get your abdominal diaphragm working to get more oxygen to rejuvenate your systems. Use all of that technology you have to give you reminders to breath and drink water: set your phone alarm, have Alexa remind you, or set your FitBit apps to remind you to give your body the nourishment it needs

Improve your ergonomic set up. This might be the bread and butter of this blog post. Good ergonomics means adapting your environment and workstation to fit you. Here are the key points: