We caught up with Cheryle Britton, Founder of Yolo Wellbeing, who has recently launched the MSK Zoom Consultations to help employers support and manage the health of their home workers. For as little as £5 per employee she will review their existing work arrangements and provide tips on how it can be adjusted to improve posture. She will also run through mobilisation and breathing exercises that will help ease tension in the joints and muscles.
If you are working from home you may have noticed more aches and pains than usual. Maybe your neck is stiff, or you’ve noticed your shoulders ache more; or possibly you’re experiencing pain in your lower back?
A new survey has found that a third of people working from home are experiencing musculoskeletal injuries as a result of poor posture from hunching over laptops and not having dedicated work stations set up at home.
Last year, the ONS Labour Force survey of 2018-19 found that over 6.9million working days were lost due to musculoskeletal disorders. Evidence gathered by the Labour Force Survey, over a ten year period, suggests that poor posture caused by makeshift work stations at home, will directly affect posture and the musculoskeletal health of home workers; which may result in long term absence.
What is Poor Posture, how do you avoid it?
Poor posture is caused by the joints, muscles and vertebrae being in stressful positions for prolonged periods; which results in a build up of pressure on tissues, causing tension, aches and pains.
The ideal posture is to be at right angles. Back straight, Thighs at a right angle to your body, knees at a right angle to your thighs. Wrists straight and forearms at a right angle to your biceps. Your monitor needs to be at a reasonable height so you don’t have to physically bend your neck to view your screen.
You can adjust your position using a combination of books and cushions to help raise your feet, seat or monitor, But if this doesn’t feel comfortable for you try a few of our top tips to prevent tension from creeping into your joints and muscles.
TOP TIPS TO HELP PREVENT MUSCULOSKELETAL INJURIES
Wherever you are seated try and keep your back as straight as possible, and your monitor high enough so as you’re not bending your neck to view your screen,
Take regular breaks – getting up and changing your posture at regular intervals will alleviate the pressure on your joints, muscles and vertebrae. A 5min break after every 25mins of work is good for your health and your productivity,
Stretch. When your joints are immobile for prolonged periods of time you get a build up of Fascia, the connective tissue that wraps around your muscles; which causes tightness and tension, and can lead to aches and pains.
By mobilising and stretching your joints: wrists, elbows, shoulders, waist, back, knees and ankles you help to clear the excess fascia, to relieve tension and make the movement of your joints feel freer.
Poor posture can also affect your breathing, try this simple breathing exercise to help correct your posture, relax and energise you.
Sit up straight and take in a deep breath, in through your nose. As you’re breathing in imagine the air going to the very top of your head. This will lengthen your neck, and your shoulders will drop. When you can take in no more air, hold it for a second or two.
Then exhale slowly through the mouth. Let your shoulders relax, but keep sitting up straight. Keep blowing until all the air is expelled from your lungs. Normally we shallow breathe which means we hold a lot of stagnant air in the bottom of our lungs. This exercise helps to remove it,
Take in another deep breath, in through your nose. This breathe should be deeper as you’ll be able to take in more, fresh air. Again imagine it filling up your body to the very top of your head. Hold, breathe it all out.
Do this 3-4 times. Then notice how much calmer and more relaxed you feel. The fresh air in your lungs will help you feel more energised and focused, ready to return to work.
Cheryle held a series of wellbeing days here at Cotton Court, where our clients enjoyed the a well deserved treatment and break from work, and we are looking forward to booking another day in soon when Covid restrictions are lifted. Yolo Wellbeing use our business phone system, which has helped Cheryle whilst remote working and keeping in touch with her clients about new services.
ABOUT YOLO WELLBEING
YOLO Wellbeing helps employers improve the physical and mental wellness of their employees; through a combination of massage and meditation; delivered in a customised, mobile, environment that has been created to intensify the feelings of calm and relaxation.
The service has been designed to be easy to implement, requiring minimum resource and minimum disruption to your business. All appointments are pre-booked via a secure online site; the YOLO Wellbeing environment is brought to your business premises; and employees only require 20minutes away from their desk to receive the treatment.
Whilst social distancing is in place to restrict the spread of Coronavirus, the YOLO Wellbeing service is suspended. However, we’re here to help provide support, information and tools you need to help keep you and your staff healthy whilst furloughed or working from home.
If you would like to find out more about how we can help you please contact us or follow us on social media on the details below:
Cheryle Britton: firstname.lastname@example.org
@YOLOWellbeing (Linkedin/Facebook/Instagram/ YouTube)