COVID-19 has resulted in many of us now required to work from the confines of our homes. For some of us, this may require the creation of makeshift workstations and office spaces from equipment we can scratch up from around home. Whilst the luxury of no early wake ups and avoiding the drive to work may make this worthwhile for many of us, we do take for granted the supportive and comfortable office setups that are present in our normal workplaces.
Numerous studies have shown the impact that a poor workstation set up has on musculoskeletal conditions including neck pain, low back pain, shoulder pain as well as elbow and wrist pain. Combining these makeshift workstations with sustained time at the computer, it increases the likelihood of developing these postural and repetitive strain injuries that put simply, can be avoided.
The following are some quick and easy steps suggested QLD Government (2012) that can be implemented now, to avoid issues down the track:
Have a SMART Workstation – ensure the location of workstation allows for regular changes of positions, stretching breaks as well as a supportive and comfortable chair. The keys to a SMART setup are:
– An adjustable chair that features lumbar support as well as thigh and arm support to ensure comfort whilst seated.
– A workstation that features a flat surface for the keyboard and mouse so they can be used on the same level
– A suitable height desk (roughly 680-720 mm when measured from the top of the workstation to the floor)
– Adequate clearance for legs under the desktop and for stretching room
– A footrest can be used if your legs struggle to reach the floor
– Ensuring your monitor is at eye level and in line with your keyboard to ensure minimal rotation and stress on your neck and back
– Ensure regular changes of position, regular stretching breaks and time away from the screen
– Make time to embed a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise per day, whether that be a run, a walk, a swim, home gym or a cycle, keep active
– Alternate hand use on the keyboard and mouse to give your arms a rest
In working SMART in your SMART workstation, you can avoid these annoying injuries and enjoy the things you love to do.
Our physiotherapists are happy to advise and aid in setting up a SMART workstation, as well as treat any of these ergonomic related conditions that may be starting to creep in.
For more information, please head to
Stay active, Stay healthy
The Physioactive Team
Developed by Aidan Lunney – B.PHTY (2018)