NHS in Leeds reminds public to look after their posture while working from home

This Back Care Awareness Month, the local NHS is urging the public to maintain good posture while working remotely, to alleviate muscle tension and reduce the risk of repetitive strain injury.

The coronavirus pandemic has seen working from home become the ‘new normal’ for many people. However, the lack of a proper home office set-up can lead to poor sitting habits, which can ultimately lead to aches, pains and stiffness.

The NHS in Leeds recommends that those who are working from home take steps to fix common posture mistakes. These include:

  • Adjusting your chair so your lower back is properly supported.
  • Using the keyboard with your wrists and forearms straight and level with the floor, to prevent repetitive strain injuries.
  • Taking frequent short breaks to give the muscles a chance to relax.

Dr Jason Broch, Leeds GP and Clinical Chair of NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “As working from home becomes a long-term arrangement for many people, having a good home office set-up is vital. Your screen should ideally be at eye-level, with the monitor about an arm’s length away. If you spend a lot of time on the phone, it can be useful to use a headset, to avoid straining the muscles in your neck.

“Spending a lot of time working on the computer may also risk RSI (repetitive strain injury). To reduce the risk, it’s important to take regular breaks during the day to let those muscles relax.

“I’d really encourage those working from home to visit the NHS website for advice on taking care of your back and practising good posture. Taking preventative measures now, and getting into the habit of sitting correctly, can prevent ill health in the future and help your back in the long term.”

For more information about taking care of your health whilst working from home, visit: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/how-to-sit-correctly/

Notes to editors: 

Common posture mistakes and fixes:

The following information from the NHS advises how to correct common posture mistakes while working from home: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/common-posture-mistakes-and-fixes/

Tips to prevent computer-related RSI:

The following NHS article provides tips to prevent repetitive strain injury caused by extended periods of working on the computer: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/tips-to-prevent-rsi/

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Issued by the communications team at NHS Leeds CCG. You can contact the team on 0113 84 35528 or 0113 84 35470. Alternatively, please email us: leedsccg.comms@nhs.net