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Good ergonomic practices: What to do when working at home starts to give back pain?

The relaxation of the muscles should be complemented with a variation in posture, in order to avoid long periods of stay in the same position, regardless of the feeling of comfort that may be transmitted by the adopted posture, said Dr. Pedro Ferreira.

Do you really need ergonomic chairs?

To SAPO TEK, the President of APERGO explained that it is important to undo the notion that there are so-called ergonomic equipment. The designation has no scientific basis and sometimes, it will have very little practical basis, since little or no investment has been made in order to follow generic ergonomics guidelines for the design and performance of this equipment.

According to Dr. Pedro Ferreira, the reason why the incorrect designation is related to the fact that ergonomics does not result exclusively from the characteristics of the equipment. Ergonomics will be defined by the interaction that is developed by the user, indicated the person in charge. More than the concern with acquiring the equipment in question, the best solution is to develop good practices.

There are some measures that can help maintain good posture while working, even if you only have traditional chairs at home. If that is the case, Francisco Rebelo also warned that no more than 45 minutes should be spent sitting without taking a break. If the chair you are sitting on does not have a suitable back support, you can use an improvised cushion. The ergonomics specialist stressed that the feet should always be on the floor and, if necessary, be able to improvise a support, placing, for example, several books overlaid on the floor.

Working for long periods, especially at the computer, seen by specialists as something that can have negative impacts on vision. The director of ergoUX and author of the book Ergonomics on a daily basis recommended, for example, connecting the notebook to a larger screen, if possible, not forgetting to check that the eyes are the same height as the top of the screen.

Another important aspect is that of lighting in the workplace. A dark environment can cause you to strain your eyes more than usual. Thus, you should choose to work in a space with good lighting, whether natural or artificial.

Have you taken a break today?

It is true that when working at home, it is easy to lose track of time and stay at work longer than usual. However, take a brief break at every fundamental hour, either to ensure some mental clarity or to keep your body active.

To SAPO TEK, Dr. Pedro Ferreira indicated that the act of taking breaks creates conditions for the recovery of muscles and other functional elements that have been struggling. In addition, they tend to contribute to the restoration of cognitive abilities fundamental to work activity, such as concentration.

The three specialists underline the importance of finding strategies that allow the worker to remain active during breaks, even if it is to take advantage of walking around the house to activate the circulation or even to go to the window to get fresh air as much as possible. If you tend to get lost in the intricacies of work, using a mobile app that keeps track of the time you are working or setting an alarm on your phone can help you ensure a few moments of rest.