Create a winning workstation in five minutes

Many of us spend hours at our desk every week. Over these extended periods, having a desk or chair even centimetres out from where it should be can
have a profound impact on the neck, lower back and shoulder, causing pain, and compromising productivity and wellbeing.

The good news is that setting up your desk for success is easy and quick. At your desk and have five minutes? Follow our five-minute guide to
creating your very own winning workstation.

The Chair:

A winning workstation starts with the all-important chair.

  • Chair height: Seated in your chair, with your feet flat on the floor, raise/lower your chair until your hips are in line or slightly above your knees.
  • Backrest height: Your backrest should be adjusted to a height where it supports the curve of the lower back.
  • Backrest tilt: Adjust your backrest until it is tilted back slightly. Remember your backrest exists for a reason, so use it.
  • Seat depth: Adjust seat depth to the point where there is a gap of two fingers between the front of the chair and the crease of the back of the knee when sitting.
  • Armrest: If your chair has armrests, lower them to allow the chair to fit under the desk unobstructed.

The Desk:

You’ve adjusted your chair. Now it’s time to tackle the desk (not literally of course).

Desk height: The top of the desk should be raised or lowered so that your elbows sit just above the desk when they are bent at 90 degrees in sitting.

If your desk isn’t adjustable and:

  • Your desk is too high:
    Return to your chair and raise it until your elbows are just above your desk when bent at 90 degrees.
    You will now need a footrest. With your feet on the footrest, raise or lower your chair until your hips are in line with or slightly above your knees.
  • Your desk is too low:
    If your desk is too low (this is rare), you will need to find a higher desk or a desk raiser to bring the desk up to the appropriate height (elbows just above desk height when bent at 90 degrees).

The Screen:

Next up is the screen.

  • Screen tilt: Tilt your screen so it angles back just slightly.
  • Screen height: Seated in your chair, ensure your eyes line up with the top 1/3rd of the computer screen when seated.
  • Screen distance: Seated comfortably in your chair with your back against the backrest, bring your chair forwards and close to your
    Next, raise your arm to 90 degrees with your elbow straight. Bring your screen towards or away from you, until you are able to just reach your screen from this position.
  • Screen centred: Your screen should be centred directly in front of you. If using two screens, both should be tilted inwards, meeting at the centre of your gaze.

The items on your desk:

Last but not least, are the items on your desk.

  • Keyboard: Your keyboard should sit flat at the front of your desk, so you do not need to reach forward to type.
  • Mouse: Your mouse should sit adjacent to the keyboard on your preferred side. If you experience wrist or hand pain/symptoms we recommend that you regularly swap the side the mouse sits on and the hand you use.
  • Other items: Regularly used items should be kept as close to you as possible in order to minimise reaching and associated loads on the spine and shoulder.

Well done on creating a winning workstation; but don’t stop here! Scientific studies indicate that a winning workstation alone is not enough for optimising injury prevention and treatment. You need to also think outside the workstation.

Thinking outside the workstation:

Evidence suggests you should also:

Get up regularly:

The body doesn’t like staying still for long periods of time – be it sitting or standing. Studies indicate that getting up and moving for five minutes every 20-30 minutes can have a positive impact on pain reduction and injury prevention.

Getting up doesn’t have to mean stopping work though. You can stand to make a phone call, read a document, talk to a colleague face to face rather than through IM and go for a walk during your break. There are many ways to get up regularly without compromising productivity – be creative.

Perform desk-based exercises:

Like getting up regularly, studies suggest that performing a structured, desk-based stretching and strengthening exercise program throughout the day can prevent, or improve neck, back and shoulder pain. While many generic stretching and strengthening programs exist, we recommend getting a personalised program prescribed by an experienced physiotherapist to avoid exacerbating the problem.

See a Quality Physiotherapist:

On that note, we suggest seeing a good physiotherapist. You shouldn’t have to experience pain at work. An experienced Physiotherapist can personalise and tweak your ergonomics further; provide massage, mobilisation and manipulation to loosen joints and muscles; and prescribe a personalised exercise program.

Our clinical team at Remedy Healthcare Metro have on average 10 years of experience and are skilled in treating office workers like you. Book online to secure your appointment at our Melbourne CBD Physiotherapy, Podiatry and Massage Therapy clinic.

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Mental health program getting people back on track

Results from a new Australian intervention have shown encouraging results for people with a history of hospital admission for anxiety and depression.

Published in BMC Psychiatry, a study examined the first 17 months of implementation of the MindStep® program, which is primarily delivered to people with private health insurance by Remedy Healthcare in Australia.

The study found that that low intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) delivered by Remedy Healthcare achieved target recovery rates of greater than 50 percent and a reliable recovery rate of over 60 percent.

Remedy Healthcare Executive General Manager Mike Hutton-Squire said the findings were encouraging for people with depression and anxiety, their friends and families, and their employers and work colleagues.

“We believe it is significant when you consider that every year about one million Australians suffer from depression and more than two million experience anxiety,” Mr. Hutton-Squire said.

“In the workplace, the flow-on effects of such high rates of mental ill health can include absenteeism, productivity loss and increased staff turnover. With MindStep®, we have a program that can help people stay out of hospital and get back to work.”

Remedy Healthcare’s Chief Medical Officer Nancy Huang said these results suggest that low intensity CBT can be successfully delivered to people with a history of hospital admissions for anxiety and depressive disorders and substantially support people in returning to their usual activities.

Mr. Hutton-Squire said that a telephone-based program such as MindStep® had distinct advantages for a country with the geographical size and population spread of Australia.

“Many of our rural and remote communities are underserved by the healthcare system and have poorer health outcomes as a consequence of our geography,” Mr. Hutton-Squire said.

“A program such as MindStep® can help ensure that people with mental ill health have the opportunity to get their life back on track, no matter where they live.”

MindStep®, which commenced across Australia in March 2016, aims to improve post-hospital care and to help empower patients, giving them the tools for ongoing self-management and to help improve their quality of life.

View the research report

Learn more about MindStep® for anxiety and depression

Download the press release

For further information contact:

Milly Moodie
Executive Coordinator
Call (03) 8682 4355 or email mimoodie@remedyhealthcare.com.au

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Re-thinking integrated care

Integrated healthcare models are considered by many to be the way of the future. But what should they look like and how are they changing? Remedy Healthcare is taking a novel approach. Traditionally, much of the work in this area of patient care has focused on targeting individuals with specific biomedical risks for a single chronic condition, such as type 2 diabetes or chronic heart failure.  The reality though, is that many people live with more than one condition and a one-size program that targets a single chronic condition doesn’t fit all. Integrated care models are fairly common in health systems reforms here and overseas, but evaluations have often revealed variable outcomes. When delivering this type of model in the real world, what works well in one country or community doesn’t always work well for individual contexts in Australia. The redesigned Remedy Integrated Care reflects current evidence suggesting that complexity in the individual’s context can be better addressed by acknowledging both the biomedical and established risk factors, as well as the patient’s unique needs to stay healthy living in the community. It looks at care planning for people with chronic conditions through a more practical and flexible biopsychosocial lens and complements the modern Australian healthcare landscape. “This is a significant move towards a fundamentally person-centred approach which looks after the individual and not just the disease,” says Nancy Huang, Chief Medical Officer at Remedy. “The aim is to deliver care that is planned with the client, working together to understand their abilities, their goals, their family and carers. As the client’s needs evolve, the program adapts and if necessary, care is escalated.” The redesign was developed in consultation with private health insurers and current users of Remedy Healthcare services, with input from an external Expert Advisory Group. True integration is about remembering what we are integrating and who it is for. To ensure that the new model is genuinely appropriate and effective for clients, it is based on three key principles:
  • Balancing the risk and needs of the client, with plans that are tailored to individual circumstances. For example, two people with type 2 diabetes may need quite different plans, depending on their circumstances and the stage of the disease they are at.
  • Multidisciplinary delivery, with physical, mental and social aspects of care included in individual plans.
  • Integration across service providers working with GPs, community support and others involved in the care journey.
Importantly, the service redesign is supported by a system redesign that simplifies care coordination and enhances client monitoring and program evaluation. This ensures we are delivering value for money and gives funders full visibility of the value of the program for their members. By positively changing healthcare delivery, we will be able to help support clients to care for themselves and build their capacity to manage their chronic conditions on a day to day basis. Nancy adds “In a perfect world – if funding wasn’t a factor – programs like these would enable us to engage with clients over the long term and build lasting relationships. We would see them dip in and dip out of the model as their needs and risks change.” Please call 1300 224 334 to arrange a time to catch up to discuss how Remedy Healthcare may be able to partner with you to complement your health and wellbeing initiatives.
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How a new health coaching program is embracing diversity

Remedy has leveraged 10 years of expertise in the health coaching space and redesigned its coaching program to reflect the needs of a culturally diverse population. In 2017, we won the tender to deliver an innovative free health coaching intervention program for the public health system. The existing program content was enhanced using the latest evidence-based learnings to increase levels of engagement with a diverse range of participants. Engagement, support, and motivation are offered to help participants reach healthy lifestyle goals. The conversation between coach and participant is participant led and is designed to promote engagement and highlight the value of the service early in the journey. Participants are offered a variety of free information resources, including an information booklet and a coaching journal to help track their goals and actions. They also have access to a website where they can download tools to help monitor their progress. The service also engages with vulnerable communities including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, who have traditionally been reluctant to with this kind of service. Where appropriate, Remedy Aboriginal Liaison Officers make the initial telephone contact to outline the benefits of the program in a way that’s easy to understand and culturally relevant. Bilingual coaches are also on board to help participants from culturally diverse backgrounds by removing language barriers and empowering them to reach achieve a healthy lifestyle. Overall, the focus of the program is on connecting with clients through guided conversation towards their goals in a culturally appropriate manner. One of the other key contributors to the program’s success is Remedy’s track record in health coaching, and the experience of Remedy staff, who are highly trained and well-equipped to engage and deliver health behaviour change outcomes. To simplify the process, they are guided by a new, concise intervention framework, based on the ‘5 As’ – Ask, Advise, Agree, Assist and Arrange. The publicly accessible program is currently delivered across three Australian states. It uses the extensive learnings from Remedy’s chronic disease health coaching service to build a promising new model. It’s still early days, but we’re proud to report that the program currently has the highest number of participants receiving coaching to reach their healthy lifestyle goals since its inception. Nancy Huang, our Chief Medical Officer says, “Remedy has come a long way in the last ten years. We are delighted to have reached a point where our expertise can make a program like this possible, in a way that’s scalable and sustainable. The ultimate winner is the client and their health”.

Please call 1300 224 334 to arrange a time to catch up to discuss how Remedy Healthcare may be able to partner with you to complement your health and wellbeing initiatives.

Please call 1300 224 334 to arrange a time to catch up to discuss how Remedy Healthcare may be able to partner with you to complement your health and wellbeing initiatives.
Find out more about Remedy Healthcare’s Health Coaching Services
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