How to Set Up an Ergonomic Workspace at Home

me&my health up podcast episode #3 – Transcript

Anthony Hartcher 0:00
Welcome, everyone, it’s Anthony Hartcher from me and my wellness for another episode of me and my health chats, episode number three. Today we have a very special guest and a great friend of mine, Yves Silveira from Yves Silveira physiotherapy, so no one is for good four years, you know, coming up or four years now. And we’ve become great friends. And he’s excellent. What he does I really love his approach is our holistic approach to what he does. And today we’re talking on a very important topic and very topical is how do we work safely from home in this period of isolation, although we may be somewhat getting the rains released a bit and maybe coming a bit out of hibernation, but there will be an element of transition. And so then there will be an element of the workforce that remains a home. So very important topic and very topical. So I’m very keen to get an expert on the line, which is eyes to talk about this topic. So good eyes and welcome.

Yves Silveira 1:01
Thank you so much. It’s a pleasure to be here. And yeah, I’m excited to delve in deeper and you know, help people stay out of pain working from home.

Anthony Hartcher 1:11
Yeah, so Yves is really qualified he has a bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science. He’s got two masters, one in Exercise and Sports Science and the other one in Physiotherapy. So he’s certainly well qualified, he also lectures at the University of Technology of Sydney, and supports a number of sporting teams within the Sydney area. So certainly lots of experience behind him. And my first question for Yves, is, how did you discover your passion? And tell me more about what you love about what you do?

Yves Silveira 1:49
Yeah, no, thank you, Anthony. My passion, I think, in terms of physiotherapy, and I’ll start with that, which is primarily obviously what I what I do. I was probably the when I was about 14 years old, I got injured playing cricket. And being of Indian descent and growing up in Australia, I think it was inevitable that I was going to love cricket. But being injured and spending time on the physio play, I thought, I remember thinking to myself, Wow, this is a pretty cool job. And if I can’t play cricket for Australia, I think it’d be pretty cool to be there in physio. And then later in life, when we talk about passion, I’ll share a story with my grandfather, he was sick, unfortunately, dying with cancer. And I saw just how much relief, the physios were able to give him his end of life care. So I thought to myself, well, he’s a career where I get to compete with sports, which I love, but I also get to give back and help people and I was I was very lucky because I was pretty much sold straightaway that this is what I really wanted to do. wasn’t easy to get there early. No, no, my story, Anthony. But I’m, I’m so grateful for the journey. And that’s where I’ve landed today.

Anthony Hartcher 3:03
Yeah, it’s really pleasing to hear like, you know, you’ve had you’ve got their own personal experience through how much physios helps you with your sporting injuries. And then also that saying that inspiration terms of the work physiotherapy was able to support your grandfather. So they’re really nice connection. And you know, it’s so great that you’ve been, you’ve followed your passion early on in your life, which is fantastic. So just provide some insight as to what muscular skull, muscular skeletal physio therapists do. And, you know, how do you support the public?

Yves Silveira 3:42
Yeah, absolutely. I guess it’s so interesting, because I think still a lot of people the question we always get when someone’s a bit sort of, should I see a physio osteo Cairo massage therapists, and it’s a question we get all the time. In simple terms, what we like to do is we help work with the body, they help people move well and feel great. So as a muscular skeletal physio elements include getting you know, therapy straight about what the problem is, and what’s going on. objectively measuring and working that out, I’m using special tests and objective measures, actually doing hands on treatment to help alleviate some of the symptoms, following up sometimes with exercises actually most of the time and giving people direction a plan as to how to get better. I also just want to talk in general anything because I think people when you’re looking to for help, please, you know, look at the practitioner before, the actual service offering I think is very important. It doesn’t matter if you’re a physio and osteo car. I think we all have ailments. I think we’ve all seen little Venn diagrams. There are areas we overlap, but primarily, you know, what I like to do is help people work on you know, their pain points, work on it. achieving their goals and helping them be the best version of themselves.

Anthony Hartcher 5:03
Okay, and how do people go about working out? What’s for them in terms of where’s a good starting point in terms of working out whether I should be saying, okay, you know, Cairo osteo, or a physio therapist?

Yves Silveira 5:20
Yeah, absolutely. Um, you know, that’s a tricky one. I think, obviously, like, when we do a lot of things, just looking at our friends and getting some recommendations, I think it’s really important because if your friends and family have had a great experience with someone, I think that’s a great starting point. But you know, essentially, and I’m always gonna have bias to physiotherapy because I am one. So please take everything I say with a pinch of salt, as they say. But, you know, primarily, we like to work with the body. We like to work with, with muscles, with aches and with helping people move better, in general. And this is why I say in general, because every physio car LLC always so individual cars, and obviously, I seem to work primarily with the spine, and nervous system and help people through through that. A massage therapist literally won’t give you that objective analysis help you work out why. And that’s a big part of our talk today, as you know, Anthony, work at white paper might be solved that they’ll give you some temporary relief to help you feel better. So I hope that gives the viewers out there a little bit of perspective, but you know, yeah, just please do your research and have a think about what you want to get out of the session. Because I think clients that come you know, we understand that you’re probably going to have Google symptoms before you come in, that’s completely normal. But come with expectations. And if you’re very clear about that, us as practitioners can help you work out what you need to do.

Anthony Hartcher 6:49
Yeah, I think you’re very right, and what you’re saying, it’s very much looking at the individual assessing where their expertise are, what they specialize in, and in terms of what they’ve got, and whether that matches what that person specializes in and how they can help solve that person’s problem. So I think you’ve covered that really well. Just on I guess, Now, jumping over to today’s topic about working from home. There’s a lot of us doing it. Me presently, currently, and you’re obviously at your home at the moment, I’ve noticed you’re standing and I’m sitting. So tell us about what do people need to look out for? And how do they prepare best from working from home?

Yves Silveira 7:34
Yeah, no, thank you, thank you for standing up, I just come off another meeting, or I was sitting, and I’m lucky to have a sense of center. So I thought I’d change it up. What people need to understand, I think, first and foremost is you know, the elephant in the room, the current climate that we’re in, because to make us most of us work from home that thing, you know, the COVID 19 pandemic, just because of the current climate, we’re all you know, in a state of increased stress and anxiety. And what that does is it puts more tension onto you know, onto onto the body put you into fight and flight, which just makes you more stressed. And what that does, you know, as a result, you know, it exponentially not only increases your risk of injury, but also pain. So if you throwing you know, an incorrect working setup, which just puts even more tension and stress on the area, you can very quickly unravel interfere into experiencing pain, and discomfort. But again, we like to talk about our why we just have to acknowledge that all these changes have happened very quickly. And it does come down to that stress and that fight or flight, something I know you’re passionate about, as well.

Anthony Hartcher 8:46
Yeah, absolutely. I’ve, you know, there is a lot of stress out there. And, you know, people are coping with this adjustment, this adaptation and, and certainly, there’s still an element of uncertainty as to when will we get back to normal and if we ever will. So there’s, there’s certainly a lot of stress. And I like the point you mentioned, when we’re in that stress, that heightened state of fight flight response that, you know, if we don’t have that good setup, or we’re not doing things to allow ourselves, you know, supporting our body at the same time, we’re more vulnerable and more susceptible to injury. So how can people set up their place so that it’s ergonomic? Is it something that someone can work out and do like, can they Google it, for example, or is it best that they get an expert? And what will the expert do versus Google? So yeah, just wondering if you could clarify that.

Yves Silveira 9:48
I absolutely love this question. It’s amazing what you can get from Google and from YouTube. I was just thinking the other day I had a tap washer problem where it was spurting water No one was around, right YouTube’s how to fix it and work that out. So it’s like, yeah, there’s, you know, we live in a wonderful age with information. And I’m not going to talk away from that. Let’s go to your first question. There are some there is some good information out there to help you. And then some change is better than no change. But we have to be careful how we synthesize that information, and what’s correct and what isn’t. You know, and that’s where I, you know, of course, I have my bias being a health professional. But you know, I’ve been working on one thing you didn’t. One thing you know about me, Anthony, is that I’ve worked in the economic physio space for the past six years as well, where I’ve gone into offices, I’ve helped people with their computer setups and help them remain happy and healthy at work. Now, yes, I definitely do think it’s worthwhile. And I’m happy to provide all the listeners with a little handout that they can take with them straightaway, because I do want them to take action after watching this so they have something they can change. Yes, they’re a different point is about how you sit in your chair, where the monitors and should be why I think it’s really important to talk to individuals like myself is that we don’t have that amazing equipment available to us working from home anymore, but some offers may never have in the first place. So it’s all good to see a gold standard. But what do you do? If you don’t have the resources to be able to make it that gold standard? How do you change it? What do you change, and that’s what I’ve enjoyed helping people with, because subtle changes can make the biggest differences. We’ve helped people get out of neck pain and shoulder pain by such subtle adjustments to that setup. And, you know, respectfully, you know, you can Google and you can probably trial and effect, a trial. So trial and error site, and may come up with a solution. But yeah, there’s a reason why we have the training to be able to help you with that. So yes, please, to summarize, if there is some information, I’ll provide some for you. So it’s very reputable, but understand that you might have to individualize it, depending on what’s around and the things I’ve seen, you know, people working on ironing boards, people working on their couches, in different positions, how can we make that a bit more ergonomic? There are ways to do that, believe it or not, and yeah, it’s a it’s a pleasure to help people be more optimal,

Anthony Hartcher 12:18
allow, hey, take that individualized approach, because you know, everyone’s coming with a different budget, and how much they can spend in terms of that set up. So that individualized approach, you can obviously work in with their budget looks at what’s available, and what’s going to actually work for them. Because I’m sure with Google, you’re going to get prioritization based on how much they’re spending with Google ads, or you know, how much their How good is SEO and, and you may not be getting the best value for money through Google rose, you’d be looking in the best interest of the client and serving them and their needs. So I liked what you said there around that individuals

Yves Silveira 12:58
add to that, Anthony, because I think that’s so it’s so important time. You know, some companies, I’ve been very lucky enough to work with them, given you know, some of the bigger corporate companies have given their workers budgets of up to $1,000, you know, to say, set yourself up from home, because I think there’ll be in it for the long haul. So it’s wonderful to work with them. Because I can actually believe a lot, sometimes $1,000 is not that much when you do research, that we can help optimize the data, but other people don’t have a budget and paying out of pocket. So there’s this still stuff we can do for that like, and this is what’s important, not providing us too much, but you want to work with what you have. And just because you may not have a huge, right, it doesn’t mean that we can’t help you. And I think you know, I got into this industry to help people and you know, help them get out of pain be the best versions of themselves. So if anyone’s struggling with that I want I want to, I will be happy to have a phone call or conversation with you. Because if I can help you avoid having pain and dysfunction, despite a call, then I’ve done my job. It’s fantastic.

Anthony Hartcher 14:00
Thanks, I was really appreciate that generosity, just in terms of that do nothing scenario. So people, you know, may listen to this. And they may think, yeah, it’s good to know about because I’m alright. I think I’m happy with my current setup. What can happen if someone does nothing and just continues to persist with what they’ve got? What can that lead to long term?

Yves Silveira 14:25
Yeah, absolutely. We definitely saw this at the start of the pandemic, with just so much uncertainty and people being so fear bored and just the move at all. I think, you know, pain is actually you know, this is controversial, but sometimes it’s not a bad thing. It’s your body telling you that something’s not right. What people need to understand that pain is on a continuum, depending on the individual dysfunction sometimes will happen without even paying being present. So the more we ignore incorrect economic setups, the more we ignore our painting eventually gets to a stage where it can become full blooded and nasty. And when you’re ready to take action, it’s going to be that much harder to deal with. And if you get to it early, you’re proactive, you’re preventative. So yes, I completely understand this current landscape of people not wanting potentially to pull the trigger on an investment to do that, but let me tell you, it is much more expensive to deal with when you have to actually either stop working because of your pain symptoms, or you know, make make a change because it can actually become nasty. And we talked about overuse injuries, like your tennis elbows, like your chronic headaches, like your chronic neck and shoulder and back pain that have built up over a longer period of time. And it happens quickly. But we need to help people understand that pain is a continuum. And usually when people are in pain, it’s almost towards that end of the continuum. So the more we can be like, right, I’m working from home, I don’t ever be in pain, what can we do? I love seeing people like that as well.

Anthony Hartcher 15:55
I love that prevention approach, you know, prevention, rather than worrying about what the cure was gonna be. So yeah, I love that angle. Firstly, you’ve mentioned individualization and then secondly, this prevention, be proactive, take action and prevent the potential. So that’s Yeah, awesome. I just wanted to ask about, you know, in terms of sitting and standing, like, what should we is there a certain time limit we should sit for and then we should stand? Or should you go with how what your body’s telling you in terms of signals in terms of discomfort? Or? Or is there something you can recommend around sitting and standing throughout the day?

Yves Silveira 16:39
Yeah, absolutely. You probably seen a lot of these fancy computer show fancy sets of standards. So I’m lucky enough, I’ve invested in one and here’s my desk, and it actually goes down, down and up, which is nice. I point that out, because they are called Sanders not standing this very important into what the research shows is, we don’t want you to sit or stand for prolonged positions, because being in a prolonged position is what causes a lot of these irritations and dysfunctions. The key is to change position, okay, so there’s no silver bullet to tell, you should stand for the research shows, you should stand for 10 minutes and sit for 10 minutes or things like that. But the more we can just change from you know, sitting to standing and moving, the better will be, and you know, you can think about that if we’re in any position for prolonged period, we get to sit for that. So movement is just a key element of it. And if you’re lucky enough, like me to have access to set the standard, just change it every hour or so. Or, you know, I’ve been talking a lot of my clients are working from home, they have two different work areas, one, you know, standing in the kitchen, versus sitting on the dining table. And that’s really nice as well, because we’re just changing position. So changing position is key.

Anthony Hartcher 18:00
Okay, change got us. So I should certainly get up after this meeting from seeing and move around. Definitely. In terms of what’s your number one tip of, you know, ergonomics working from home, what would be you know, if you had so much to spend, where would you invest it? Or what do you recommend around exercises around that prevention? Yeah, so I guess I’m looking for maybe top three tips around money and how to do it safely.

Yves Silveira 18:34
Okay, so number one is definitely what I just said about movement, it is so underrated. And you’d be amazed at how you’re getting up and moving will significantly help you. So please make a conscious effort. put a timer on your phone, remind yourself, that can be the difference between you having a headache at the end of day, not potentially depending on your circumstance. The second thing is, is definitely just looking at your chair setup. And I’ll bring my desk down and turn off your chair set up two really, really important things about that. Just looking at making sure it has a nice support, where you can relax back to too often we see people leaning forward and sort of crouching down, we want people to you know, move forward and just relax back into the chair. So a really nice chair with a good setup can make a big difference. And the third thing is literally like if you can see from from my desk over here, and excuse me, excuse the clock for a second. You see how much depth I have in the desk. So one thing we see is that we crouch and we talk like this, the more we can just relax our arms like this. We take our body weight through the neck and through the whole body. It’s supposed to neck and shoulders. So this just relax As more so you know, just to summarize, move, and nice chair with good support, because I know some people are just still sitting in stores and stuff like that, where you can support yourself and try and pick a desk that has a good depth that you can actually relax your hands, a lot of us will be working from laptops. And of course, you know, we can just Google to show you generally what your screen just about at eye level to your neck nice and neutral. But if you’re working on a laptop, sometimes that’s not practical. But having your arm supported, just relaxes the whole body and just takes pressure off you it’s a really good trick that can help solve a lot of issues.

Anthony Hartcher 20:35
Fantastic. I love those top three, I need to do a couple of them ourselves. So thanks for those sharing those tips eyes. Now, you know, for the viewers sight of, you know, you’ve educated them a bit about why they need to be, you know, I guess monitoring their ergonomics, and do something about what they can do in terms of helping their own setup at home. If someone needs some help, how do they get in contact with you? So they’re thinking, well, we’ve tried this and done that I’ve Googled this, or I’m now a bit concerned, I’m a bit more conscious of it, how can they get in touch with you to get you know, some advice around ergonomics and you know, get a get a an assessment by you.

Yves Silveira 21:20
Yeah, like, like I said, I’ll um, I’ll make a little handout that you can attach to this to this interview, which I think will be really helpful, which I’m not details on it. But just, if you just go to my website, physio, we’re actually putting a lot of content there about the ergonomic space there. And it has no details. So if you just want to send a message or an email, I’d be happy just to have a conversation to see where you’re at. As you know, made, of course, we have a very affordable, working from home ergonomic assessment where, you know, we get people to take, fill out a form which, which embeds taking the phone off their setup, we have an online console on a video platform much like this one, and we get them to make changes on the day and then follow up with a report so they can have some suggestions on what to do. Like you said, it’s very affordable, like I wanted to keep it that way because I wanted to make impact. And it’s another it’s another just another avenue for for people who just want to try something else because they’ve you know, they’ve been struggling and as a practicing musculoskeletal physio, like a reason I got into this field was always, you know, I had a job as you know, where I was working in the city, and I was seeing a lot of people who I was trained for neck and shoulder pain, and I’d feel amazing leaving my play. But when they come back in a few days, and then just get you keep coming back. And I worked there very quickly, the ergonomics was a big part of that. So in might, you know, you might be even sent some practitioners at the moment and just a bit frustrated that the results aren’t lasting. But this might be something that even helps you get the most out of those sessions with your own practitioners that you might say, as well.

Anthony Hartcher 23:05
Fantastic. I’ll, I’ll include those links when I upload this. And so people can go directly to your website to find you and to email and contact you. Also. Yeah, I’ll share that handout you mentioned. So that’s very generous of you. And really appreciate the time you spent with us today in terms of enlightenment, like enlightening us about ergonomics and how we can do it better. And, and the importance of why and I think you know, for me that the summary is your approach is incredible, because you look holistically at a solution. You get to that why He then worked through practical tailored solutions with the individual around their setup. By focusing on ergonomics, we’re looking at the prevention side of things rather than the QA and those of us haven’t been looking after myself at home without a bad ergonomic setup, I get an injury and therefore I need to get in my pain supporters. So you know, I really appreciate you enlightening all the viewers on this subject. It’s very topical and important to us. So just before we wrap up, I’d love for you to share your top one ISO tip in terms of what do you recommend to your clients in terms of what they should do during the ISO period?

Yves Silveira 24:24
Okay, a bit non physio related a little bit in fit. Form key cornerstone habits and be really accountable to it. It’s something I started you know, I started doing about a month back when all when everything was going a little bit crazy. And it really helped me stay grounded. And it’s been so helpful. In my day to day life. I’ve had a shocking morning routine for most of my 30s on this earth. And I feel it always starts on Monday and will be crazy and just forming it habits around breathing. And meditation has really helped me slow down, taken away a lot of tension and stress and really helped me aid into your day. So don’t try and change too much pick one or two things. I start with the morning now breathing, meditation, the morning walk, and then just get into your day. And it’s amazing what it can do. And stay away from your phone before you have had breakfast. That’s good as well.

Anthony Hartcher 25:22
I love those tips. I love that that foundational was more than one. It’s fine. They’re great tips. They’re very important that you know, we need that anchor, because as I mentioned, we’re in uncertain, unchartered waters, certainly for our generation. And so having this anchor this cornerstone that you know, our clients, you know, the people out there the viewers can, you know, I guess attach themselves to and get that certainty. And before they start their day, they feeling that I own this day, you know, I can, I’m back in control. So, yeah, great to really appreciate it. And thank you so much for putting aside the time and enlightening the viewers and helping them around how to better care for themselves whilst working from home. So thank you so much. I really appreciate the time and yet, we’ll certainly get you back for another episode with me and my health chat.

Yves Silveira 26:17
No, love it. Anthony, thank you for all you’re doing the community as well. It’s a pleasure. And yeah, let’s always say together way better. So let’s keep working hard as a community and inspiring others to you know, enhance their life during this

Anthony Hartcher 26:35
period. Great finishing point. I’d really like it. Yeah, together we can achieve more. And this is what this is all about. So thanks, guys. Thanks for sharing with us today. And yeah, look, everyone please look up Yves, go to his website, you know, check him out with his offer, you know, have a chat to him. Certainly have a look at his document that he’s going to share with us and he’s so knowledgeable so certainly, you know, if you’re experiencing some pain because of poor ergonomics setup, I suggest you get in touch with him and alternatively, if you haven’t got the injury prevent them by getting in touch with him. So thanks again. Cheers mate. Thanks

Transcribed by