Simple ways to adapt your creative home workspace to improve your health
By Pamela Park
When you’re in your creative zone you know how it is: you lose yourself in your art and the world around you melts away. Before you know it, hours have passed and you’re burning the midnight oil. When you do finally arise, bleary-eyed and aching, it’s because your physical or mental needs (hunger, fatigue, overexertion or physical discomfort) take precedence over your creative drive.
Now that we are all sheltering at home, the physical discomfort is often compounded. It’s all well and good to fix up your creative workspace when you actually have a spare office and the cash flow to invest in ergonomic equipment, but what about those of us who are creating from our bedrooms, couches or dining room tables?
We consulted with Dr. Bryan Lang from Whole Body Health Physical Therapy, and ergonomist, Serafine Lilien, MS from ErgoArts, to see if they could share some expert advice to improve our workspaces and health, with just a few simple adjustments and items that we already have in our homes.
Serafine got into the field of ergonomics in order to help people and do preventative work, after being a graphic designer who had developed a repetitive strain injury in her right hand, wrist and forearm from mousing for the majority of her day. She has a passion to keep people able bodied and injury free.
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About Serafine Lilien, MS
Serafine’s mission is to maximize employee productivity, health and well-being by using ergonomic principles. She stresses the importance of proper posture and movement in performing tasks efficiently, the effective use of breaks, stretching, and down-time for rejuvenation and well-being.
Serafine has helped injured employees return to work, guided companies into compliance with OSHA standards, and performed more than 18,000 individual ergonomic assessments. She has also consulted on ergonomic tool/equipment design projects, and created illustrations of repetitive strain injuries for a training manual.
Serafine is a member of Puget Sound Human Factors & Ergonomics Society, ASSP and the Bay Area Ergonomic Roundtable, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Illustration from Rochester Institute of Technology, and has a Master’s Degree in Human Factors and Ergonomics from San Jose State University.
You can contact Serafine at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at: www.ergoarts.net.
Serafine is currently offering Virtual Ergonomic Evaluations, which have been very successful.
About Whole Body Health Physical Therapy
Whole Body Health Physical Therapy practitioners are experts on musculoskeletal health whose mission is to provoke change within health, industry and the community. Their foundation is to connect with clients and healthcare providers in order to develop a healthcare community that addresses each person as a whole; and to create a life-time bond between clients, their families, and the clinician.
About Dr. Bryan Lang
Bryan Lang attended Oregon State University as an undergraduate where he received a Bachelors of Science in general science with an emphasis in pre-physical therapy and a double minor in psychology and chemistry. He received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy with distinction at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. Soon after, he also finished his MHA at Pacific University and is now adjunct faculty at the school teaching the business administration class for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.
After successful completion of the Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT), Bryan continued to expand his knowledge of the human body and health care. He became certified as a strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength and Conditioning Association, completed a Masters of Healthcare Administration (MHA), and became a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). He is currently in the process of completing the National Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy coursework to become a Level 2 NAIOMT graduate. He more recently received his Orthopedic Certified Specialist (OCS) certification, demonstrating excellence in research-based diagnostics and treatment.
Bryan has spent the majority of his clinical experience in outpatient orthopedics with an emphasis in chronic pain. However, he has also worked in skilled nursing facilities to provide geriatric care. The dual experience in these settings has allowed Bryan to learn effective therapeutic techniques for patients of all ages and with varying needs.
Bryan was the sole recipient of the Pacific University Outstanding Service to the School of Physical Therapy Award in 2013 for his involvement in community programs designed to provide services citizens in need of healthcare.