Companies are doing what they can to keep operations moving and workers employed. Those that are able to work-from-home are doing so. But working from home is new to many and creates new challenges of converting an area in the house, apartment, etc, to become the workspace.
Back pain is common whether at the office or at the house. Everyday activities like the way you sit or lift can cause back pain if you�re not careful. At the house, it can be easy to lose track of time working. However, sitting with the wrong chair, at an improper height is not great for the body and overall health.
Working from Home and Back Pain
You probably thought you�d be comfortable working while lounging in bed or slouching on the sofa. However, after a few hours,�you would have a sore back, neck, or shoulders muscles. Working on a laptop for hours daily�at the kitchen counter or hunched over a coffee table and not sitting at a table or desk with a proper chair can lead to pain.�The best way to reduce and avoid back/neck pain is to make a few changes to the workstation.
Setting Up The Workspace
A comfortable workspace will increase productivity and physically help you feel good.
Working comfortably for hours, maintaining proper posture, it would be wise to invest in practical office appliances that can support physical well-being. Proper office ergonomics include:
- The correct chair height
- Working desk posture that keeps muscles and joints comfortable
Choosing the ergonomic office chair is important, considering you will be using it for back support. Office chairs are not a one size fits all. The choice could be the difference between having continuing back pain or improving comfort, health, and overall productivity.
Ergonomic Back Support
Despite the adjustable ergonomic chair, you might still have back pain while working. Consider the following because it might not be the chair that�s not working.
Keep Moving Around
Step counts could take a dive when working from home. Exercise and stretching at regular intervals are extremely important to protecting the spine throughout the day. Remembering to do this at home can be harder than working in an office environment. Use an automatic reminder on the phone. Our bodies need regular low-impact aerobic activity. It provides the tissues with vital blood flow and helps minimize back pain.
Be Sure To Check Your Posture
The spine is not fixed in abnormal positions. Sitting and slouching forward for a long time will contribute to back pain. The advantages of sitting straight:
- Keeps the Joints Aligned
- Keeps the Bones Aligned
- Supports the Muscles
- Supports the Ligaments
- Prevents Muscle Fatigue
Sit all the way back in your chair and take full advantage of the lower back support. The knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle with the feet flat on the floor or on a footrest.
Proper Screen Height
The height of the computer screen should not be too high or too low. Your eyes should aim at the center of the screen without having to crane your neck up or down. It should be directly in front to avoid tilting or turning your head. A laptop should be raised anywhere from 5 to 10 inches to provide the proper height.
Don’t go for the multitask when it comes to the phone. Having the phone between your neck/shoulder and working at the same time can lead to stressing your back and hurting/injuring the muscles. Turn on the speaker or use a headset to avoid the awkward neck position.
Proper breathing keeps the body and the muscles in the mid and lower back nicely relaxed. Improper breathing can make the nervous system react, causing pain or discomfort. Breathing exercises can be a way to target lower back pain/s. No special equipment is needed and can be done anywhere, anytime. Concentration is the key. Inhale and bring the navel towards the spine and then exhale. This exercise will engage the core muscles and will support the upper body.
Eliminate Low Back Pain
The information herein on "Working from Home with Back Pain" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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