4 Ways to Avoid Back Pain when Working From Home
Everyone has spent a lot more time indoors over the past year. With lockdowns in place and government restrictions constantly changing, many people have taken to working from home. To many people, this may have sounded like an exciting novelty at first. You can wake up a little later, avoid the stressful commute, and take breaks whenever you like. But over time, it can have severe effects on your health.
If you’re new to working from home, there’s a good chance you don’t have the optimum office setup. Maybe you spend your days sprawled on the sofa with your laptop on your knees or hunched over the kitchen table on a chair that’s too low. Humans didn’t evolve for a sedentary lifestyle, so sitting for eight hours a day is always going to be bad for your body. But if you’re sitting in the wrong position, the effects will be even worse. Sustained poor posture can lead to severe pain in your neck and back, as well as an increased risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders.
A huge number of people have complained of lockdown back pain, and if it is afflicting you too, then there are many things you can do about it. Here are four tips to avoid and relieve back pain when working from home.
The longer you sit in one position, the worse your back problems will get. You are no doubt spending a lot less time moving about than you normally would, so try to counter this by staying active throughout the workday. For example, you could take phone calls standing up or take regular breaks to walk and stretch. Any movement will help to give your back a break and stop you from feeling sore at the end of the day.
Set an alarm
When you’re immersed in a complicated task, it’s easy to get lost in your work. Before you know it you’ve been hunched over your screen for four hours without a break and your spine is suffering. Set a regular alarm on your phone, watch, or computer to remind you to get up and take a break every hour.
Sort out your workspace
The biggest culprit in causing back pain is a poor working setup. The wrong alignment of chair, desk, and computer can cause strain on your neck and spine. Your computer should be at the right height to prevent improper neck position, so make sure the screen is level with your eyesight, and your desk high enough that you can sit up straight with your feet on the ground. You may need to rest your laptop on a stack of books to achieve this. A standard dining chair will not be sufficient to maintain the correct curve of your spine, so use a small cushion to support your lower back. You could even consider investing in an ergonomic desk chair.
If your back pain is severe or will not go away, you shouldn’t ignore it. It’s important to address spinal issues before they have a chance to worsen, so it’s a good idea to make an appointment with a chiropractic clinic, osteopath, or physiotherapist.