More of us are working from home than ever before, and since 2020 has modified how and where we work, many are experiencing brand new aches and pains. If you are suddenly having new lower back pain, working from home may be the cause.
Our Imperfect Workstation
Remember when we had an office…a real office…at our place of business…in a building other than our home…? It was probably outfitted with great lighting and a supportive comfortable chair. Now we must perform the same amount of work in a home office. That home office might be your kitchen or dining table, or it might be in a spare bedroom.
Wherever it is, it most likely is not as comfortable as your old office. To be productive, one must be comfortable and free from distractions.
If your back or neck is bothering you, that IS a distraction. Let’s look at why and what you can do.
Tips To Improve Your Work From Home Office
- Invest in an ergonomic chair. Search for one with back, arm, and thigh support. You will be spending endless hours sitting there, so pick one that is comfortable and supports all your joints.
- Be sure to set it up so your feet are flat on the ground. Adjust either the chair or desk/table to make that happen.
- You should be looking at the screen of your laptop or monitor straight ahead about 12 inches away. Looking up or down at your monitor can affect your neck and shoulder muscles.
- Consider purchasing a standing desk. Many can convert to a traditional sitting mode so you can enjoy both positions. Some people work better standing up with less stress on their lower back.
- Avoid sitting or standing (in one position) too long. Set a timer if you must to remind yourself to move around. Go to the kitchen for a cup of tea, walk out in your backyard in the sun for 10 minutes, or just walk away from your screen. Your muscles and your mind will relax and you can get back to it when you return. Do this at least once per hour.
- Utilize a headset, change your phone to speaker, or use earbuds if you speak on the phone during the day. Never talk on the phone with your smartphone wedged between your ear and your shoulder.
- Be sure your back and neck are straight. Your arms should be parallel to the floor, and avoid slouching in your chair.
A few added bonus tips are to add some fresh air, a green plant, and keep your work room well ventilated. You can also try using this tool for the best ergonomic set up.
Contact Chiropractic Health of Charlotte and get treatment for recurring back or neck pain, or learn more about how your home work station should be set up!