Working From Home Woes: Neck & Back Pain

Back in March, many of us thought we’d be working from home for 15 days. Well, fast forward nine months and here we are….. 

While some have returned to the workplace, many offices are still closed. This leaves the majority of people still working from home in likely a makeshift office. Most people don’t have a set up, dedicated office in their homes, so more and more people are working from their couch, their bed or even laying on the floor with their kids! The flexibility has been nice for some, but it’s really been tough on the mind and body. Since the stay-at-home orders were issued, we are seeing a surge in neck and back issues. Tightness in the neck and back, not to mention a surge is poor posture!

We’ve outlined some simple quick tricks to help prevent these issues, but if you are experiencing more neck and back pain and not finding relief, we recommend that you come in to see one of our chiropractors for an evaluation.

  1. Don’t sit for too long
    1. Easier said than done, we know! Remote workers are the biggest offenders. It’s important to make sure you get up and walk around throughout the day. Your eyes need a break from your computer screen and your body needs a break from sitting. It’s recommended you get up for 15 minutes out of each hour. While that may not seem great for productivity, this doesn’t mean you can’t take your phone calls during those 15 minutes! Consider taking your lunch break to go for a walk or do a few brief exercises. 
  2. Structure your workspace like you’re at the office
    1. Working from home has its perks, but laying on the couch to spend hours working not only is bad for your mental focus, but terrible for your posture. Get yourself a dedicated area where you can set up your devices at eye level where you’re not straining to see the screen or looking down for extended periods of time. This guide on how to sit at your computer is a great place to start.
  3. Sit with your legs at a 90 degree angle.
    1. Keeping your legs properly elevated, uncrossed and at the right height is important in helping prevent back pain. Many people tend to sit on the couch with their legs crossed, looking DOWN at their computer. DON’T DO THAT! This may mean purchasing a step stool for those who are a bit shorter, or adjusting seat and desk height for those who are taller. Keep your feet flat on the floor and sit up straight!
  4. Stretch periodically
    1. Make sure you get up throughout the day and stretch out! If you can’t get up and go for a short walk, do some at-desk stretches to help ease the tension in your body. Stretching helps you feel refreshed, makes you less tired and helps with your posture! All great things for getting your work done.
  5. Avoid working solely from your phone
    1. Don’t let “Text Neck” win. If you have to look at your phone, hold it up at eye level. Looking down can cause unnecessary stress on your neck, increasing the likelihood of cervical pain and radiating pain down your arm.  
  6. Keep your core strong
    1. Great posture starts with a strong core. It’s important to get into the habit of strengthening your ab muscles to help keep your posture straight and strong! A great place to start is with planks – this is great for stabilization and increasing your core strength. For more core exercises, check out our fitness center! 

Poor posture at work (or at your desk) is extremely common, but it’s important to try and make small strides toward better form! If you’re suffering from increased low back pain, neck stiffness and tension or wrist and joint pain, contact us today to make an appointment for an evaluation. 

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