More people are working from home than ever, with numbers of home workers almost doubling in the last 10 years.
Whilst many enjoy the freedom and flexibility of not being confined to an office, for some, the lack of a traditional set up workstation can have a negative impact on their back health, instead choosing to work from a place which isn’t optimal for good posture.
If your job involves working from home, there are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of back pain.
Sit up at a table instead of on the sofa to maintain good posture and avoid back pain casued by slouching.
If you sit with your laptop on your knees, it’s likely that you’ll end up in a position where your spine is rounded, shoulders hunched forward and neck protruding, all of which can cause muscle imbalances, tension and stiffness.
Or if you have an area high enough, put your laptop on a surface and work standing up.
Without the routine of the office, it’s easy to become engrossed and not take as many breaks as you normally would.
Sitting down puts more pressure on our discs than standing, and by standing and moving regularly, you reduce the risk of changes in your discs.
Advice is to stand up and move around every 20-30 mins.
Position the top of your screen at eye level, whether you’re seated or standing. Use books to raise it up to the right height if necessary. If standing, keep your weight even on both legs and don’t lock out your knees.
Have a 90 degree angle at your hips and knees, with your feet on the floor, sitting on a cushion if you need to and put books under your feet if the chair is too high for you to do so.
Keep to your regular working hours to avoid longer days sat down.
If you feel self-conscious about stretching in an office full of colleagues, take advantage of the privacy to stretch regularly thoughout your day.
Concentrate on muscles which are shortened when you sit down such as your hamstrings, hip flexors, and chest. Also strecth your glutes to reduce any tension and pinching on your sciatic nerve.
If you’re a straight before-work, lunctime or straight after-work exerciser, try to keep to that routine. It’s all too easy to let it slide when you’re not in your usual routine and as a result, you can lose strength and flexibility which are both important for posture and good back health.
If you are experiencing back pain when you’re working from home and would like to speak to a specialist about improving your posture and getting back to working without pain, please complete the form below to register for a complimentary consultation. Once submitted, we’ll be in touch to book your session.