Working from Home? Our 5 tips to prevent low back and neck pain

The perks of working from home (WFH) seem countless – rolling into office in your PJs, having your washroom less than 10 steps away, laying on the couch when the going gets tough, to even grabbing a quick shower during lunch. However, a few days of working in your makeshift office and you might find that it becomes a literal pain in the neck.

Many of us don’t have proper office chairs or lighting, and work for extended periods of time from our dining table or our coffee tables. Worse still, we hunch over our laptops all day long. Such poor posture lead is not great for your health, and leads to low back, shoulder, and neck pain

What can you do to prevent coming out of this COVID-19 situation with a terrible backache?

Here are our 5 tips to our WFH community:

1. Elevate your laptop or monitor

The laptop is almost never going to ergonomically good. The monitor will either be too low or the keyboard too high.

Ideally, it would be best that the center of the monitor or laptop screen be at your eye level. If you’re using a laptop, consider getting an external keyboard and mouse.

2. Take breaks or walking meetings when you can

Try to move every hour, be it going to the kitchen to get water, or heading to the washroom. Sitting down for a long time in the same position can cause stress on your body.

If you’re taking a call that doesn’t require you to be in front of the computer, plug in your headphones and walk around while on the call. That’s one thing we can’t do in physical meetings!

3. Support your lower back

If your chair does not provide support for your back, get a thin pillow or a rolled-up towel to support your lower back. This will go a long way in helping you keep proper posture.

4. Stretch it out 

  • Seated Spinal Twist

Place feet flat on the floor, and place your right hand on the side of your left knee. Keeping an upright position, turn towards the back of the chair and hold it there with on hand for 3 seconds.

Turn back slowly to the front, and repeat for the other side.

Repeat for 3 times before moving on to the next stretch.

 

  • Seated Cat & Cow

Place your feet flat on the floor, place both hands on your lap. Take a deep breath in as you arch your back as much as possible and hold it there for 3 seconds.

Exhale as you straighten your back, pushing out your belly button and hold it there for 3 seconds

Repeat for 3 times before moving on to the next stretch.

For more stretches, download our Workplace exercises and stretches.

5. Avoid working from your couch or bed the whole day

The perception of comfort can stop you from moving around as much. Your couch and bed also typically do not provide proper back support, and working from them will force you to look down at your laptop.

Another downside – you might just fall asleep on the job.

If you’ve followed these tips and still have back or neck pain after WFH for weeks, reach out to us to get your spine checked. You might have a deeper problem that requires action to be taken.

During this COVID-19 period, we’re doing our part to support our community by running a heavily discounted check-up rate.

 

 

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