How to Avoid Neck and Back Pain When Working from Home
A woman working from home near a window.

How to Avoid Neck and Back Pain When Working from Home

pathmedical Chiropractic Care

The COVID pandemic has changed a lot in this world.

In the beginning of the pandemic, stay-home orders for non-essential workers were common and because of this the number of those working from home has grown considerably. Today, people find themselves working on the sofa or lying in bed, hunched over laptops and tablets to complete their work. Though you may be getting the job done, it is unlikely you are on ergonomic office furniture, but more likely camped out in the family room, the kitchen, or bedroom and starting to feel the aches and pains of your new work space. And now that the weeks have turned into months, many companies are likely to continue working people from home offices as situation settle into the new “normal.”

To help you stay well and avoid neck and back pain when working from home, follow these helpful tips:

Limit the Time You Work from Bed – Your bed may be the worst place to work from. While it might be comfortable at first, after a few hours you will start to feel the pains. The problem with working from your bed is your laptop will be too low for proper ergonomic viewing, and you will find yourself bent over. If you must work from a bed, use a pillow to support your back and a cushion on your lap to raise your laptop, both of which will help you type at a comfortable height without straining your neck or back.

Don’t Use a Standing Desk All Day – Even though these desks are popular, standing at your computer working all day requires more energy. It also increases the strain on your feet, legs and circulatory system.

Sit Properly – The best position may be to sit in a chair at your desk or table, but always remember to stand, walk or stretch every 30 minutes or so. Sitting properly is the key, which means not sitting upright or hunched forward. Instead, sit back in your chair, with your lumbar spine supported. Doing this allows the chair to support some of your body weight and permits you to comfortably reach the keyboard. If your chair doesn’t have lumbar support, consider a cushion placed at the lower back. When sitting, your feet should be flat on the floor or on an angled foot support. Allowing your feet to dangle or pulling them beneath your chair can restrict blood flow and put unwanted pressure on your thigh.
Keep your Screen and Paper in View – Your computer screen and your paperwork should always be viewed from a position in which your neck is straight. You don’t want to be looking down constantly or having to twist your neck. Elevate your laptop on a box or books to get the screen into a position directly in front of you. Better yet, use a large external monitor for your primary screen.

Keyboard and Mouse at a Comfortable Height – If you raised your laptop to a level to have adequate viewing, you may need a separate keyboard and mouse to keep your arms and hands level and straight. Your mouse should be close enough that your arm remains close to your body when you use it. If not, you will risk straining your neck and shoulder, which should be working in unison with your arms, wrists and hands.

If you are experiencing neck and back pain or other discomfort working from home, Path Medical is ready to give you a customized care plan to help alleviate your neck and back pains.

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