The corporate world is in the midst of upheaval, and, suddenly, many employees have the flexibility to work from home. Telecommuting comes with some significant benefits, including a lack of commute and a more casual wardrobe. But, many workers are also finding drawbacks to working from home, including decreased comfort and increased back pain. Brick and mortar offices are equipped with proper chairs and desks designed to keep your posture and spinal health in check. But, your home may not be equipped with office equipment. To prevent back pain from taking over your work-from-home lifestyle, keep these tips in mind.
Choose the right chair
A couch is great to relax on for a couple of hours in the evening, but it’s not office furniture. Sitting on a couch while zooming through meeting after meeting will almost certainly lead to back problems. One of the best things you can do for your back is to invest in an ergonomically-designed chair for your office. It’s also important that the chair has an adjustable height and armrest, allowing you to tweak the chair so that your feet rest flat on the floor, with your knees at a 90-degree angle. You should also look out for chairs that are designed to support the lower back (there will often be a small outcropping at the bottom of the back of the chair). If your chair does not feature this, make sure to use a small pillow or a rolled-up towel to support your back. An ergonomic chair will help you improve your posture and prevent you from slouching throughout the workday.
Set up your workspace correctly
Aside from your chair, the rest of your workspace should also be designed to encourage correct posture. One of the most significant contributors to back pain is actually the position of your neck. Place your computer monitor roughly an arm’s length away from your eyes, with the top of the screen at eye level. This helps to prevent you from bending your neck while looking at the screen. If you find that this arrangement makes it difficult to see a certain part of the screen, adjust the monitor itself rather than straining your back or neck.
Take breaks to stretch
While you probably weren’t getting a workout during your workday, office culture does come with some built-in opportunities for movement, from chatting to coworkers to walking to the break room and going to the copy machine. Working from home eliminates many social and movement aspects of work, and telecommuters often find that they are more sedentary. Sitting down for multiple hours can cause a number of health problems, including back pain. To prevent this, set a timer and take a short break every hour. Walk around the room, fill a fresh glass of water and perform a few stretches. Stand up, lift your arms over your head, clasp your hands together, and stretch upwards while lifting yourself onto your toes.
Contact a chiropractor
Whether you want to prevent back pain or you are already uncomfortable, you might need to add a partner to your team. Search for “chiropractor near me” and schedule a consultation with a provider. Chiropractic adjustments and massage can help improve your posture, increase joint mobility and improve muscle strength and flexibility.