The rapid spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 has forced the temporary closure of many businesses across the United Kingdom. While many workers have been placed on leave, others have the opportunity to continue working from home.
While working from home can be quite enjoyable, it’s important to understand that there are also some potential downsides. One of the major downsides is that workers without a well-appointed home office may be forced to work in a way that leads to back pain.
Advice From Our Stoke Chiropractor
In this post, our Stoke chiropractor shares some tips to help you avoid back pain while working from home. Following this advice will help you avoid an emergency visit to our chiropractic clinic in Stoke on Trent.
Create An Ergonomic Home Office Setup
Sitting with poor posture can place a lot of strain on the neck and lower back, increasing the risk of several conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system. If you will be using your computer a lot while working from home, assess the ergonomics of your home office and make improvements as necessary.
Ideally, you should use an adjustable ergonomic chair with arm rests. This will give you more control over how you are seated and looking at the computer screen.
The best way to sit is to place both feet on the floor, with knees slightly bent and thighs sloping upwards to the hips. Place your elbows at a 90 degree angle on the arm rests, with the keyboard directly beneath your hands. Your head should be facing forwards with the screen at eye level. Both your bottom and shoulder blades should be touching the back of the chair.Remember that you can change the height of the desk and monitor as well as the chair.
If you are concerned about the impact that sitting down is having on your back, consider getting a standing desk. You can alternate between sitting and standing every 30 minutes or so to keep your back safe.
If you are using a laptop or tablet, be particularly vigilant about your posture. Both of these devices encourage users to look down while working, which increases the risk of developing problems like forward head posture and back pain.
If you would like to learn more about setting up your computer in a way that avoids back pain, check out the videos on our City Chiropractic Clinic website.
When you start working from home for the first time, it can throw your normal daily routine out the window. Rituals like exercising are often the first casualty when such a radical change occurs. This has been worsened by the fact that governments have been forced to close down gyms and certain recreational areas where many people go to exercise.
However, failing to exercise will cause a loss of fitness, flexibility, and strength. As your condition deteriorates, you might begin to notice joint soreness and additional back pain.
Remind yourself to exercise and look for ways to incorporate exercise into your new schedule. During this time people are allowed to leave their homes once a day for a form of exercise be it a walk, run or cycle. Walking is such an underrated form of exercise and offer so many benefits. If nothing else, and it is safe for you to do so, then get outdoors and take a brisk walk.
Some other exercise options you can do indoors include:
- Body weight exercises
- Running up and down stairs
Many gyms, trainers and instructors have started running online classes. This may be another option to pursue if you are finding it hard to motivate yourself.
Get Enough Sleep
Another common change that occurs when people start working from home is that their sleep patterns change. It becomes far too easy to stay up late into the night if you don’t have to catch a bus at 6am.
Aside from impacting your energy levels, suddenly changing the way you sleep can give you a sore back and interfere the body’s ability to heal damaged tissue. Try to maintain your normal sleep/wake cycle when working at home.
Schedule Breaks Into Your Day
During a normal day at work, you probably receive cues telling you it is time to take a break. This might include your co-workers standing up to have morning tea or lunch. When you are working at home, those cues won’t be there, so it will be much easier to work for long stretches without realising it.
Unfortunately, these long stretches of work are particularly punishing for the back. It is advisable that you only sit down for 40 minutes consecutively before stretching or moving about. Use a timer on your phone to remind yourself to take a break.
Make Your Home Environment Safer
A remarkable number of people visiting our chiropractor in Stoke on Trent have a back injury sustained in the home. These injuries are usually caused by falling, tripping, or over-stretching.
To avoid these types of injuries, take a closer look at the safety of your home. Look for trip hazards like rugs and clutter. Move objects from high shelves if you have trouble reaching them. Add some handrails to your bathroom and upgrade to no-slip bath matts. Install additional lighting on stairwells and outside. These changes will reduce the likelihood of a fall or other injury which results in a back injury.
Visiting Our Chiropractic Clinic in Stoke on Trent At This Time
If you are experiencing back pain at this time, our chiropractors are offering Online/Phone Consultations. Appointments will be available to see only essential – urgent/acute cases and #keyworkers after completing an online/phone consultation.
To arrange an Online Consultation please call City Chiropractic Clinic on 01782 848 184 or go to our website here and use the Online Consultation button to book your appointment.
Our team at City Chiropractic Clinic in Stoke wish you and your family the very best during this time.
Stay safe and stay strong.