Over the last year (almost) many of us have been spending our workdays hunched over impromptu workstations on beds, kitchen tables and off our couches. Since the onset of this current pandemic, we have experienced elevated stress levels, due to the anxiety of work life blending with home life while trying to deliver and be accountable for our jobs without showing that stress.
Physically it has also been daunting with fewer opportunities for movement and disrupted routines, working from home can impact the health of your body - especially when it comes to neck and back pain.
We sat down with our local (and favourite chiropractor) for some tips to help reduce back and neck pain while working at home.
Set a timer for every 30 -45 mins. Try your best to get up that often to walk around the house. Grab water, go to the bathroom - just force yourself to move out of your chair.
Stretch often - we found a good summary and short clips of some stretches that can help here
Ergonomics are important- and many of us can likely find areas where we are not adhering to these rules, but here are the top three you can tackle right away:
Feet should be flat on the floor with knees bent at 90 degrees
Elbows at 90 degrees when resting on arm rests (better to have a chair with adjustable armrests)
Eyes should be at level when you look at the top 2" of your monitor (therefore, adjust the height of your chair or a sliding monitor stand)
For your back and your core, try alternating your chair for an exercise ball. This will force a better posture, however, consult the manufacture's specifications for the best size and right level of inflation.
If possible, invest in a sit/stand desk. Studies have shown that standing desks reduce back pain and often improve mood and energy levels
Don't forget to hydrate. Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps and tightness
Take vision breaks - using the 20-20-20 rule can help to prevent this problem. The rule says that for every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen, a person should look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Following the rule is a great way to remember to take frequent breaks.
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