How to Prevent Pain When You're Working from Home
Keeping your body relaxed and comfortable at work shouldn’t be complicated. Now that many of us work from home, it should really be the opposite of complicated. If you’ve experienced an increase in neck or back pain, you’re not alone. The fact is, not many people had a work setup ready to go at home when the pandemic first started to prevent us from going into the office.
Your home should be a place of comfort no matter what you’re doing. We want to ensure that’s the case while you do what’s necessary for your work. Here’s what you can do at home to easily improve your mobility and productivity.
It’s All in the Setup.
One thing that should be common knowledge is the ergonomics of your workspace. A big part of this is your body’s ideal positioning in relation to your work appliances.
- Your Computer: Without tilting your head down or up, the top of your computer monitor should be at eye level. You might have to adjust your seating position or the monitor height. A good monitor stand will come in handy, but stacks of books or other objects could work too! Set your monitor at least an arm’s length away to prevent strain.
- Your Seat: When you’re sitting for long periods of time, you want to keep your back and neck in a straight line, whether that means sitting straight up or reclining. Reclining in your chair or bed isn’t bad for you as long as you maintain proper posture. If you have to tilt your head too much, you will experience increased neck issues.
- Your Desk: Your arms and hands shouldn’t be at a 90-degree angle but rather tilted downward slightly. This position reduces the strain on your shoulders, wrists, and elbows. To help take more pressure off your wrists, invest in a comfortable wrist pad when you use your keyboard and mouse, which help reduce carpal tunnel.
Other Tips & Tricks
Don’t sit for too long! Prolonged weight on your lower back is a huge problem for office workers, so get up and move every 30 minutes at least. You can try taking meetings on your phone and walking around your space or alternating between a sitting and standing desk.
For those with upper back pain, the positioning of your surroundings is crucial. The key is to take as much strain off your neck and shoulders as possible. Reclining now and then is a great way to resolve upper back tension. Get a Bluetooth keyboard so you can work from any position.
Additionally, while your monitor is at eye level, your feet should be flat on the floor, with your thighs and hips sitting comfortably at 90 degrees. The first thing to adjust might be your seat then your monitor height to get the perfect setup.
Don’t Let Chronic Pain Get in the Way
Chronic pain can be a burden in anyone’s life. Our job is to keep that from being the case in yours. If your new work from home set up still doesn’t help your neck, head, wrist, or elbow pain, come see us. We’ll create a tailored physical therapy treatment plan that’s perfect for you.
7 Exercise Tips for the Winter
If you’re like many of us, you might get a bit complacent with your exercise routine given the number of holiday treats and activities this time of year. Even without the additional pressures, cold weather can be difficult to exercise in if you don’t take the proper precautions.
At Greater Therapy Centers, we know all about how life can get in the way of our health, which is why we do everything we can to give you the tools needed to keep moving. The following are our tips for a safe and active winter.
Don’t skip the stretch.
As the cold weather sets in around North Texas, our muscles start to tighten up. Stretching before and after every workout is necessary for our body to stay loose and injury-free during exercise.
Participate in 30 minutes of exercise every day.
Winter has a strong association with bundling up on the couch and staying put all day long, which can be nice at times, but this is also a good way for you to lose all the progress you’ve made in your recovery or routine thus far. A great way to keep moving is by finding something to do for 30 minutes each day, whether it’s a simple exercise or something more intense.
Go slow on the warmup.
Give your body some time to warm up if it’s cold outside. Stressing muscles too quickly in cold weather can quickly lead to pulled muscles and strains.
The risk of dehydration is still prevalent in cold weather, especially if the winter is a dry one. Sweat evaporates more quickly in dry air, which means it is just as important to stay hydrated while working out in cold weather as it is in warm weather.
Find other ways to stay active.
If it’s too cold for you to workout outside, try to keep up your exercise routine by finding strength or flexibility workouts indoors. Yoga channels can be great for these types of exercises. Plus, you can do wonders for your mental wellbeing!
Dress according to your body temperature.
Layers that help wick the moisture from your body are a good start to dressing for the cold. Depending on how cold it is, you can add layers for insulation or fight against wind chill. The important thing to remember is that you’ll heat up as you start working out, so don’t bundle up just to overheat when you begin moving.
Try to fall on your side without your hand breaking the fall.
A common injury we see in the winter are those that have happened during icy weather. It’s great to keep up your exercise routine but be cautious of ice. If you do fall, try to land on your side to protect your head and back. Avoid using your hands to break the fall, as this can lead to fractures.
It’ll be easier to get back to your normal exercises as long as you stay active this winter. Still, you should always be aware of the risks of wintery weather. Stay safe, stay active, and keep up the good work!