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.