During this time of social distancing, you may find yourself working from home for the first time ever. Depending on your setup, you could be at risk for muscle strain and injury resulting in back and neck pain. Good posture is the key to preventing these problems. Here’s how to take proper care of your spine when working from home.
Sit at a Desk
If it looks like you’ll be working from home for the foreseeable future, invest in a desk and ergonomic office chair, if possible. Then, keep these good posture tips in mind to maintain a healthy spine:
- Set up your monitor about an arm’s length away so the top of the screen is just above eye level.
- Sit as far back in your chair as possible with your shoulders relaxed and your head aligned with your spine.
- If your chair lacks lumbar support, place a small pillow or rolled-up towel behind your lower back.
- Position your keyboard so your wrists are as straight as possible while typing.
- Keep your knees level with or slightly above your hips. Use an angled footrest, if necessary, and avoid crossing your legs.
Maintain Good Posture without a Desk
If buying a desk isn’t an option, you may find yourself setting up a spot on the sofa, at the kitchen counter, or in bed. Make your workspace as comfortable as possible with these tips:
- When working on the sofa: Place a pillow behind you so you’re sitting more upright. Prop up your computer on a lap desk or laptop tray, and take pressure off the back of your legs by using a footrest.
- When working at the counter: Set your laptop on a stand to raise it to eye level, and place a separate mouse and keyboard directly on the countertop. Then, wear shoes or stand on an anti-fatigue mat.
- When working in bed: Prop yourself up with pillows, and set small pillows under your elbows to help your arms relax. Place another pillow under your knees, and use a lap desk or laptop tray.
Other Posture Tips
No matter where or how you’re working these days, follow this advice to reduce straining your neck and back:
- Adjust your position if you start feeling pain or discomfort.
- Check your posture and correct yourself if you start to slouch.
- After every hour of sitting, get up and stretch for 10 minutes.
- Keep everything you need within arm’s reach.
- Use a hands-free headset, headphones, or speakerphone for conference calls.
At Effective Integrative Healthcare, we believe everyone should enjoy a pain-free life. If working from home has put too much strain on your spine, visit us for help getting your body back on track. We offer chiropractic care, massage therapy, acupuncture, and many other solutions to improve your health and wellness. To learn more, or to schedule services in Crofton, Millersville, or Lanham, MD, please contact us today.