Working from home is increasingly becoming a norm. Many are ditching their 9 to 5 jobs and opting to work remotely. Some companies are also encouraging their employees to work from home.
Unlike popular belief, studies have shown that working from home increases productivity. That’s probably why some companies have started encouraging their employees to work from home.
Besides that, movement restrictions and social distancing rules brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic have forced many people to start working from home. Companies like Twitter and Facebook have allowed some of their employees to work from home permanently.
Although working from home can be fun, there are several challenges that come with it. One of them is chronic pain.
But there are several things you can do to prevent chronic pain while working from home:
Look at the screen of your computer with a straight neck
Place your screen in front of you – at a position that is comfortable for viewing. Avoid looking down on the screen as it is with a laptop or a phone. Similarly, do not place your screen in an angle that forces you to twist your neck.
There recommended angles and postures to apply while using your computer. If you are working for long hours at home, it is important to get a comfortable chair and table that will prevent you from back pain.
Movement is medicine
There’s always the temptation of seating for long hours in one place while working from home. However, doing so can be a source of chronic pain. You need to stand up and stretch at least after every one or two hours.
Doing so will relax your body parts and allow blood to freely flow to the brain. Do not see this as time wastage. You can even decide to walk around the house or perform minor exercises for about five minutes or so.
It can be difficult to do this while at home. You can set an alarm on your phone to remind you after a certain period of time.
Check your posture
Sitting for long while facing forward might be a source of back and neck pain. The recommended seating position is erect. Seating upright has the advantage of keeping your bones and joints aligned to each other as well as preventing muscle fatigue.
Besides that, your spine is not fixed while you are seated in an abnormal position. It is therefore important to seat back on your chair and take advantage of the lumbar support. Your knees should also be bent in a 90-degree angle and placed flat on the floor.
Correct use of office desk
One of the reasons why many people complain of chronic pain is the lack of proper use of an office desk and chair. There are certain positions that your computer should be placed on the desk to avoid bad posture – that can result in back or neck pain.
Consider the following to a better working environment from home:
- The screen of your computer should be placed at an arm’s length far from you
- The top of your computer should be at an eye’s level
- The back of your knees should be approximately three finger width from the edge of your chair
- Your feet should be flat on the floor with knees bent to about 90 degrees
Breathing properly allows for the relaxation of muscles and other body organs. When you breathe consciously, it triggers the nervous system to react. The breathing exercise can be a big relief for lower back pain.
The good thing about mindful breathing is that you don’t require any specialized equipment. All you have to do is to concentrate or focus on your breathing. Breathe in while trying to bring your navel towards the spine – and exhale after that.
This breathing exercise is essential because it will keep your core muscles engaged and support the upper part of your body in turn.
In general, working from home comes with a lot of challenges. Besides the interruption, it is easy to find yourself seated for long hours – without proper exercise.
However, you can practice a few important things such as a proper seating posture and taking short breaks to stay free from chronic pain.
By Abby Drexler, BOSS contributor