In the last few years, an increasing number of people have started working from home. However, with the challenging times we are experiencing this number has increase suddenly as more and more people are finding themselves having to work from home.
Working from home does bring several benefits which can include more productivity and less time spent commuting. However, working in a home environment can sometimes increase the risk of back pain and postural problems. In fact, a surprising number of people visiting our chiropractic clinic in Fareham work from home and their conditions can often be traced to their home working environment.
In this post, one of our experienced chiropractors shares a few ways you can prevent back pain while working from home.
#1 – Use A High-quality Ergonomic Chair and try a desk riser
One of the best parts of working from home is that you have the freedom to choose exactly where you setup your office. You can work on a laptop while relaxing in the garden, resting in bed, or sitting on the couch.
Unfortunately, sitting on furniture which does not provide adequate support for your body eventually takes a toll. It can result in back pain and may cause your posture to worsen over time. We see many patients at our chiropractic clinic with back pain associated with sitting on furniture that does not provide adequate support.
The best approach is to use an ergonomic chair. Ergonomic chairs can be adjusted to suit your body, so you are not placing an excessive amount of strain on your back or neck. They are designed for long periods of sitting, so you won’t feel as sore and your posture will be better than it would be after sitting on a couch for hours. You can buy an excellent desk riser which will raise you computer and keyboard when you wish to stand for a while. They start from as little as £50.
Having a high-quality chair may also help you avoid other conditions caused by poor sitting position, including carpal tunnel syndrome, forward head posture, and tension headaches.
The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) has put together a video with helpful advice or adjusting your chair and protecting your back while sitting at your computer.
Here is a link to the BCA’s Advice page where you can view the video and download an advice sheet. https://chiropractic-uk.co.uk/posture/
#2 – Get Up and Move
If your back pain is associated with sitting for long periods, working at home may be the best thing that could happen to you. It will give you an opportunity to add more standing time and movement into your work day. Some great options for adding more movement include:
- Using a standing desk
- Walking around whenever you take phone calls
- Spending a few minutes stretching every hour
- Spending your lunch break walking around your garden or the local park
- Having a short exercise session during lunch
#3 – Perform Exercises To Maintain Good Posture
Posture is the way that you hold your body. When you have ”good” posture, you are keeping your body in a natural position which is minimising the amount of strain on your muscles and ligaments.
“Poor” posture occurs when you are sitting or standing in an unnatural position. It eventually causes certain muscles to tighten up and shorten, while others lengthen and become weaker, which can change the shape of your body. Poor posture is one of the most common reasons why patients visit Homewood Chiropractic Clinic.
To avoid poor posture, be mindful of how you are sitting and standing. Aim to keep your body in a natural position, keeping your head aligned above your chest and hips. Your spine should maintain its natural S-curve and you should be able to breathe deeply.
There are several exercises you can perform to “reset” your posture throughout the workday. They include:
- Chin Tucks
This simple exercise can help you avoid forward head posture, which is one of the most common postural problems amongst patients seeking the help of one of our chiropractors. To perform a chin tuck, look straight ahead and pull you chin directly back, towards your face. It is the same type of motion you would make to give yourself a double chin. Perform 15 repetitions, holding the position for at least 3 seconds. You can place fingers on your chin to make the chin tuck easier.
- Shoulder Blade Squeezes
Squeeze your shoulder blades together without lifting your shoulders. Hold for up to 5 seconds, with 15 repetitions.
- Seated Yoga Postures
Yoga is a fantastic form of exercise for improving posture. Exercises like Seated Cat/Cow, Seated Side Bend, and Prayer Stretch are particularly beneficial for the back. This excellent article from Mind Body Green shares some of the best yoga poses for improving your posture.
If you are suffering back pain or other aches and pains our experienced team of chiropractors are at hand to help you. To book an appointment with one of our chiropractic team call us on 01329 280 283 and our friendly reception team will help you.