Ever since the pandemic hit, professionals have spent long hours working from home, increasing the need for maintaining a good posture while working from home.
Perhaps you don’t have a proper office chair or you’re working from the dining room table. As most companies are going digital, their employees end up having more screen time and less face time. Though working from home comes with its perks, the flip side could be serious back and neck pain. Prolonged sitting along with poor posture may exacerbate the problem and hamper daily life.
Consider maintaining the correct posture so that your back does not hurt while sitting for a prolonged period. Here are some effective tips that are worth incorporating into your daily routine to bid goodbye to your back pain while working from home.
Set up an ergonomic workstation
A third of all back pain problems at work can be avoided with a proper workstation. An ergonomic workspace is important for both mental and physical sanity. While working from home, most people sit on their bed or sofa or at the dining room table with their laptops. Sitting on a bed or couch may lead to poor posture and consequent back pain. Instead, consider sitting at a desk to maintain good posture and experience greater overall comfort. This is also one of the best ways to keep your back pain at bay.
Find an ideal chair
Look for ergonomic chairs that not only help you sit comfortably but are also straight and upright. However, ensure that the chair you are choosing is not fluffy or soft. Also, while sitting, adjust your chair’s height. This ensures that your knees are on the same level as your hips. This enables you to hold your feet flat on the ground, which is essential for maintaining a healthy posture. Now that you have sat straight, make sure that your wrists are in line with your elbows. So, while working at a desk, keep your head up, shoulders back, and spine straight. If needed, place a block or a book under your monitor to keep your screen at eye level.
Change your position often
Sitting in one position for too long may increase your back pain. Thus, it’s always better to change up your position to relax your back muscles. You may stand on a taller desk or take frequent breaks to avoid tension in your back muscles. You may roll out on a Yoga wheel like YoBack during the breaks to provide relief to your sore and tired muscles. Also, you may just stretch your muscles or take a nap around the house once every hour to comfort your back.
Support your lower back
Sitting upright for a prolonged period creates stress and pressure on your lower back. So, while working from home, it’s essential to provide extra support to your lower spine. Here, you may roll up a towel or a sweatshirt and place it on the small of your back to provide good support. The use of low back support helps you to maintain an appropriate posture and decrease back pain.
Exercise for correct posture
Exercise has several health benefits. It is one of the most effective ways to strengthen your back muscles and deal with back pain. Thus, engage in bodyweight and core muscle buildup exercises. Also, it’s important to understand that excess body weight may hamper the functionality of your muscles, joints, and tendons, and consequently, cause back pain. Thus, exercise regularly to keep your spine and the whole body healthy.
Shoulder blade squeezes, chin tucks, bridges, downward-facing dog, side bends, cobra pose, etc. are some of the exercises that may help you to prevent back pain. You may also include planks, stretches, and leg raises to maintain a good posture of your body. When back muscles feel sore or tired, make sure to keep stretching your muscles. This not only helps you to mitigate pain but also relaxes your whole body in an effective way.
Use other tools to help maintain correct posture & keep back pain away
Ergonomic chairs and standing desks are great, but there are other tools available for use as well. One option is the YoBack which is placed on your lower back (lumbar) between yourself and the chair. This straightens your spine and stops you from slouching all day.
We should sit with our feet planted on the ground, but often we don’t. Use the remaining two blocks and place them under your desk to keep your feet flat. As an added bonus you can stretch out your calves at the same time. Standing desks are a great way to reduce back pain and help posture. However, your feet can start to ache after a while. By using the two blocks under your desk, you can stretch out your ankles, calves and hamstrings whilst working.
Gary is the founder of the start-up company, eastnole, which designed the Yoback, which is the world's most versatile back pain, stretching and workout product. After suffering from back pain for many years he decided to create his own product to meet his needs of being versatile, lightweight and portable. He lives in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, works as a teacher and is a keen sportsman.