How to avoid back and neck pain while working from home
As more and more professionals are asked to work remotely during the coronavirus crisis, many have set up makeshift home offices to get work done. Maybe they commandeered their dining room table for a few weeks, decided to use their breakfast nook, or even converted their guest bedroom into a substitute workspace. Whatever they needed to do to stay productive, right?
But the big question is: how much time are they spending in that office? Many of our patients at Brain Body-Connection Chiropractic say they are experiencing more back and neck pain than usual as they work from home — likely because they are sitting in the same place for too long. You’d think getting up and moving around would be easier when working from home, but we often park ourselves in one spot and simply lose track of time. Next thing we know, we look at the clock and realize we haven’t moved in six hours.
Sitting for too long affects us in all sorts of ways. Do any of these symptoms sound familiar?
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Weight gain
- Reduced mental clarity
- Tight hips
- Poor blood circulation in legs
7 ways to avoid back and neck pain
There is a myriad of ways to avoid back and neck pain while working from home. Here are just a few:
For whatever reason, taking a break is harder to remember when working from home. Take a break at least once every hour — and if you need to, set a reminder on your phone. This helps keep blood and oxygen moving throughout your body and decreases tension and anxiety during a long workday.
Pay attention to screen height
A few of our patients say they’ve noticed that their neck is hurting them because they’re not used to having to look down at their laptops. In the past, they’ve had a PC on their desk, which is typically at eye level. If this is you, one suggestion is to put some books under your laptop to increase the height or lower your desk chair to keep from slouching or putting too much pressure on your neck muscles.
Have you ever noticed a cat and how it will sleep in a curled up position? Every so often, it will get up, stretch its body out as far as it can, and then lie down and go right back to sleep. That’s what we need to do — regularly stretch to avoid too much immobility. A few exercises include eight to 10 squats using a chair, doing high knees, and curl downs where you bend over to touch your toes 10 times. You can also flex and extend your neck twice on each side, including ear to shoulder and chin to shoulder movements.
Choose your furniture carefully
Think about the chair you are sitting in for extended periods. If it is rigid or doesn’t offer enough support, you are likely going to do a number on your back. Consider using a rolled-up towel for extra support or sitting on something wobbly such as an exercise ball to keep your core engaged.
Alternate between sitting and standing
There are plenty of standing-desk options to choose from that will allow you to create some variety in your day and keep blood flowing throughout the body. To go a step further, don’t sit in the same spot every day. For example, use the dining room for the first half of your workday and then switch to the living room or the kitchen.
Water is the easiest way to continually feed your joints fluid so that they move better. If you prefer to drink caffeine to keep yourself alert throughout the day, follow it with a few glasses of water. When you’re dehydrated, your joints don’t move well.
Visit your chiropractor
Your chiropractor is an essential business, so you can still get your routine visits in. We can help keep your body fluid and flexible, especially as we navigate these uncharted waters with the coronavirus crisis.
Just remember that holding any position for any length of time will eventually lead to pain. The body simply doesn’t work that way. It must constantly stay in motion, and the tips above will help you do that even when trying to put in an honest day’s work.
Call Brain-Body Connection Chiropractic today!
We hope you enjoyed today’s blog post on how to avoid back and neck pain when working from home. Remember, the goal at Brain-Body Connection Chiropractic is to continue offering all your chiropractic and wellness needs under one roof. This allows us to treat everything from a backache to poor posture, range of motion issues, post-injury management, a herniated disc, scoliosis, and more. Sometimes, all you need is a quick adjustment from a chiropractor, but Dr. Twila Henderson and her growing team will always do a complete evaluation to see if more techniques are needed to help your brain and body function properly.
Call us today at 940-808-0622 for your next chiropractic appointment.