Is Your Home Office Causing You Back Pain?
Working from home has many advantages. For example, your commute is eliminated, and you can spend more time with your loved ones as a result. You get to work from the comfort of your home without the added stress of working in an office environment. There is no need to get dressed up or worry about interacting with annoying coworkers. When you work from home, you get to focus on your work in a comfortable environment.
With all the benefits of working from home, it is hard to imagine any disadvantages. Unfortunately, the effects of working in a poorly designed, or improvised, home office space can negatively impact your spinal health. Over time, bad posture leads to shoulder, neck, and back pain.
Why Your Home Office Is Causing Back Pain
For most people, working from home means working at the kitchen table, on the couch, or even on the bed. Whichever location in your home you choose, you may not have the support you need for healthy posture. Those who have a home office with a desk and office chair still may not have the proper equipment to keep their posture healthy.
Working for extended periods while sitting in hunched positions leads to neck pain, shoulder stiffness, carpal tunnel syndrome, and wrist and forearm pain. We all need to work to pay the bills, but we should do so safely. Having our computers too low or too high, not having the right back support in our chairs, and other elements work together to negatively impact the health and alignment of our spine.
How to Improve Your Home Office for Better Posture
Most likely, you will be spending hours sitting in front of your computer if you work from home. Working from home does not mean that you have to sacrifice your health. There are ways to improve your workspace to keep you and your spine healthy. The following are three ways to improve your posture while working from home:
Keep Laptop or Monitor at Eye Level
Your head is the heaviest part of your body, and your neck and back work hard to hold it up. Tipping your head forward too far strains the neck. This strain filters down into the shoulders and upper back, creating tension. The height of your screen should not be too high or too low. Aim to have your eyes at the center of the screen to avoid bending your neck up or down.
Sit Back in Your Chair
It is normal to find yourself slouching forward. You might even realize that you are slouching and strain your back to remain sitting straight. Straining your back in such a way can cause your spine to become stiff and sore.
In its most relaxed position, your lower back curves slightly forward toward your stomach. When you lean forward, the lumbar spine bends and puts pressure on the intervertebral lumbar discs. To prevent this, sit back in your chair so that the chair’s backrest can support some of your weight. An office chair will usually have the needed support, but if it does not, add a pillow behind the lower part of your back for better support. Using a cushion or a rolled-up towel helps add support if you are using a kitchen chair.
Make Time for Movement
Remembering to include exercise and movement into your routine can be difficult. We become comfortable sitting all day and hardly moving at all, but being sedentary can have long-term effects on our overall health. Setting a reminder to carve out time for low-impact aerobic activity provides your tissues with the essential blood flow needed to help minimize back pain. Taking a daily walk can significantly improve mood, self-esteem, and productivity. Walking can also help prevent illness and disease in the long run.
Contact Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery for Back Pain Relief
Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery (OLSS) offers their patients the best medical treatment, carefully planned by award-winning neurologists, neurosurgeons, orthopedic specialists, and physicians. At OLSS, we pride ourselves on our ability to orchestrate personalized care plans that serve the unique needs of our patients. Our medical team has over twenty years of experience diagnosing and treating spinal conditions. We have the skills, resources, and experience to provide our patients with the best possible treatment plans.