The Coronavirus pandemic saw the start of a huge shift in the way many of us work. Gone are the days of a long commute twice a day, praying someone doesn’t microwave tuna in the communal kitchen, and in-person meetings that seem oh so unnecessary now! Instead, a lot of us began working from home full time, whereas others adopted a hybrid approach, spending their week in both the office and at home.
While the benefits of working from home were quickly recognised (who doesn’t love unlimited snacks and working in comfy clothes?!), the main negative the majority of us seemed to experience was a huge increase in frequency and intensity of back pain.
Whether you’re working from your soft office (AKA your bed), sitting for longer than you would in the office, or often find your posture is less than ideal while working from the sofa, we’ll dive into how best to look after your back while working from home!
Pry Yourself Away From Your Bed (And Sofa)!
We know, we know, what better way to work from home than snuggled up in your bed or sofa (especially if you have no meetings that day!) right? But trust us, it could be doing more harm than good when it comes to your back pain!
Think about it.
Sitting upright in bed isn’t exactly the best thing for your posture (and don’t get us started on lying down while working!).
Even if you’ve got a pretty sturdy headboard to lean against or a relatively solid armchair, your bed and sofa are simply not designed to support you tapping away at your laptop for 8+ hours straight!
Get Moving (Even Just For A Cuppa!)
When you’re working in an office with a group of people, chances are you’ll be up and on your feet more; whether that’s walking over to a colleague’s desk for a chat, getting up to make a cup of tea, or walking to a meeting room to take a call.
When you’re working from home, however, it can be super easy (and tempting!) to let yourself get lost in what you’re doing, especially if you don’t have distractions such as pets and children (or a lovely spouse who’s also ‘WFH’ and feels the need to have meetings at a volume the whole street can hear!).
Either way, it’s important to make sure you keep moving – a midday workout would of course be ideal and could be as simple as a brisk walk. (This could do wonders for your back pain!) but even just reminding yourself to take a break to make a cuppa or grab a healthy snack every now and again can help (your back, and tummy, will thank you for it!).
Consider Your Desk Set-Up
If you’re working from home full time permanently, it would be worth investing in a suitable desk and chair. Ensuring you opt for a chair specifically designed to support healthy posture means you’re giving your back the best chance possible!
If you’re still struggling with back pain from sitting all day, a sit-stand desk could be the solution. This would allow you to alternate between sitting and standing while working – meaning your back gets a well-deserved break from sitting down all day.
If you have gone from an office based desk top computer to a home based laptop, there are many ergonomic aids from plug in screens, keyboards and screen raisers which can help you avoid the dreaded laptop slouch for hours on end.
Leave your work at work
With most office jobs, you can close the door on work stress at 5pm and go home to relax and recharge. But after an extended period of home working, it can start to feel more like you’re living at work than working at home. This disruption to the work-life balance might see you putting in extra hours, spending longer sitting down or finding it difficult to switch off at the end of the day. All of these things can leave you feeling stressed and anxious, which is another reason why it’s so important to find time for exercise.
Speak With A Professional
If you’re struggling with back pain and looking after your back while working from home then you’re not alone. If you’ve tried our methods and find nothing seems to help, it’s probably a good idea to speak with a professional chiropractor.
Using a combination of Chiropractic techniques, exercises and massage, our team of expert chiropractors help to ease stress and tension in your joints and muscles, freeing up your movement and reducing pain.
If you’d like more information, contact us today to speak with our friendly team.