With many people working from home these days, it’s very important to create a workspace that will help you avoid getting neck and back pain. Most people don’t have a dedicated office in their home and may be working at a dining room or kitchen table. Although this isn’t an ideal workspace, it can be managed if done properly. Here are a few tips to help you avoid neck and back pain while working from home:
- Maintain Proper Posture: Make sure that you’re sitting upright with your back fully supported by the backrest of the chair. Maintaining proper posture will reduce unnecessary stress on your neck and back.
- Avoid Neck Flexion: Make sure that your computer monitor is at eye level to avoid looking downward. If you are using a laptop, it may be necessary to invest in a laptop workstation that will allow the monitor to be elevated slightly to avoid neck flexion and unnecessary strain on the neck muscles.
- Use Headsets or Speakerphone: If you don’t have a headset at home, it is better to use speakerphone when speaking on the phone rather than trying to hold the phone between your ear and shoulder.
- Take Breaks: If you’re sitting too long at your workspace, you’re more likely to begin slouching. This abnormal posture causing increased strain on your neck and back. Taking frequent breaks can reduce this.
- Vary Your Work Position: Many people have opted for standing desks at their office, but don’t have the same setup at home. Whenever possible, vary your work posture from sitting to standing. This variation will reduce prolonged stress and strain on your neck and back.
- Stay Hydrated: Failure to keep yourself hydrated properly can cause muscles to tighten or cramp, resulting in muscle spasms and unnecessary muscle fatigue. Coffee, tea, soda, soft drinks, and juices do not count as proper hydration. It is recommended that you drink up to 8 glasses of filtered water per day.
- Avoid Junk Food Snacks: It’s much easier to reach for junk food snacks when working for home. Junk food is typically filled with sugars and artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners, and provide little to no nutritional benefit. Consuming these products can increase inflammatory processes throughout your body resulting in increased pain and spasm. Instead, choose healthy, whole food snacks like berries, nuts or vegetables.
These helpful tips can also be used when working at your office. If you do develop any increased from pain while working from home or at your office, please don’t hesitate to contact our office to schedule an appointment.
Frank Fuscaldo, Jr., M.S., D.C., D.C.B.C.N., C.N.S., C.K.N.S.
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