According to the Office of National Statistics, 47% of the working population worked from home during April this year. With many people working from home for the foreseeable future, here are our top tips on how to prevent back pain.
1. Take time to set up your workspace at home
If possible, choose a designated space from which to work and take time to set it up and adjust it so it’s comfortable. Avoid working on your bed or sofa – try to keep these spaces for relaxation for a better work-life balance.
2. Vary your work position
Variation is really important for our bodies. A combination of sitting and standing throughout your working day is best practice to avoid muscle strain.
3. Opt for a chair which provides good back support
It’s worth investing in an ergonomic desk chair which provides ample back support. If your chair lacks support, put a cushion at the back of your chair and sit against it. While you are sitting on your chair, try to maintain your posture while sitting down and avoid slouching as this can create tension in your back and neck.
4. Keep your neck straight
It’s important to position your screen at eye level. Having a screen either too high or too low can cause strain on your neck over time, potentially causing a knock on effect on other parts of your body. If you are working from a laptop rather than using a monitor, use a laptop stand or even a stack of books to adjust it to a suitable height.
5. Think about your arms and hands too
If you are working from a raised laptop, invest in a separate keyboard and mouse. Set them up so they are at a level which allows you to keep your hands and forearms level and straight to help prevent back pain.
6. Take regular breaks
Whether you’re sitting or standing at your workspace, aim to move every 30 minutes. Doing so will help you avoid getting stuck in positions which may put strain on your back and neck. If it helps, set a reminder to do so. Remember even if you have a standing desk it’s important to move as standing for long periods of time can put more strain on your legs, feet and circulatory system.
Gentle stretches throughout the day can make all the difference in keeping your body mobile, promoting circulation and relaxing your muscles. The British Chiropractic Association recommends these simple stretches.
8. Speak to us!
Having a ‘health MOT’ with our team can help identify any niggles you may have and stop them developing into more serious problems. Our practitioners specialise in ergonomics and can also provide further advice on how to adjust your workspace so it’s unique to your body’s needs. If you are experiencing aches, pains or muscle stiffness, get in touch below.