When the pandemic hit the world, almost everyone was forced to work from home. And while some people embraced it, no one could have expected that a full two years later, we’re still figuring out ways to work from home properly.
Since the move to remote working, a lot of employees are missing their offices, primarily because these spaces were built for work. A lot of people are used to their nice desks and chairs in the office, which often made it easy to do the job.
But when we moved work to our homes, you might have noticed that your setup isn’t as ergonomic as you thought and you always end the day with neck or back pain.
Well, you aren’t alone. With the majority of people working at home, neck and back fatigue is very common, especially since our rooms and houses weren’t originally designed to double as an office.
So, here are a couple of key tips you can use to help relieve the stress and pressure as well as keep neck and back pain at bay when you’re working from the comfort of your own house!
Read on to learn more.
Don’t Sit On Your Desk All Day
One of the best-recommended tips from doctors to people who suffer from neck pain because of working from home is to move around. When we’re stuck at home, we often forget to stand up, stretch, and move our muscles.
In fact, it isn’t uncommon to sit on our desk at the start of the day only to discover we’ve been sitting the whole day, which is very bad for your neck and back. Humans aren’t designed to be sitting down all day, our bodies are designed for movement.
And while not all of us have the time to run around and go to the gym every day, all it takes is 10-15 minutes of movement every now and then to get our muscles working. You can do jumping jacks, pushups, stretches, and just about anything that activates your muscles, even if just for a short span of time.
Invest In A Good Chair & Desk
If you work from home, there’s a high chance that you’ve turned a corner of your bedroom or living room into a dedicated office space. And for people with a lot of free space, they might have converted an entire spare room into a home office.
And while it’s important to make the office pretty with plants, pictures, and other decorations, the ergonomics of it all should not be overlooked. So, if you’re looking to build a quality home office, you need to invest in the right equipment.
This means getting a good chair in which you will feel comfortable and supported for the entire workday. This could be a standard office chair, a specially made chair, or even a gaming chair. Just remember, you need to feel comfortable and supported in your neck and back areas. That way, it will be easier to sit through a whole day of work without developing neck pain.
A good chair also needs a good desk. Instead of getting whatever spare table you have at home, you might want to choose a height-adjustable desk for working.
That way, you can alternate between sitting down and standing the whole day, which could do wonders for your neck and back.
Raise Your Monitor
In this day and age, working from home usually means staring at a computer screen the whole day.
And while that isn’t ideal for our eyes, it’s the reality of our situation right now. So, the least you can do is make sure that your monitor is in the right position for your eyes, neck, and back.
If your laptop is right on the table, there’s a high chance you need to look down to view it. And since the optimal working position for our back and neck involves a slight recline and looking straight, you may want to raise your laptop a bit.
You can either get an adjustable desk or a riser specifically for your laptop to do the job. But if you’re working on a budget, you can always just stack a bunch of books and other things in your household and it will do the job just fine.
Practice Good Posture
If you’re a workaholic and expect to be sitting or standing in front of a computer all day, you might as well do it right. The best position for your neck and back muscles when working is a position that doesn’t require that much effort to maintain.
That way, your muscles stay engaged but not strained, which is important for those with neck and back issues. Ideally, when sitting, you would want to keep your hips and knees level with your spine either vertical or slightly reclined, making sure to maintain the small arch in your back.
Additionally, make sure your shoulders are relaxed down to your ears and your elbows are right by your side and bent at a 90-degree angle. For even more comfort, try to relax your wrists as much as possible.
Know When To Lay Down
With the bed just a couple of steps away from the “office”, it can be tempting to do the job laying down. And for a lot of people, this seems to work well. However, while there is nothing wrong with laying down when working from home, doing it too much can actually result in neck and back pain.
So, the solution is not to lay down too often. Spending an hour or so in bed while doing work will likely not harm your back. However, laying down the whole day will not help the situation at all. If you’re working at home and want to lay down, that’s completely fine, just remember to stand up and get in another working position eventually.
Just because you’re working from home, that isn’t an excuse to let yourself go and start experiencing neck and back pain. There is plenty you can do and hopefully by applying the tips that we’ve shared with you above, you working from home experience can be a lot more enjoyable and pain-free.