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August 11, 2020

Work from Home Tips to Protect Your Spine

Working from home has become an essential part of our “new normal.” Fortunately, businesses are remaining flexible to accommodate individuals who want to work without being exposed to potentially infectious environments. The idea of working from your personal space is enticing, but it can come with its drawbacks. According to The Wall Street Journal, some individuals who have worked from home every day over the last few months have reported an increase in back pain and neck pain.

That being said, we at Spine Solutions are dedicated to proper spine care. Here are some tips to protect your back and neck throughout the workday.

1. Customize your workspace.

Every person’s circumstances at home are unique; therefore, setting up an appropriate space to work comfortably and effectively can be a challenge. Not everyone has the luxury of working from a home office or a standard desk. If you are working from your bed or your couch, you can add to your modified workspace to benefit your physical health. Use accessible resources to customize the area where you work. A personalized workspace can be adjusted to support your spine during a long, stationary workday.

  • Do you sit down for long periods of time while using your computer? Try placing a pillow on the seat of your chair or behind your back.
  • Are you fatigued or experiencing low energy levels? Be sure to always have a glass of water nearby to stay hydrated and take appropriate snack breaks.
  • Is your desktop or laptop placed on a low surface? Use cushions or mouse pads to support your upper body while working. Remember to keep your arms slightly elevated while typing. Add a pillow under your laptop if you are balancing the computer on your legs. Adjust your computer screen to remain at a comfortable viewing angle.

2. Maintain your posture.

When working from home, always keep your posture top-of-mind. Poor posture places pressure on your back and can cause degenerated discs to become more painful. Maintaining good posture allows for proper bone and joint alignment, muscle strain prevention, and stress reduction. Good posture requires sitting and standing upright as much as possible with your back straight and your shoulders back. If you are immobile most workdays, choose a chair that provides lower back support while keeping your knees at a 90-degree angle.

3. Add movement to your day.

While working from home, make sure to add movement to your day. Staying in the same position for long periods of time can be detrimental to your spine. Try getting up and walking a bit at least once every hour. If you can set digital reminders on your mobile phone or smart watch to stand up, do so each hour. Additionally, you can stretch at the start and end of your workday to expand muscles and improve overall back health. This all comes with scheduling time for your physical and mental health to maintain a productive workday.

Working from home may not be ideal for some individuals; however, these tips can help alleviate back pain and make your day-to-day routine more comfortable. For more information on how to maintain a healthy spine while working from home, call Spine Solutions at (954) 983-3888.

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