Working from Home Increases Risk of Back Pain

Living through a pandemic has been challenging, and COVID-19 has certainly brought with it a lot of changes. One of these is the rise of the remote worker, and many of us have continued working from home, even as restrictions on businesses ease. There are some great things about remote working, but one consequence is an increase in back pain. Here are some facts about what could be causing your back pain and how you can fix it.

The reason your back may hurt at home when it didn’t at the office is that offices are generally designed at least somewhat ergonomically. Unless you’ve put some thought into creating an ergonomic home office, you’re probably making do in a set up that’s not ideal. So, what can you do to improve your situation?

  • Posture correction can help prevent back pain. Prolonged sitting puts pressure on the spine, which can cause back, neck, and lower back pain. Positioning yourself properly in your chair can help. Check your posture, making sure your ears are over your shoulders instead of in front of them, your elbows are by your sides, with your wrists resting comfortably. Use a chair with back support and use a small lumbar pillow or rolled towel if necessary. Keep your feet flat, even if that means you need to use a footrest.
  • Position your screen to help your back. Set up a spine-friendly workspace is by adjusting your computer screen to accommodate your posture. Your eyes should be lined up 3 inches below the top of your screen if you’re using a desktop monitor, and if you’re using a laptop, tilt the screen back to 120 degrees, slightly off vertical. Your screen shouldn’t be more than an arm’s length away, with your keyboard and screen directly in front of you and the mouse to the side.
  • Move more. Change position every 30 to 45 minutes, getting up to move around, even if it’s just walking around the room. Work in different positions throughout the day, sometimes standing, sometimes sitting.
  • Do exercises specifically designed for your back. Simple stretches are helpful in keeping your body loose, so whenever you have a break, try some shoulder circles, neck rolls, deep breathing, and a few squats. Additionally, back exercise can help strengthen and support your spine. Walking is good for your back, as is yoga, and exercises that target your core, glutes, and hips are also beneficial.
  • Manage your stress. Spend some time in nature each day, get enough sleep, and make time for family and friends. Relaxation practices to try include mindfulness exercises, yoga, deep breathing, and meditation.

If your back pain persists and you want to see a doctor, Exceptional Healthcare can provide the care you need, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even on holidays. With 13 different locations across Texas to serve you, we’re here to help when you have an emergency. Visit our website to learn more or drop by to see our facilities for yourself.

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