COVID-19 has altered our lives in countless ways. Because of Social Distancing guidelines, record numbers of employees have found themselves working from home. Suddenly offices and desks have been replaced by kitchen tables and couches. In the best of circumstances employees will find themselves in pain due to improper seated posture and suboptimal ergonomic set-ups. In the work from home scenario the challenge is ten-fold. Here is how you can improve your home office experience:
5 simple ways to decrease pain while working from home
- Get up and move! As we hold static postures for extended periods of time, our muscles tighten and fatigue. Set a timer on your phone for every 30-40 minutes for a 2 minute walk break.
- Vary your work location. If you are using the kitchen table or living room couch to perform your job instead of a work desk, change up the locations every couple of hours. While neither of those options are ergonomically ideal, you’ll be less likely to experience pain if you change positions.
- Try a standing work desk. Low back pain can often stem from tight muscles (hip flexors) in the front of the body that shorten while we are seated. Varying your positions from sitting to standing will give those hip flexors a chance to lengthen and your back muscles a chance to engage and strengthen.
- Pay attention to your neck posture. For every inch that our head protrudes forward, over the body we increase pressure on the spine by 10 pounds. This leads to various neck-related issues such as headaches, neck pain, jaw pain and even dizziness.
- Ensure that you are working in the optimal posture for your environment by scheduling an ergonomic assessment today.
Working from home does not need to be physically painful. Often, thinking outside of the box with small changes in ergonomics and posture can reduce strain and injuries. Awareness of your body and making necessary modifications is key.