Has working from home given you a sore back or a literal pain in the neck?

At the beginning of the Pandemic over 2 years ago, many patients presented to clinic due to struggling to adapt  to the challenges of working from home. Lower back and neck pain due to poor desk set up, sitting on sofas or laptops, working at the kitchen table or on a bed, or struggling to find a desk chair to work on. Individuals were sitting for longer hours, taking less breaks and struggling with increasing musculoskeletal aches and pains. This seemed to be affecting all ages from people in their early 20’s to those in their 60’s and 70’s spending long hours working from home.

Fast forward 2 years and things havent changed much. Some are returning to the office for 2-3 days a week, others still working from home with limited desk and ergonomic set up. So long term it looks like many will still be doing a few days at least working from home.

So how can we improve our posture, ergonomic set up and well being when working from home?

Here are a few top tips to try:

  1. Screen height – Make sure your eye line is looking to the top of screen this will prevent neck flexion and tilt leading to neck and upper back pain. If working from a laptop you may find propping it up on some books will enable the screen to lift and then use a separate keyboard to type on. Take breaks to look at something in the distance to prevent eye strain and prolonged screen time which can lead to headaches.
  • Spinal position – if you haven’t yet invested in an office chair and are still using a kitchen chair or dining room chair make sure your feet are on the ground and to support your lower back try rolling a towel up long ways and place down your spine to support your spinal curves.
  • Arm and Elbow position – Try to make sure your elbows are supported by either resting on the table or arm rests on the side of the chair – aim to keep your wrists in a neutral position to prevent wrist and elbow pains.
  • Take breaks – This is vital for our musculoskeletal health but also our mental health and wellbeing. Try to get up every 30 minutes and move around or try a few stretches at the desk. Stand up when you can to take a phone call or even better take a phone call whilst going for a walk.
  • Keep Hydrated – Water is important for our bodies and our brains. Water has a huge range of health benefits for our bodies from removing waste products in urine to lubrication for your joints to improving concentration levels and work productivity.

Here at the Osteopathic Centre we aim to provide optimum care for all our patients. If you would like some advice or to speak to us before booking an appointment please get in touch on 01707 327 135 or email us on enquiries@welwyn-osteopaths.co.uk