Many workers have had to quickly adjust to working remotely. This means creating makeshift office spaces with less than ideal workstations. Countless people are now working from their couch, kitchen table, or even their bed. And while each of these is initially comfortable, it’s leading to aches and pains they did not experience in their usual office in the long run.
Why? The answer is simple: poor ergonomics and bad posture.
Invest In The Right Setup
Completing your work may only require a computer and internet connection, but to stay comfortable and pain-free, it’s wise to invest in the right home office set up. Your chair and desk at work may not be stylish, but most are ergonomically designed to promote good posture and alignment. Maintaining a work/life balance is more important than ever, but when it comes to setting up your ideal workspace, your comfort is key!
Elevate Your Screen, Improve Your Posture
One of the many advantages of a typical cubicle or office workstation is your computer screen sits at eye level. When you’re working solely from a laptop, you are forced to crane your neck to see the screen. This puts a strain on the neck, and it also causes you to hunch your shoulders to reach the keyboard.
The simplest, do-it-yourself solution to this is to grab a pile of books or shoeboxes and invest in a wireless keyboard and mouse. This will allow you to keep using your laptop while keeping your neck and shoulders aligned.
Where — And How — You Sit Matters
Second to elevating your computer screen is making sure you have a good chair to sit in each day. Ideally, you will want a chair that promotes a neutral spine and has an adjustable height. Your chair should support your lower back and allow you to sit with your knees and elbows at right angles. This reduces muscle strain in your back, shoulders, hips, and glutes.
If a pricey desk chair is not in your budget, you can still accomplish good posture and alignment with the use of a footstool, lumbar back support, and ergonomic posture cushion.
Standing Up Against Sitting
Standing desks are having a moment — in recent years, more of these have become available on the market, and they are increasingly popular amongst office workers. Whether you are used to working with one in the office or are looking to reduce the amount of time spent sitting each day, a standing desk can help you reduce your back pain and increase productivity.
Like any home office setup, it is essential to make sure your computer is at eye-level on your standing desk and your elbows rest at a right angle. While the ability to switch seamlessly between standing and sitting is advantageous, improper or overuse of a standing desk can increase your aches and pains.
Dual Monitors Can Equal Double The Strain
Having dual-screens can help you better organize your workflow and reduce eye strain. However, one of the biggest mistakes telecommuters make is not correctly adjusting their keyboard, mouse, and chair to face their monitors. When your keyboard and mouse are situated in the middle of your desk or table, you are forced to twist your neck toward the appropriate monitor, causing neck pain.
To reduce the likelihood of neck pain, it is important to place your monitors next to each other and be positioned at eye level. Furthermore, positioning your chair, keyboard, and mouse to face your main display will reduce the craning of your neck.
Tap Into The Right Lighting
Poor lighting can lead to you straining your eyes and craning your neck to see your computer better. Equip your workspace with a standing lamp or desk lamp or sit near a window for more natural light. Another way to reduce eye strain is to adjust your computer’s lighting settings.
Integrate Chiropractic Into Your Routine
Even with the right home office setup, you may be out of alignment. If you are experiencing new or recurring neck, back, or hip pain, scheduling a chiropractic appointment can help restore balance to your body, spine, and nervous system. Your chiropractor will help you identify what is causing your particular pain and then guide you on developing healthy habits and routines to lessen your strain.
At Active Chiropractic, we practice the Zone Technique, which helps target specific areas of the body to promote natural healing, reduce stress, and restore functionality. We are proud to provide our patients with individualized, quick results by stimulating points in a particular zone to regain balance.
When you work in an office environment, there is some merit to paying visits to the water cooler, a friend’s workstation, or taking a quick stroll between tasks — it gets you moving and lessens the strain on certain parts of your body. With gyms closed, you may not be motivated to keep up your usual exercise routine, but a simple walk around the block on lunch or a bike ride can help keep your body engaged and your pain at bay.