For many, working from home is not the best option, but it may be their only option in this new normal. While working from home saves you from having to drive or commute to work, it also has its disadvantages.
Aside from the fact that the average workday is now three hours longer because of the disappearing work-life balance, your home may not have space, or you don’t have the additional funds to set up an ergonomic working space as you had in your office. If you’re sitting or hunched over your computer for hours, this can take its toll on your body, especially your back.
If you’ve been working at home for months, you might have already begun to feel the effects of chronic back pain due to your working habits. Here are three solutions to help mitigate back pain.
Visit Your Local Chiropractor
If you’re experiencing back pain, your best bet is to visit a chiropractor to get your back checked. Poor posture while working can affect your back, shoulders, and arms, and the chronic pain could affect you from properly focusing on your tasks.
Your chiropractor may recommend treatment, corrective exercises, or advice on how your workplace should be set up or what you need to make your posture more comfortable when you work. You might also be prescribed medicines, diet changes, and other possible forms of treatment to help mitigate your pain.
Invest in Your Workspace
For people working at home, you might not see the need to invest in a desk and a work chair similar to the ones in the office. We instead opted to work on the dining room table, the couch, or the bed.
But if you’re experiencing back pain, you can see why your company invested in chairs and desks meant for office work. Working on your dining table is free, but most dining chairs aren’t designed to be comfortable for prolonged sitting. If your dining chair is more squarish and straight, it’s not going to be comfortable to sit in for long periods.
If you’re experiencing moderate to severe back pain when you work, it might be a sign that it’s time to invest in your workspace. Plenty of furniture stores offer sturdy desks and ergonomic chairs. Ideally, your office chair should be adjustable so that you can adjust it to the proper height so that you’re facing your computer at the right angle while also keeping your feet comfortably on the ground.
Don’t Get a Standing Desk: Just Take a Break
Ever since standing desks became popular in more modern offices, people assume that they’re the healthier alternative to traditional desks. While being sedentary and prolonged sitting can take a toll on your health, prolonged standing while working can also have a negative effect.
Standing while working requires more energy when you perform your daily tasks. It also puts a bigger strain on your legs, feet, and circulatory system. For those concerned with how their feet look, standing can also increase the risk of varicose veins.
Instead of getting a standing desk to avoid staying sedentary, just take a break. Some bosses may be against multiple breaks, but you’re not asking for breaks so long that you can watch every Disney princess movie in order – just enough to let your body stay active. Ideally, for every90 minutes of work, take a 15-minute break. Take that time to stand up, do calls while standing, and stretching your muscles.
Your new work-from-home situation may not be the most ideal. But if you can take steps to stay healthy and avoid back pain, it won’t be as hard as to take a significant toll on your health. In this case, it may be necessary to invest in a conducive workplace that won’t strain you while you work.