Working-from-home (WFH) has become a reality for most of us as a result of lockdown measures and the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re finding yourself having to spend long hours getting your work done, it could cause you to develop neck pain, back pain and other aches stemming from poor posture or repetitive movements. The good news is most body pain can be avoided if you take a little extra care. Here’s the right way to set up your ‘WFH’ office.
Use The Right Chair
The number one rule with working from home – given that most of us have desk jobs, and in lockdown all jobs have become sedentary – is to pick the right chair to work from.
- Ensure your chair is stable.
- Be sure it is the right height – your feet must reach the ground and be able to rest flat on it.
- The chair you use should support your lower back.
Adjust It If You Can
When seated, your feet should reach the floor so that your soles are flat on the ground . If your chair is not adjustable or you are shorter than average, use a footstool to allow your feet to be flat on the stool with the legs level/slightly lower than the seat.
Mind Your Posture
Ensure your back is in a normal position – gently arched for comfort. Your head and shoulders must remain erect. Avoid leaning forward, this will strain the back/neck. When standing, be sure to balance your weight evenly on both feet and avoid slouching.
Position Your Computer Correctly
A computer screen that is positioned either too high or too low can result in neck and shoulder fatigue and pain.
- The top of your screen must be around 2-3 inches above eye-level.
- The monitor must be arm’s length from you.
- If you’re using a laptop on the lap, keep the screen 6 inches below your gaze. This helps you to avoid straining to read which is typically accompanied by a motion of bending your head forward. Such straining adds pressure to the vertebrae of the neck setting off headaches and back and neck pain.
- A keyboard that’s placed on the desk tends to restrict blood circulation and places added stress on the nerves as well as joints of your wrists, arms, and shoulders and may even cause back pain.
- The keyboard should be a little lower than your elbows. If you don’t have a pull out drawer for the keyboard, try and improvise with a keyboard tray below.
Use Your Smartphone Smartly
If you need to do phone calls throughout the day, try and walk around while talking. If you have to multitask, avoid awkwardly clutching it between your shoulder and head. This can strain the neck, shoulder, and back.
- Use the computer to type long messages. When you message or type on a phone you tend to bend your head and curve your spine putting stress on the vertebrae of your neck.
- Always keep your head in a neutral position (as it would be if you just sat/stood normally without turning or twisting it and looked ahead) by using a headset or headphones, hands-free devices, or just a speakerphone.
Avoid/Modify Any Repetitive Movements
Modify any movements that could be repetitive, like holding your phone on the same side always or long stretches of repetitive typing movements.
- If you have multiple meetings scheduled, plan them so they are a few hours apart rather than back-to-back. This gives your body a break from being in the same position and repeating the same movement nonstop.
- Try switching the side(which ear and which hand) you use when on your phone
Take Scheduled Breaks From Sitting
It is ideal if you can take shorter breaks more often rather than long breaks that are far apart. This is much better for your back because it allows your muscles to relax and prevents stiffness and tense muscles.
- Some health experts recommend taking a 1-2 minute break every 30 minutes. Set an alarm on your cellphone or download an app that beeps to remind you.
- Every one hour, stand up and stretch your body. Put your hands on the lower back and arch your body gently backward to get a good stretch.
Exercise and Stay Active
Do exercises like abdominal crunches that can strengthen the core muscles of your abdomen and back. These muscles support the spine and strengthening them might help you avoid back pain. Walking too can help. In addition, try yoga or weight-bearing exercises – they make you work on balance and this can help with building your core too.
Neck and Body Pain Relief
If you still develop a painful back or neck pain in spite of being careful, you could try using Omnigel pain reliever. This pain relief topical gel is also available as a spray. One of the best pain relief ointments, this Diclofenac gel eases all kinds of joint pain. Whether you have a neck sprain, backache, a stiff shoulder, or even arthritis-linked pain that is making working from home hard on your body, Omnigel can give you that much-needed freedom from aches and pains.
If long hours of working-from-home have taken their toll on your body, get Omnigel to help ease the pain. Find out more about how it can ease inflammation, swelling, aches, and pain.