Is Work From Home a Pain in the Neck?
As we adjust to our lives during COVID-19, many of us are finding ourselves working from home, whether temporarily or permanently.
For many of us, working remotely is turning out to be a pain in the neck— literally! In this article, we will go over some ways for pain management while you work from home.
Most of our offices supplied us with ergonomic furniture that helped minimize the pain, but whether it is due to cost or space, ergonomic office furniture at home may not be an option for all of us, lessening the likelihood that we are practicing good posture while working from home, thus, resulting in more pain.
How To Prevent the Pain
Limit the Time You WFB (Work from Bed)
We understand that one of the greatest pros of working form home is you can work from literally anywhere—you don’t even have to get out of bed!
But, just because you can stay in bed, does not mean you should. Sitting or lounging in bed while working is horrible for your posture.
Your legs are likely in funky positions and your computer screen is too low for comfortable viewing. If for some reason, you must work from bed, put a pillow behind your back and put your laptop on a pillow in your lap. These easy changes should greatly help with pain management.
Sit in a Comfortable and Adjustable Chair
You may not have an office chair and could be using a dining room chair for your new home office, if that is your only option, add some cushions to the chair and roll up a towel to place near your lower back for lumbar support.
In order to minimize back pain, you also want to make sure your feet are firmly on the ground. If you can’t reach the ground with your feet, use a footrest or a stack of books or anything you can find that will add some height.
Stretch it Out
Take frequent breaks so that you can stretch your muscles and give them a break. Even if you don’t feel like a full stretch, a walk around the house and some neck circles will do wonders for your back and neck pain.
Save Big on Healthcare!
For $75 per month plus tax, companies cover
80-90% of your employee's health needs.
Pain on the Sofa
If you like to switch up your scenery during the day and move from your chair or bed to the sofa, we have some ways to make it a little more comfortable. Typically, the sofa does not offer much support for your spine, resulting in lower back pain.
To alleviate that, sit on the edge of the couch with your feet on the floor and cushions behind your back for support. Just like with the bed, we recommend some cushions on your lap to raise your laptop up to a height that won’t cause you neck pain.
Perfect your Posture
While you work at home, it is important that you pay a little more attention than usual to your posture. This will aid with pain management.
Make sure that your shoulders are relaxed and that your head is in line with your body instead of sticking out at the computer. For optimal comfort, you want to be eye level with the middle of your computer monitor.
Hold your back straight and in a proper posture position and make sure your hands and forearms are parallel to the floor. You’ll also want to make sure your chair supports your lower back, if not you can add pillows. Also, make sure your work station is at the proper height so that you don’t find yourself leaning forward.
Don’t Put Your Neck into It
Make sure you use speakerphone, earbuds or a headset for phone calls. Otherwise you will find yourself tilting your head to hold the phone between your neck and shoulder, especially on longer calls or when you are trying to multitask, resulting in great pain.
Keep a Straight Neck
No matter where you are working from: desk, kitchen table, office chair, bed or couch, it is very important that you keep your neck straight while looking at your computer— otherwise you will find yourself in a lot of pain.
Make sure your screen is not angled so you don’t have to twist your neck just to look at it. If your laptop is small, prop it up with books or a box to get in the most ideal viewing position that places the screen straight in front of you.
A straight neck is also necessary when viewing paper documents. A lot of us have a tendency to look down when looking at anything, especially a document.
Instead of looking down, hold your head and neck straight and hold up the document so that you can keep the good posture position.
Don’t Stand Too Much
This one might sound counterproductive, but hear us out. It is healthy to walk, stand and stretch throughout the day but standing too much will make you more tired and can actually strain your circulatory system, your legs and your feet. Try standing when talking phone calls and on your breaks dedicated to walking and stretching.
If it seems like you are going to work from home for a prolonged period of time or even permanently, an investment in an ergonomic chair might be worth it. This will absolutely help you with pain management while also encouraging good posture and helping to alleviate any neck or back pain you may have while preventing future pain.
If you are having issues with pain management while you work at home or you want to find out more about direct primary care in Albuquerque, New Mexico, please contact us at Well Life ABQ. Our direct primary care providers can help you with pain management in Albuquerque. Among our many services that we offer is non-narcotic pain management.
Direct Primary Care is an approach to healthcare that a lot of employers are switching to due to its cost-saving benefits for both the employee and employer. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you!