1…2…3… It’s time to stretch! A short guide on how to avoid back pain

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Think about that for a moment. You’ve just gotten comfortable in your remote working style.  Unfortunately, there is one major issue. Your whole body suffers from the eight hours a day you spend working on the top of your bed or at coffee shops with antique chairs fashioned by someone who obviously has never seen a human being. What are your options? You can’t waste your time away from the road by commuting to a shared office place every day.

In any case, you’re in luck since I know the solutions.

Most homes lack the square footage necessary to house modern ergonomic office equipment, and even fewer individuals would voluntarily shell out the cash to buy such items, even if they perform the majority of their work away from the office. If you work from home, you may be sitting on a lounge chair or even your bed while using your computer on a standard table or kitchen countertop. It’s likely that wherever you’ve set up camp for the day, your posture isn’t ideal. It may not be a big deal if you did this for a few days or weeks, but our stay at home is now stretching into months. 

Now the question is, what can you do? Neutral posture, in which no portion of the body is bent or twisted uncomfortably, should be maintained for as much of your workday as possible; breaks should be taken to increase blood flow. This means keeping in mind the following 10 guidelines for effective computer work:

Keep your head up and your neck straight while you use a computer.

Elevate your screen to eye level for optimal viewing. Don’t stare at a tabletop device like a laptop or a handheld mobile screen. Some individuals like to work with their keyboard and mouse in front of them and their screen off to the side, however this may lead to neck stiffness from constantly swiveling your head to look at the screen. It may be necessary to prop up your desktop monitor, laptop screen, or both atop a stack of books or a cardboard box so that they are at eye level.

Place your monitor at an angle to a window for optimum viewing in strong light.

Don’t work with your back to a window because the light coming in will generate a glare on your screen, and don’t work in front of a window since you’ll be gazing into the light, both of which may induce visual eye strain. Your screen should be oriented perpendicular to the window unless you have operable window coverings. It is recommended to cover a glass desk to reduce the amount of reflected light.

Keep your head up straight while checking printed papers.

Avoid reading from a flat surface like an iPad or stacks of papers on the table to avoid frequent head movements. Use a vertical document holder or prop up an iPad on a stand to easily switch between your electronic reading material and your laptop or computer screen.

Adjust the height of your keyboard, mouse, and touchpad so that you can work with ease.

A separate keyboard and mouse should be used if your laptop has been elevated to see the screen properly. Make sure your forearms and hands are level and straight when using the keyboard and mouse, and keep your mouse arm near to your side of the body. In order to reach the hand, nerves go from the neck, via the shoulder, elbow, and wrist. There is no pressure on the nerves while your arm is by your side, but you increase your risk of neck and shoulder pain by holding it out to the side.

Avoid using pillow-wrist support.

Despite its apparent benefit, placing anything under your wrists increases the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome by compressing the flexor tendons of your fingers and the median nerve.

Switch between using your keyboard and mouse and your voice.

Most emails and texts can be read accurately using voice recognition. Your hands, wrists, and arms may have a break while you do this.

Relax back in your seat.

Don’t force yourself to sit up straight or slouch forward in your chair like a turtle. In this position, your tummy protrudes and your lower back folds inward. This natural swaying of the spine is called lordosis, and it’s the most comfortable position for your lower back. The intervertebral lumbar discs take a significant amount of strain when the lumbar spine curves outwards (a condition known as kyphosis) due to forward leaning. Thus, it is recommended that you sit in such a manner as to support the lordotic curvature of your lumbar spine. It’s important to be able to lean back in your chair and put part of your weight on the back of the chair while yet being near enough to the desk to easily reach the keyboard and mouse. Put a cushion or rolled-up towel behind your lower back if the chair lacks enough back support. If you don’t have the funds for an ergonomic chair, this will have to do.

Put your toes flat on the floor or a footrest while you’re seated.

Whether you need a box, a stack of books, a cushion, or a footrest to get your feet flat on the floor, you’ve come to the right place. Don’t squeeze your thighs together by letting your feet hang over the back of the chair; this raises your chance of developing a deep vein thrombosis in your legs and feet.

Avoid spending too much time working in bed 

If you don’t sit on the edge of the bed, your legs will be crossed or stretched horizontally to support your laptop, making it much more uncomfortable than a chair. You’ll have to stoop down in order to see the display properly from there. If a bed is all you have, prop your laptop on a cushion and lay your head on a pillow. To avoid having to hunch over when typing on a laptop, you may either do it naturally or get a small table upon which to set the device.

Always take breaks from standing when using a computer.

Ergonomists have known for a long time that standing to work requires more energy than sitting and puts a greater strain on the circulatory system and the legs and feet, but the widespread availability of standing desks has led many people to believe that standing is the healthier option for their bodies. It has been associated with the worsening of carotid atherosclerosis in males. The dangers of developing varicose veins are also raised by having to stand for long periods of time. Phone calls are best made and taken while standing and moving about. Every twenty to thirty minutes, get up and walk about for a minute or two to refresh your blood and oxygen supply and ease your muscles. Fetch up and go get some water or brew some tea or coffee. Try not to stand for long periods of time at work.

Use these guidelines to create a more functional and comfortable workspace at home. The more you move, while working, the less likely you are to get back problems.

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