Your back deserves care and support even when working from home. Here are the best tips for spinal care when you’ve been sitting all day.
As the pandemic continues to force people to work from home, workers have no choice but to adapt to the changes that come along. Though the idea of working from home seems easy considering you’re in the comforts of your house, it couldn’t be any further from the truth.
If your work from home setup requires you to sit in front of a computer for several hours, then there is a risk of developing health issues like back pain. Studies say that about 31 million Americans feel back pain at any given time.
Hence, understanding spinal care and back pain are paramount. But how do you take care of your back when working at home?
Continue reading below for some essential tips for avoiding back pain.
Start Your Day With Stretching
One of the aspects that back pain affects is your mobility. You need to keep your muscles flexible as much as possible. To do this, start your day right with some stretching exercises.
Before you head to your work desk, stretch out your back. Do this regardless if you’re experiencing pain in your lower, mid, or upper back.
For the stretching exercises, there are two simple ones you can try. First is the knee to chest.
Set up your mat and lie on your back.
Make sure your legs are flat against the floor. From a straight position, slowly bend your left leg up. You want to place your hand over your left knee to keep your leg in place.
Hold this position for about 30 seconds, then gently bring your leg down to the ground. Do the same thing with the other leg.
Another exercise is the side bend. Start in a standing position then slide your right hand slowly down your right leg’s side. Continue stretching until you feel some discomfort.
Thereafter, hold your position for about 10 seconds, then slowly return to your upright standing position. Do the same thing with your left hand and left leg.
Observe Proper Neck Position
When viewing your computer screen, it is not enough that you get a clear view and proper lighting. You should also practice proper neck position. Maintain a straight neck when facing the computer.
What you want to avoid is looking down at your screen the way you do with your mobile phone. Furthermore, avoid positioning your computer screen at an angle. Doing so will force you to twist your neck.
Keep the screen directly in front of your line of sight. The rule of thumb is to have the top of your screen at eye level. Moreover, the monitor should be an arm’s length away from you.
Additionally, maintain a straight neck when reading paper documents. When you’re working on your desk, place the paper in a vertical position on a document holder.
Mind Your Chair
Your chair also plays a big role in keeping back pain away. Also, the way you sit on your chair matters. But let’s deal with the chair first.
Office chairs can be quite expensive. Some people use their regular chairs from the dining table as a substitute. This can work, as long as you place some pillows on your back for extra padding.
If you have the budget for it, invest in a good lumbar support pillow.
If you’re buying an office chair, make sure to get one that has an ergonomic design. Moreover, you want a chair that you can recline. Additionally, go for a chair that comes with adjustable height.
Take Regular Breaks
Even if you have the most comfortable chair or the proper screen position, we still cannot emphasize enough the importance of taking regular breaks. Ideally, you should take a break every 30 minutes.
Around 5-10 minutes of standing and walking should be fine. Consider stretching during these breaks.
Since you are indoors most of the time, make sure to get enough sunlight. Stand by the window and get your daily dose of vitamin D. Get a glimpse of what is happening outside.
Regardless of how busy your day is, don’t forget to hydrate. This doesn’t mean drinking water only during your lunch break. Instead, you need to hydrate throughout the day.
Drinking lots of water will help your body eliminate toxins. It will also keep your skin and muscles healthy. Additionally, drinking lots of water will reduce the chances of experiencing eye strain and headaches.
Thus, invest in a good water container that you will fill with water every morning. Take sips every once in a while as you get busy with work.
Don’t Forget to Exercise
Last but not least, you need to incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine. The key to a good and healthy back is to keep your body moving.
For starters, you can walk or jog around your house. If you have a bicycle, go for a few rounds around the corner.
Reserve at least 30 minutes of your time each day for exercise. You can do a combination of squats, arm circles, shoulder circles, and reverse lunges. Do 10 reps for each exercise.
When Back Pain Requires Serious Spinal Care
Sometimes, people experience chronic back pain. No matter what exercise or seating adjustments they use, they continue to feel pain. These are the times when your condition may require a more serious form of spinal care.
Aside from severe back pain that doesn’t go away, loss of sensation in your legs or difficulty moving your legs merits a visit to your doctor. Do the same thing if you’re having problems with your bowel or bladder function.
These symptoms may be signs of a more serious underlying condition.
Become Healthier Even at Home
Learning about proper spinal care is essential with or without a pandemic. By keeping your back strong and healthy, you can do more things faster and keep pain and discomfort at bay.
But back pain is only one of the many health issues that may affect you as you stay at home.
We invite you to read our other articles and increase your knowledge of health and wellness. We discuss various topics that will help keep you stronger and healthier at home.