A lot of us are working from home amid the worldwide pandemic currently happening. This is nothing new to some. Maybe you have a nice, comfortable office space complete with a supporting chair. However, to others, this is anything but normal, and maybe your office is a kid’s art table and chair.
Whatever your situation is, a lot of us are finding ourselves sitting and working more often than not. This can mean experiencing more and new aches and pains that weren’t noticed while working in the office. This is because most offices furnish their desks with ergonomic furniture and most employees get up and walk around the office for various reasons throughout the day. There is no water cooler at home.
These weeks have turned to months for working at home, and they have strained our bodies not only mentally, but physically. These new aches and pains may lead us down a road to debilitating muscle injuries such as bad backs, sore necks, and achy shoulders.
To avoid going down this path, make sure you are spending as much time as you are able working in a neutral position where no body part is awkwardly bent or twisted. Also, try to move around every 30 minutes. You want to walk around and get yourself a cup of coffee or water. If you can, try to stretch. There are a plethora of apps and online sites that will help you figure out what back exercises to do to stay limber. There are even health sites that will help with lumbar disc bulge exercises.
If you work at a computer, try to view your screen with a straight neck. This means putting your screen at a comfortable viewing height. We tend to look down at laptop screens, so you may want to evaluate your computer to combat this habit.
After you have found the best height for your screen, make sure it is sideways to a bright window. This will minimize eye strain from a glare and you don’t want your back to your screen because the incoming light will cause a glare on it. Also, you won’t be straining your neck and back to look away from a screen if it is too bright. If you have blue light glasses, make sure you wear those as well.
Also, don’t read from an iPad or papers that are flat on your desk or table to where you are constantly moving your head up and down. If you go back from a screen to reading material, use a vertical document holder or iPad stand to relieve this strain.
Since your computer is at a comfortable height in front of you, so should your keyboard. Your keyboard and mouse should be used with your forearms and hands level and straight. Also, your arm should be close to the side of your body when you use a mouse. You have nerves that leave your neck and run down your shoulder, elbow and wrist, so when your arm is at your side, the nerves aren’t compromised. The more you have to stretch, the greater chance there will be to strain your back, neck, or shoulder.
Other small tips are to make sure you sit back in your chair and limit the time you spend working in bed. Also try to limit the time you spend standing. Just following some of these tips at your home work environment can help you lessen your chance of injury.