More people than ever work from home. The COVID-19 outbreak, plus increased convenience, faster internet and flexible working have all made home working more necessary and more attractive.
With so many of us spending multiple hours of the day working in front of a screen at home, there has also been an increase in complaints about back and other joint pains. Studies also show that one third of home workers put in longer hours when at home – so it’s absolutely crucial that this space is comfortable and doesn’t cause pain or discomfort.
Not everyone has the space, materials or knowledge to create the perfect home working environment; but it should at least be comfortable.
Let’s take a look at the common mistakes people make that lead to discomfort and what you can to do avoid them:
1. Sitting in a bad chair
The wrong type of chair can cause a whole host of pains and discomfort. If you’re sitting at a computer for long periods of time, your body needs to be properly supported. An expensive office chair may not be in your budget, but at very least you should have:
- Height adjustment
- Lumbar support
Other adjustments that can help to ensure the chair is most suited to your body include:
- Height adjustable armrests
- Seat depth
- Chair recline tilt
- Seat angle tilt
2. Laptop use/screen wrong height
Laptops are convenient for using on the go, but alone, they aren’t necessarily the best long-term solution. Without a laptop stand or external monitor your most likely going to sit hunched over, looking down on the screen.
It is generally recommended to:
- Adjust the screen so that the the top is at or slightly below eye level.
- Position the monitor or laptop at arms length.
3. Working from the couch
Working from the couch can put lots of strains on your body and is really not the ideal solution for long-term use.
4. Bad posture
It’s very easy to adopt a bad posture when working at computer screens. From hunching forwards to sitting with our legs crossed, behind us or our arms close up
Bad posture for prolonged periods can lead to chronic pain which sometimes requires adjustment from a chiropractor to fix.
5. Not taking enough breaks
Too much screen time can cause eye strain and pains from sitting in the same position for so long.
American Optometric Association and the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommend the 20/20/20 rule to help reduce eyestrain.
- Work at the screen for 20 minutes
- Look at something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds
It can be a good idea to use a browser extension or desktop application to remind you to take regular breaks and get up from time to time to give your body a rest.
If you are experiencing long term pains while working at home you may be able to benefit from an adjustment from a qualified chiropractor.
Allexi Chiropractic, Acupuncture and Wellness Center in Waterford, WI is top-rated by numerous customers in the local area. Read our reviews.