With the current shift to working from home this year, many of us are forced to work from our kitchen tables, couches, and even beds. Before this pandemic, the average American was sitting about 6.5 hours per day. These days, many of us who are now working from home are not only sitting more, we’re also no longer sitting correctly without office luxuries, our usual work stations, chairs, and desk setups. Does this sound familiar?
Have YOU been experiencing more back pain since working from home?
Do you find yourself working from your bed, your couch, or dining room table, and unable to find a comfortable solution? Do you think this is common and something you’ll have to just ‘deal with’? A poor work set up and improper sitting for long periods are large contributors to neck and back pain. If this is something you are experiencing, you are not alone, and there IS a solution.
Here are the top 4 common mistakes you are likely making with your work from home set up - AND some expert advice from a physical therapist on how you can change these habits to help alleviate your pain!
#1: Not using a desk!
If you have found yourself working at home without a desk, this is likely a large contributor to your neck or back pain. Our dining room, kitchen tables, and couches were not designed with ergonomics in mind. That cute dining room chair was not designed with an 8 hour work day in mind! Working without a desk can lead to poor posture, slouching, and ultimately a lot of strain on your neck and back. Over time this can lead to the pain, soreness and tightness you are feeling.
#2: Moving your ‘work space’ from room to room throughout the day.
Have you been trying to move throughout your living space during the work day, searching for a comfortable position to work in? Moving from room to room seems like a good idea... but in reality, you are likely just moving between slouched positions in each workspace. The spot on the floor in front of your couch is putting just as much strain on your neck and back as the dining room table!
#3: Relying on your laptop...
If you are working remotely from your laptop, this can be another large contributor to your neck and/or back pain. Laptops were designed just for that - the lap. The attached keyboard and low monitor position is not designed for a full work day. This screen positioning causes us to crane our necks forward, and the attached keyboard does not allow for readjustments and can cause strain in shoulders and neck.
#4: Taking calls from your cell phone
...especially while also typing, writing, or making lunch.... all while holding the phone between your shoulder and ear! Holding this position for any amount of time creates tension not only in you neck & upper back but also in your jaw... which can lead to a whole new set of symptoms.
So how do you fix these common mistakes? How can you set up a workspace that will help - not hurt - your back and neck throughout the day?
And even more importantly... what is the root cause of this pain in the first place? Even though slouching on the couch during your work day may be new, and has likely been a large contributor to your current pain, it's not necessarily the cause... just the most recent factor that has brought to the surface a recurring problem. The real question is... what's the underlying cause?
That’s where we come in. Join us for a FREE virtual workshop with back pain expert and physical therapist, Dr. Casey Murphy. Register here to learn more about how to fix these top 4 mistakes AND how to prevent your back pain from ever coming back again!
Join us on Tuesday August 18th at 4pm (MST) for this free workshop and ask a physical therapist YOUR questions about back pain and working from home.
Empower PT & Pilates
We help you find a LASTING SOLUTION to back, hip, and pelvic issues so you can age with ease -without having to rely on painkillers, injections, or surgery!
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