With the order to stay at home to stymie the spread of the coronavirus, workers had to make do with makeshift home offices. But it comes with a cost -- physical discomfort can stem from working in a place that is not ergonomically sound. One of the body parts that suffer most is the back, which bears the brunt of less activity and too much sitting on hard surfaces.
Your back, being an important muscle in the body, has the strength and ability to see you through the day. But most of our daily activities wreak havoc on our back, especially if we sit at a desk for a long period. Having a sedentary work can also affect the back and may lead to more serious problems as the discomfort can reach to your legs and hips as well. This is why it is important to protect your back and not to ignore any strains that are already bothering you.
What can you do?
All hope is not lost for those who experience back pain. With interventions and small changes in your work routine, you can save your back in no time.
- Take a break - Pausing from work is important for your mind but also for your back. It does not have to be drastic at all. It can be taking advantage of the afternoon lull when you have finished your deliverables or waiting for your boss’ response. Or maybe, to put a twist on your Zoom meetings, you can make things more interesting by doing stretches with your colleagues.
- Mind your posture - Your posture is a big factor when it comes to back care. When you slouch or crane your neck, you are hurting your spine’s alignment. This article says that the ideal workstation setup is where the computer monitor is positioned at an eye-level height or slightly below. Those who work with gadgets must be conscious of the tech neck to avoid strains on the spine. To add, the screen should also be an arm’s length away to protect the back and wrist from injury.
- Do back exercises - Doing exercises that target the back is a good thing, too. Strengthening the back muscles will not only make you look and feel good, but it will also make it less prone to problems. Exercises like planking, supermans, and sun salutations only need bodyweight so you don’t have to worry about added equipment.
- Stay active - Moving more is important to avoid a sedentary lifestyle. But alternating between sitting and standing will also alleviate the pressure on the back. Try to walk around or do yoga stretches. Reuters notes that regularly engaging in physical activities may reduce the risk of chronic low back pain.
- Buy ergonomic furniture - Good ergonomics is essential for any workstation. If you want to lessen your back pain, you need to find ergonomic furniture that will support your body’s natural alignment. Buying an ergonomic chair can be your initial step if you are budget-strapped. But if you want to add more without breaking the bank, a low-cost option would be to buy a desk converter like this. That is a smart move if you don’t want to replace your current desk but want an equipment that will help you stand or sit throughout the day.
Turn your back on old working ways
Trying out the above-mentioned tips will help you to have a healthier and stronger back. Just be consistent with your back care routine and you will soon enjoy a healthier body sans any pain.