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Up until 4 months ago, for most of us, work from home meant the occasional sick day from the couch with our computer on our laps for an hour or so while we sniffled our way through a season of Friends. The Coronavirus has changed all that, and whether you started the quarantine in March or April, you have now been working from home, in a makeshift office or sharing computer space with the kids or spouse, for over 90 days. The #quarantinelife being at home working in our jammies, sprawled on our couch, or hunched over the dining room table has become a pain in the neck. And back. And joints. 

Most office spaces create an ergonomic environment for their workers. This means they are comfortable and not straining anything. There are frequent reasons to get up and stretch or walk around. Why is it important to have ergonomics in place? The ergonomics of your workplace are designed and dedicated for maximum comfort and long term health benefits. Ergonomic office spaces can boost productivity and reduce injuries, creating a strong and healthy workforce. 

How does someone create a work from home environment that is ergonomic and doesn’t create chronic and long term back and neck pain? We’ve put together a few tips for you, well, you and the whole family. Don’t forget to include the kids. They are used to being at school, switching classes, playing at recess. 

Prevent back pain

Sit back in the chair and position your thighs horizontal to your knees at hip level. Rest your feet comfortably on the floor or on a footrest. Sit up straight, slouching pulls on your muscles. 

Get up and move

Take a break every hour for 10 minutes. Stretch. Walk around the house, put a load of laundry in, hug the kids. Taking this break from your computer is two-fold. You get to stretch and move and it will give your eyes a break from the screens, preventing eye strain. 

30 minutes every day

Spending 30 minutes every day on exercise will make a huge impact. Walking, doing a short yoga class, or workout. Those 30 minutes will give you more energy, boost your mood, and increase your productivity and creativity. It’s also a great way for you to burn some of the endless energy the kids have.

Avoid tech neck

Most of the meetings lately have been Zoom, increased phone calls and texts has definitely happened. Avoid the constant strain of looking at your phone or holding your phone between your ear and shoulder. Use headphones. Get a stand for your phone so it’s in front of you. Spread your phone time out. 

Use alarms

This may sound silly, but it’s a great way to remember to do things. Set an alarm for 30-40 minutes so you are getting up and stretching. If you have a smart watch, you can actually program it to notify you and give you a set of exercises to complete. Alarm for making sure you are drinking water, alarm to take a break and get a solid dose of Vitamin D. 

Avoid back and neck pain. Take the time to take breaks and take care of yourself. Set yourself up for success, it doesn’t take a special ergonomic office, it just takes care and dedication. The best part, you can continue with these practices when you do return to the office. 

Need a little more help, or want to get an assessment? Make an appointment with Dr. Drew. He can set up a comprehensive plan for adjustments and for at home to help reduce any issues from working at home. Each patient has his full attention, receives a comprehensive evaluation and the whole team works together for the total focus of your health. Availability to answer emails or phone calls when you have a question.

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