Stay Painfree as you Continue to Work from Home
WORKING FROM HOME
Most of us continue to work from home and, although I remain optimistic, it looks like many of us will continue to do so for an extended period.
Recently, I was listening to a family member complaining of low back pain. They were working from their couch, bent over a laptop that rested on a coffee table. With the rest of their family locked into working in the kitchen and bedrooms, this was the only available option. It made me consider how many more of us are experiencing the same scenario. The fact of the matter is, there are many of us placing new physical loads on our bodies due to the sudden change in our working environments.
In trying to figure out what to do to combat this, most of us will turn to the internet and be swamped by the vast amount of information on how we should sit and how we should set up our workstations. Very often this are difficult to implement and is associated with the suggestion of a particular piece of equipment or furniture.
S0, HOW DO WE WORK FROM HOME AND REMAIN PAINFREE?
The most important factor associated with remaining pain-free is movement. Science has shown us that it isn’t so much how we sit but the length of time we spend sitting that is directly associated with developing pain. Our posture needs to be fluid. This means it needs to be altered frequently. Within the physiotherapy literature it is often quoted that, “YOUR BEST POSTURE IS YOUR NEXT POSTURE”, meaning move! Our joints, discs and muscles are designed to move so even with what you might believe to be the best posture you can still irritate your tissues if you spend long periods being still and inactive.
MY TOP TIPS FOR STAYING PAINFREE WITH SITTING BASED JOBS
- MOVE: As I have already discussed, regular movement is essential. I suggest that you create a change in position and move every 20 – 30 minutes.
- Roll your shoulders, reach overhead, rotate your head looking over each shoulder.
- Get a minimum of 1 walk daily. 20-30 minutes is a fair target and if you can get it in on a lunchtime to break up your working day, then great.
- Look away from your screen and focus on something further away from your screen,
- Stand whenever possible. If you’re on a phone call, if you need time to think, try and get into the habit of doing it in standing.
- Break your day up into blocks no greater than 40-45 minutes. Grab a tea/water stand in the garden or open a window and draw in some fresh air.
- Away from work duties, make sure you get a good night sleep. The association of reduced sleep and pain has been well documented.
Roberto Pelosi is the founder and principal Physiotherapist at Premier Physiotherapy. He has over 25 years experience as a Physiotherapist, working in the United States, Australia, the UK and Ireland. He and the team at Premier Physiotherapy are committed to helping clients remain painfree, mobile, independent and doing the things they love to do.