Have you noticed that you’re more sore since the quarantine has begun? Working from home may be the reason! Let’s take a look at how working from home affects our bodies and how we can combat those negative effects with stretches and exercises to support a healthy lifestyle in this new normal.
The Pains of Working from Home
Working from home coupled with the need to stay inside is likely causing us all to be a bit more sedentary. Sitting in front of a computer screen or desk for the majority of the day is not healthy, especially when we sit down to watch a movie or to relax after work.
Poor Desk Posture
Many people who work from home do not have their computers, desks, and chairs configured in a way that is healthy for their posture. As we detailed in a previous article, improper sitting posture when you are working at a desk can cause neck and back pain. You may not feel it immediately, but sitting in a position where you are looking downward for an extended period could injure your neck or back muscles. Keeping your muscles in these strained positions for an extended amount of time forces those muscles to be overworked and can result in pain and soreness. As your body tries to heal those muscles, you can even develop arthritis in nearby joints.
In order to keep the muscles in your neck and back from being overworked, you need to have good sitting posture. If you find yourself hunched over your computer or if your feet are not planted on the ground, you likely need to reconfigure your workstation.
Improving your Sitting Posture
To improve your posture when working at your desk, your computer needs to be put at eye-level. This will prevent you from straining your neck and putting your back in harmful positions. This can be done by repositioning your monitor height by putting it on risers or adjusting the height of your chair.
Your chair is also a very important part of your workstation set-up. Not only does your chair need to be in the proper position to maintain a healthy posture, but the chair itself is just as important. Since you are spending the majority of the day in a seated position, office chairs that are ergonomic and have lumbar support will be kind to your back. Also, it is helpful to position your chair so that your computer is at eye-level, but remember not to make your chair too high. For the best possible posture, you’ll want your feet planted on the ground. So, if you’re using a laptop, we highly recommend getting a second screen.
Stretches and Exercises
Proper posture is a key way to relieve sore or tight muscles while you sit at your desk, but taking the time to stand up and get some movement in is important as well. If you’re not able to take a break while working from home, standing up during your workday is beneficial. If possible, investing in a desk that converts to a standing table would be extremely helpful. These desks allow you to raise your workspace and work at your computer while you stand up. If you are able to take periodic breaks throughout your workday, we recommend doing these three stretches to help avoid a stiff neck and back.
Stretches aren’t the only way to combat muscle pain caused by poor posture. These easy exercises can combat the negative effects of improper sitting posture and can reduce shoulder and neck pain.
Easy Exercises to Combat Poor Posture
Shoulder Pain & Neck Pain Exercises to Reduce Discomfort & Pain
Working at your computer all day followed by sitting down to watch a movie or relax after work can be detrimental to your health. It may seem like there aren’t a lot of options for movement during quarantine, but there is a lot you can do without exercise equipment. Make sure you’re staying active during this pandemic by getting outside to take regular walks, taking online exercise classes, and moving your body in any way you can.
We’ve put together some suggestions for staying active as well as some exercises you can do at home without any equipment. We’ve also compiled a Pinterest board with ways to keep moving and healthy during this time. Be sure to check out our other health-related boards, where we share all kinds of at-home stretches and exercises, online classes, and advice on how to stay healthy.
We hope that these tips will help you stay active and healthy while you are working from home during the quarantine. A healthy lifestyle helps support a healthy mind! At Progressive Spine & Rehab Center, we’re always here to help you live your best and healthiest life. We hope that you’re all staying well!