Do you know that the way you sit while working can affect your health?
Coronavirus has made most of us work from home. For many of us, this experience is completely a new situation. Adjusting to this new way of working may still be tough for many, add to it, uncomfortable postures in the absence of proper desk tables which we are accustomed to- in our offices.
As the COVID-19 crisis gets pandemic, many of us work from home and end up sitting comfortably on the bean bag, sofa with our laptops. Many of us may also carry a laptop to bed and work with cushions to support our back. While this may work for a day or two, but over -time sitting in these postures can harm our overall health.
It is difficult to maintain perfect posture all day. In the comfort of our homes, we do tend to slouch in one direction or another and drop our chin on hands while reading and bend toward the monitor risking our neck.
The poor body structure is a common phenomenon especially when the laptop and neck alignment is flawed which may lead to back pain below the neck and lower back pain. Besides, you may also gain weight or feel fatigued if you do not maintain a proper body posture.
Why does Work from home induce Neck and Lower Back Pain?
- Straining the upper back and cervical spine to work on laptop/ computer screens.
- Working in a hunched position.
- Absence of a proper workspace set-up.
- Working on the couch or in bed for long hours.
What may start as a pain in the neck and shoulder pain may take the shape of lingering chronic pain. If you have felt that sudden pain creeping up, it may be a sign that prolonged sitting is taking an adverse toll on your body. The two main causes of back pain are poor posture and a weak core.
Why is a Posture important?
A good posture holds your body while you are standing, sitting, or performing any household tasks like lifting, bending, pulling, or reaching out to get something. A good posture means the right alignment of the bones of the spine and the vertebrae, or the even distribution of the body weight across the spine, shoulders, knees, ankles, and hips.
The payoff of a good posture is huge, it means less strain and stress on muscles, joints, and ligaments, and a reduced risk for lower back pain and neck and shoulder pain.
Assessing your Posture
To assess whether you are standing in the correct posture of not, stand in front of a full-length mirror and hold your head straight with your ears level, check-
- Whether your shoulders look even?
- Is the space between your arms and sides equal?
- Are your hips level across?
A good posture means that both of your kneecaps should point straight ahead, with relaxed knees. Your ankles should also be straight; do not roll them in, this will lead to your weight falling on the inside of your feet, causing foot and ankle pain.
Classic signs of a Poor Posture-
- Rounded shoulders
- Bent knees when standing or walking
- Forward or Backward leaning head
- Lower Back pain
- Constant body aches and pains
- Muscle fatigue
How bad is a Bad Posture?
- A bad posture promotes back pain hurting the spinal cord
- Can affect the function of your abdominal organs
- Affect breathing and oxygen intake, causing headaches
- Constant cramps in the neck and back may also affect mood.
Lower back pain and Neck pain Relief measures
- Identify a comfortable quiet corner of your home where you can set up your work from home office. Add a table and a comfortable chair which ensures the neck- laptop/ computer screen alignment is well- maintained. This will stop you from slouching from your couch or bed and ensure a positive work environment.
- Don’t forget to exercise every day. The work from home advantage is you can exercise at your schedule. You can ask your kids and family to join the exercise. It is good to perform stretching exercises 45-60 minutes to boost your muscle flexibility.
- It is harmful to hold a phone over your shoulder. Get a headset, use the hands-free option, acquire a speakerphone don’t move your neck on your shoulders while talking on the phone.
- While you are designing your workspace arrange your table to keep laptop and monitor at the eye level. Keeping your head inclined all day exponentially increases the amount of stress around your neck. Eye-level screens point that your neck will have to take the normal weight of your head.
- While you work from home, stretch your neck muscles by turning your head right-left every 15 minutes.
- It is good to take breaks. Instead of sitting at a desk for hours altogether, take a break every in every half hour- get up stretch, and walk for 5 minutes for a strong neck and lower back.
Posture correction for Neck and Lower back pain
- Perform regular exercises, like Surya-namaskar, Mini-Cobra in Yoga, Upper-body stretch, Shoulder blade squeeze, Arm-across-chest stretch exercises.
- To prevent muscle fatigue, shift positions, walk inside your home and move around for five minutes every 30 minutes to an hour.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. Exercise, dance with your kids it is even more fun.
- Scan your sitting space, avoid sitting in soft chairs.
Additional Health risks of Neck and Lower back pain
- Poor ergonomics can lead to the development of musculoskeletal disorders.
- Increase in the number of cardiovascular diseases and risk of Type 2 diabetes.
- Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) like carpal tunnel syndrome and back injuries.
Consulting a Therapist
For a frozen neck, increasing concerns about your posture, consider a digital consultation with a specialist trained to evaluate posture. To book an appointment with the best Physiotherapist, Osteopath around you, download the Gigadocs app.
- Manage your complete healthcare on the Gigadocs app. Through the Gigadocs app, you can book a doctor’s appointment for yourself and your family.
- Save your prescriptions in a digital format and share it with your doctors in a live environment.
- Check your vitals like steps walked, blood pressure metrics and discuss them live with your medical practitioners.
- Follow up notifications and storage of medical records digitally.
Book medical specialists around you on the Gigadocs app.
Download Gigadocs app-