The COVID-19 pandemic spurred a work-from-home movement that for many has created more flexibility in their schedule- but unfortunately not in their backs. If you’ve been working from home consistently and are experiencing frequent, lingering lower back pain, your home office set-up may be to blame. Working longer hours, poor posture, and not having an ergonomically adjusted chair can all result in back pain. Read on to learn more about how working from home may be causing your back pain, and what you can do about it. 

Your Home Office May Be Causing Back Pain

Our experts at Coastal Chiropractic note that the rapidness people were sent home to work when the pandemic hit gave most remote workers little to no time for setting up a proper office space. Moreover, without the usual workplace distractions, people often sit for 3-4 hours at a time without getting up, leading to poor posture that can result in back pain. 

The stress of juggling life at home, childcare, and remote work can also make people more prone to back pain due to tightness in muscles, ramped-up cortisol, and decreased circulation in the body. This creates a perfect storm of factors that cause back and neck pain. 

Setting Up An Ergonomic Home Office

The 3 Ps are essential when setting up an office space that helps to improve back and neck pain:

  • Posture
  • Put it close
  • Positional changes

Posture

Having proper posture helps to alleviate stress from your elbows and neck. Prolonged periods of sitting forces your spine’s natural “S” curve into a “C” curve, stressing your ligaments, muscles, tissue, and discs. The following tips can help position yourself properly in your chair:

  • Elbows should rest by your sides with wrists resting easily on a soft oor round surface like a hand towel oor wrist gel pad.
  • Ears should be over your shoulders and not in front
  • Feet should be flat on a surface
  • Your chair should support your lower back

Put it close

Adjust your seat height so that your eyes are lined up three inches below the top of your computer screen, or tilt your laptop screen back to just off-vertical at 120 degrees. Other tips to keep your computer and screen appropriately aligned with your posture include:

  • Keyboard and screen should be directly in front of you with the mouse to the side of your keyboard. You can move your mouse back if it moves away from you
  • Screen should be kept no more than an arm’s length

You can purchase a freestanding keyboard if you’re working from a laptop, since it will let you raise your screen to the appropriate height without elevating your arms to type.

Positional changes

Try not to stay stationary when you’re working. Rather, try to get up every 45-50 minutes, even just to walk around the room. There are 360 joints in the human body that require consistent movement to remain healthy. Your body has to move to circulate blood through the body, which helps decrease stiffness and pain. 

Some quick and simple movements you can use to keep your body loose during a stretch break include:

  • 3 neck rolls from neck to shoulder
  • 3 big shoulder circles moving shoulders backward
  • 5 squats in front of your chair
  • 2 large breaths, billowing air out forcefully

Contact Us Today

If your back pain persists, visit Coastal Chiropractic for an appointment with our highly skilled chiropractic professionals. Call Coastal Chiropractic to schedule an appointment today!