Are you struggling with nagging back pain while working remotely?
If so, you're not alone. I know firsthand how frustrating it can be.
At first, the flexibility of working from home was a welcome change, but soon enough, I began to notice that my body was feeling the impact of my sedentary lifestyle.
Fortunately, there are simple solutions that I can attest really work.
That's why I've put together 10 helpful tips to help you reduce your back pain and make your home office setup more ergonomic.
By implementing these tips, I've been able to improve my posture, reduce pain, and increase my productivity while enjoying many of the freedoms that working remotely affords...
… you will too!
Step 1: Setup your workstation correctly
Adjust your chair, desk, and monitor to ensure that you're sitting in a comfortable, ergonomic position.
Your feet should be flat on the ground or on a footrest, your knees bent at a 90-degree angle, and your monitor at eye level. Here is a great link from the renowned Mayo clinic that shows you how step-by-step.
Step 2: Take breaks often
Avoid sitting in one position for too long.
Every 30-45 minutes or so, stand up, stretch, and walk around for a few minutes to give your back and brain a well-deserved break.
Check out this online "Pomodoro technique" timer to help remind you when to do so!
Step 3: Move your body regularly
Regular stretching and movement breaks can help keep your back and hips feeling less tight preventing the pain from kicking in.
Check out this series of exercises which includes easy blood flow-promoting movements that you can do at your desk from "Raising the roof", the "Hallelujah", to the "Hulk".
Step 4: Use a supportive chair
Invest in a good-quality chair that provides adequate lumbar support.
Try this affordable and well-rated one by Homall.
Step 5: Use an adjustable height desk or raiser
Consider using an adjustable height sit-to-stand desk, which can help reduce the amount of time you spend sitting (or standing!!) in one position.
Two highly rated choices are the: Vari-desk Essential 36, and the FLEXISPOT EC1 Electric Height Adjustable standing desk.
Step 6: Use an active footrest
If your feet don't touch the ground, use a footrest to keep your legs at a comfortable angle.
In addition, it's important to remember to keep your blood flow moving by pumping your calves - so an active footrest becomes a great way to do this. Try the FM300 by Human scale.
Step 7: Take advantage of technology
Sometimes using technology is an efficient way to reduce the amount of time you spend sitting at your desk.
Consider using an activity tracker like the apple watch to remind you to keep moving, or using a website blocker like "Self-control" to stop wasting time visiting distracting websites.
Step 8: Maintain good posture
Avoid slouching and maintain good posture while sitting.
This isn’t always easy to remember to do when you are engrossed in your work.
In this situation, put your laptop on a raiser, or invest in a secondary monitor and ensure that it is elevated so you are looking directly at it, vs. down towards it like you would if you were using a laptop.
Step 9: Invest in a wireless headset
If you spend a lot of time on the phone or video conferencing, invest in a wireless headset to untether yourself from your computer and chair... and move around.
Try this one - Plantronics voyager
Step 10: Stand on a compression mat
To reduce the pressure on your low back when you stand, invest in a compression mat.
Try the Vari anti-fatigue standing mat.
Don't let back pain hinder your productivity and comfort any longer.
Start implementing these tips today and feel the difference for yourself!
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