Post-pandemic, more Americans than ever are working from home. As reported by WRAL in 2021, a WalletHub study ranked North Carolina number 2 in the list of best U.S. States for working remotely.
Remote or hybrid arrangements have been a blessing for many workers, but, of course, there’s a catch. The New York Times recently published interesting findings, including that “92 percent of chiropractors” have reported a jump in patient complaints of neck pain, back pain, and other musculoskeletal issues. This makes sense, since many of us have been working, as the Times put it, “on sofas and beds and awkward kitchen counters.” (They’re not wrong!)
Even if you’re working from a real desk and chair set up, you may not be aware of best practices for spinal and joint health as you’re working from home. The results could translate to aches and pains after you’ve been plugging away in front of the computer. As your Triangle chiropractor, Team Chiro is here to help fix this problem for you. Read on to learn more!
Ergonomic Workspace Setup
If you’re suffering from pain during the workday, checking your posture and your surroundings is the place to start. Here are some crucial tips you can use to make sure you’re well-positioned to avoid an overuse injury:
- Don’t look down: If you’re looking down frequently during the day (a common problem for laptop users), you’ll need to adjust your posture. Looking down too much during the day can lead to pressure on the discs and joints of your spine and even cause muscle imbalances in your neck. Raising your laptop or monitor to eye level is important for maintaining a natural body position.
- Don’t cramp up: Your thighs and arms should be parallel to the floor while you’re working at your desk (you’re working at a desk, around you?). In all seriousness, working from the couch, kitchen counter, or worse, your bed, will wreak havoc on your neck and back. If your arms are always reaching up or down, consider an adjustable desk topper (or a stack of books), as well as an external keyboard or mouse to help get your hands in the right place.
- Maintain a Well-Lit, Quiet Area. If you’re straining your eyes to see or constantly trying to block out external noises, you could be adding stress to your body without realizing it.
Move Every Day
If you recently started working from, you’re probably getting a lot less movement than you were when you worked in the office. Instead of walking around the office to make copies, grab lunch, or talk to a coworker, everything you need is comparably close by… or at least within your own home. Still, it’s important to switch up your body’s position by moving, at least a little bit, every day. Whether you’re getting some chores done between lunch break or taking a walk around your neighborhood at lunch, a little goes a long way.
How to Stay Energized While Working from Home
Sitting in your home all day can lead to feelings of lethargy, which can decrease the likelihood that you’ll move around. Consider options such as standing desks, under-desk walking pads, or even just some background music to help remind you that there’s life outside of your desk chair!
Breathing and Stretching for Stress Relief
Even if your mobility is limited, or you don’t have time to move around during breaks, you can always take up deep breathing and stretching practices. 2020 saw the popularization of “desk yoga,” which involves such moves as the “neck roll,” the “seated forward bend,” and the “seated spinal bend.” Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it; Harvard reports that desk yoga poses “provide long-term benefits with regular practice.” If you’re looking for excellent chiropractor-approved home care exercises you can do from your desk, check out our videos demonstrating the moves!
Team Chiro is your Triangle-Area Neck and Back Pain Expert.
Suffering from joint, back, and neck pain, or poor posture? Team Chiropractic & Sports Medicine, P.A. has got you covered throughout the Triangle. We’re the home of evidence-based spinal reengineering and chiropractic sports medicine. We also serve Chapel Hill, Research Triangle Park, Durham, Raleigh, Clayton, and surrounding areas in North Carolina. We have over 50 years of combined experience serving you, and we have even worked as the Wolfpack’s chiropractic and sports medicine consultant.
If you’re looking for acupuncture treatment in the greater Triangle area, we are here to help! Contact us online today or give us a call at 919-788-8881 to schedule your initial appointment and x-ray at either of our Triangle locations. We look forward to helping restore your health!