After two months locked up at home and not working in the best conditions, bad posture and lack of exercise can start to take their toll. What parts of the body are most sensible to working from home? What should we do to avoid back pain or other discomfort?
A good table and an ergonomic office chair are the perfect companions for teleworking. But many people have been caught without an office at home, so they have had to adapt with what they have. Having to telework because of the coronavirus, we have had to improvise with what we have at home and there are people who may be taking bad positions.
The consequences of sitting for so long are obvious. Not only because of having to telework, but also because of the rest of the time we continue to sit. The body is designed for movement and spending time sitting not only increases tension or blood sugar but also shortens the hamstring muscles – which are the muscles that go behind the thigh – and this has repercussions above all in the lumbar area. Therefore, it is not only the legs, but also the back and the neck that are most susceptible to pain these days.
Since we have to sit at home, we have to find the best positions:
- Although it may seem very tempting to work lying on the bed or the couch, you have to have a routine with a table and a chair at the very least. If the chair is not the right one, change it: one day a higher one, another day a lower one… Although it seems silly, this way the muscles don’t get used to it
- As for the tables, since they cannot be regulated, they have to have a certain height. At least enough so that the arms are in a “90 degrees with the elbows” position.
- On the computer monitor, the most important thing is that it should be as far forward as possible. That is, that “we don’t have to look down, like when we are with our mobile phone. This way, the neck will not suffer so much.
- It can be useful to do some light stretching before working” and even when finishing. In this way, shortening and bad posture are avoided. If during these days we have started to notice some tension or low back pain, it is good to put heat on the area and do stretching without forcing any particular area.
In the case that we have previous problems related to any of these areas of the body, it is best to go to an orthopaedic surgeon who will guide us. Those who are lucky enough to be able to telework while we start the new normality also have to take care of themselves to avoid worse consequences.